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Accessibility

Accessibility

We are committed to ensuring that our website is accessible to everyone. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the accessibility of this site, please contact us, as we are continually striving to improve the experience for all of our visitors.

Standards compliance

  • All pages on this site follow U.S. Federal Government Section 508 Standards.
  • All pages on this site follow priorities A and AA of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.
  • All pages on this site validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
  • All pages on this site use structured semantic markup. H1-tags are used for main titles, H2-tags for subheadings. For example, on this page, JAWS users can skip to the next section within the accessibility statement by pressing ALT+INSERT+3. Opera users can skip sections by using "S" and "W" to cycle forwards and backwards respectively through headings.

Structural Markup

Web pages on this site include three different areas:

  • A header section that includes a site search and the main navigation;
  • A main content area; and,
  • A footer containing links to Help, Resources, and Contact information.

When CSS (Cascading Styles Sheet) are not applied to a document (or when using a screen reader), the three areas are read in the above order.

Images

  • Unless they are purely decorative items, all images used on this web site have alt-attributes that convey the meaning described by the image.
  • Content is usable/accessible with images "off" (disabled).

Links

  • Links are written to make sense out of context.
  • The first link in every document is a "SkipNav"; it bypasses the navigation and skips directly to the main content of the page.
  • URLs are permanent whenever possible.
  • “Printer-friendly version” is the only link that opens in a new window without warning.
  • Links to external sites are accompanied by a special symbol.

Scripts

  • We are using non obtrusive client-side scripts.
  • Content of this web site is usable without JavaScript support.

Visual design

  • This site uses cascading style sheets for visual layout.
  • If your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets, the content of each page is still readable.
  • Any information conveyed through the use of color is also available without color (i.e. text based).

How to modify this site to fit your needs

These links explain the many ways you can make the web more accessible to you.

Accessibility references

Accessibility software

  • JAWS, a screen reader for Windows. A time-limited, downloadable demo is available.
  • IBM Easy Web Browsing, free software that magnifies text that you point to with the mouse and reads the magnified text aloud.
  • Lynx, a free text-only web browser for blind users with refreshable Braille displays.
  • Links, a free text-only web browser for visual users with low bandwidth.
  • Opera, a visual browser with many accessibility-related features, including text zooming, user stylesheets, and image toggle. A free downloadable version is available. Compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and several other operating systems.
  • Window-Eyes, a screen reader for Windows.  A thirty-minute renewable demo version is available.

Accessibility services

  • Coblis Color Blindness Simulator
  • Color Contrast Check, uses the WCAG 2.0 contrast ration formula to determine whether foreground and a background color provide adequate contrast.
  • HTML Validator, a free service for checking that web pages conform to published HTML standards.
  • Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer, a tool for viewing your web pages without a variety of modern browser features.
  • Lynx Viewer, a free service for viewing what your web pages would look like in Lynx.
  • WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool), a free online accessibility evaluation tool that shows via embedded icons where any problems might exist on a web page.

Related resources