We are committed to complying with the Equality Act 2010 and have made significant improvements to our website in order to reduce the barriers experienced by people with disabilities.
By following Government guidelines, it is our policy to create pages to W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Priority 2 level (Double A).
In the future, we aim to offer more online services and we are designing these to be level 3 (Triple A) compliant, although if we purchase "off-the-shelf" software this will be at least level 2 compliant.
We are aware, however, that occasionally we do make mistakes. If you find any of our pages inaccessible please let us know. Please include details of the technology you are using and we will make every reasonable effort to either remove the barrier or provide the information in a format that you find acceptable.
Listen to or translate this website
Whether you are using a smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac, the BrowseAloud tool will provide the reading support tools you require for free.
BrowseAloud is a suite of products that provides reading support on websites. BrowseAloud reads website content out loud, highlighting each word as it is spoken in a high quality, human-sounding voice.
Other features include:
- Dual-colour highlighting
- Text magnification
- Talking dictionary
- Talking translator
- MP3 maker
- Screen masking
- Secure site reading
- PDF reading
- International languages
More than 7,000 websites use BrowseAloud, so once you have it on your device you can listen to all of these websites too.
Who does BrowseAloud help?
BrowseAloud helps website visitors who require online reading support and those who simply prefer to listen to information instead of reading it. BrowseAloud is particularly useful for those with print disabilities such as dyslexia or mild visual impairments and those with English as a second language.
How do I get BrowseAloud?
Click on the Listen/Translate site link at the top of this website to launch the BrowseAloud Plus toolbar. This toolbar provides instant high quality speech at the touch of a button - no need to download anything.
The BrowseAloud toolbar
The BrowseAloud toolbar has a number of functions, summarised in the image shown with tool tips on hover and listed from left to right:
- Close the BrowseAloud tool
- Hover to speak mode - starts reading the page out loud - this feature is on by default
- Speak the current selection - starts reading selected text or reads from the top of the page
- Translate this page - provides written and spoken translations in multiple languages
- Generate MP3 - converts selected text into an MP3 audio file
- Screen mask - blocks distractions on screen with a tinted mask
- Text magnifier - enlarges text and reads it out loud
- Simplify text - removes clutter from the screen, displaying only the main text
- Settings - customise options to suit individual needs or preferences
- Help - show a simple help page that explains what the BrowseAloud toolbar does
- Move - click, hold and drag to move the menu
For full details on how to use BrowseAloud, please use the support links below.
Support with using BrowseAloud
A full range of support services are provided for BrowseAloud:
If you have difficulty in using a mouse or similar devices, you can use keyboard shortcuts. We follow the government's access key system.
The keyboard shortcuts are:
- 0 - Access key details
- 1 - Home page
- 3 - Site Map
- 4 - Search
- 6 - Privacy
- 7 - Website Disclaimer
- 8 - Terms & Conditions
- 9 - Contact us
- S - Skip navigation
How do I use the access keys for my browser?
- Google Chrome: Hold down the ALT key (Control and Option on Mac) and select the number/letter of the access key
- Mozilla Firefox: Hold down the ALT and Shift keys (Control and Option on Mac) and select the number/letter of the access key
- Microsoft Internet Explorer/Edge: Hold down the ALT key and select the number/letter of the access key
- Apple Safari: Hold down the Command and Option key and select the number/letter of the access key
If the text is too small for you to read comfortably then you can resize it. Instructions are given for major browsers below:
Choose Tools> Internet Options…> Accessibility… and check the ignore font sizes specified on web pages option. Click OK, OK, and then you can alter the text size using the View> Text Size option.
Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox
Select the keys CTRL and + (the plus key) on PC, Command and + (the plus key) on Mac (From menu: View, Text Size, Increase) together to increase text size and CTRL and - (the minus key) to reduce it (From menu: View, Text Size, Decrease)
All other browsers should be able to resize the text directly from the menu bar. Please see your specific browser help pages if you are having difficulty.
Where possible we try to provide downloadable documents in different formats including PDF and rich text format.
If you have difficulties obtaining information from a PDF you can use Adobe's web-based conversion service to produce an HTML version. However, please be aware that the standard of HTML produced is not very good.
We appreciate that it is frustrating to be unable to access information. Please bear with us whilst we continue to work on improving the accessibility of our site.
If any downloadable document presents a barrier to accessing information, please contact us with details of the document in question, the problems encountered and what we could do to help.