Accessibility

We have worked hard to make sure that our website can be used by as many people as possible. We actively work to ensure our websites are accessible and usable by people of all abilities and needs. Find below some useful information and quick links that may help you get the most from our website.

For people who….

  • prefer a medium or high contrast
  • like to increase the size of the text
  • prefer to use the keyboard
  • would rather listen to the text
  • cannot see very well or are blind
  • would like to translate the website into another language

Other useful information

  • downloading documents from our website
  • “My web, my way”
  • when things don’t work as they should

For people who prefer a medium or high contrast

Some people find it easier to read a web page if there is a higher contrast between the background and the text. We have built this function into our website so that if a visitor selects a different contrast all our web pages will remain in that view during the same session providing the user has “accepted cookies”. (You will see this request at the bottom of the website if you haven’t already accepted them.)

At the top of our web pages you will see the contrast buttons. They represent different screen views. If you click on these you will be able to view our website using a different set of colours.

  • the yellow button on the right will give you a high contrast between the background and the text
  • the grey button in the middle will give you a medium colour contrast between the background and the text
  • the white button on the left will take you back to the original (default) view

If you prefer to completely personalise the contrast for all websites, you can change the settings in your browser, or on your computer system. These settings will remain until you next change them – should you feel the need to do so. Read these instructions on how to change the contrast on your computer and how to change the contrast in your browser on the section of the BBC website called “My Web My Way”.

For people who like to increase the size of the text

A lot of users prefer to view the text on websites in a larger size than normal. We have built this function into our website so that if a visitor decides to change the size of the text, all our web pages will automatically display the same text size during the user’s session.

How to make things smaller or larger on your screen:

For larger text and screen images:

Hold down the Ctrl (control) button with the + key or move the mouse wheel forward

For smaller text and screen images:

Hold down the Ctrl (control) button with the – (minus) key or move the mouse wheel backward

Permanently changing the size of text in your computer settings

You can also change the setting on your computer, or through your browser, so that you always have the size of font that you prefer for all websites. You can change it back again any time you wish.

You will find instructions on how to change the size of the font on your computer and how to change the size of the font in your browser on the section of the BBC website called “My Web My Way”.

For people who prefer to use the keyboard

Some people have restricted mobility and find using a mouse quite difficult for various reasons so we have made sure our website can be navigated by someone who only uses a keyboard.

Pressing the tab key allows you to move forward on each page through the menus, links and text boxes requiring input from you – and pressing the shift and tab key allows you to move back. The arrow keys on the keyboard will enable you to scroll up and down and left or right.

For people who would rather listen to the text

Text-to-speech (TTS) software is not the same as screen reading software for the blind. It is for people for whom English is a second language, people who have dyslexia, people who have mild visual difficulties, or people who just prefer to listen to the text.

There are several TTS solutions available and whilst we do not personally recommend any software you may wish to look at the text-to-speech software called NaturalReader by NaturalSoft Ltd. This comes in 2 versions either for free, with a single voice, or for purchase with a variety of voices to choose from plus additional functionality. It is available for either Windows or Mac computers. Please note that if you decide to download third party software on to your computer you should bear in mind that you do so at your own risk and we do not take any responsibility for any subsequent problems you may experience in this regard.

For people who cannot see very well or are blind

There are many different types of sight impairment including colour blindness and macular degeneration and we have done our best to ensure that users with vision impairment will have an equivalent experience to other users when visiting our website.

Apart from adjusting the size of the text as given earlier under the heading “For people who like to increase the size of the text”, it is possible to magnify sections of the screen where a user is currently focussed. There is specialist software that will enable users to magnify the screen and some systems have this function available. For instance, if a computer is running Windows 7 there is a built-in magnification program which will allow a user to either magnify where they are currently focussed or magnify the entire screen.

Downloading documents from our website

Throughout our website you will see links to our documents which you can open, or download onto your computer. We have converted all the / the majority of documents on our website to PDF (portable document format). This means you will be able to read these documents if you have Adobe Reader installed on your computer regardless of the software you use to create your own documents.

Adobe Reader is the name of the free software that can open PDF documents. If it is not already installed on your computer you will need to download Adobe Reader and follow the instructions to install this software.

“My web my way”

My web my way is part of the BBC website and provides advice and help on how to get the most of the accessibility features and assistive technologies available for your computer, so that you can view the web in a more accessible way.

There are how to guides which show you how to customise the accessibility features of your computer setup or web browser. Also included are factsheets that introduce the range of assistive technologies that are available.

When things don’t work as they should

We have worked hard to ensure that our website meets current accessibility guidelines, and we have done our best to consider all our visitors’ needs.

However, if you are experiencing any difficulty with accessing the content of our website please do not hesitate to contact us for support or phone us on 0161 765 4004 and we will do our best to support you and address any issues you raise.

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