Our designer’s philosophy is that our website should be easy for anyone to use, whatever their method of internet access.
Historic Ryde Society has been designed using CSS. No tables or frames of any kind have been used in the design of this website. Our style sheets should accommodate any browser, including those used by mobile devices.
All text has a relative font size which means you can re-size the text at any time if you want to.
All pages on this site are WCAG AA approved, meeting all Priority 1 and 2 checkpoints. In some areas the website will meet Priority 3 checkpoints, but saying that it is nearly impossible to produce a website that is 100% accessible.
All pages on this site validated as strict XHTML 1.0, and valid CSS 2.1
All pages on this site use structured semantic markup. H1 tags are used for main headings, H2 tags for sub-headings and H3 tags for sub-sub-headings.
For those using screen readers we offer a skip link as a shortcut for users who want to skip the content and go straight to the navigation. Link text is written to make sense out of context. Many links have title attributes to describe the links in greater detail. All photographs and graphics on the site have Alt attributes to describe what they are or what they do. Links open in the same window with the exception of links to PDF and Word documents – which open in new windows.
We only use one access key that is for our site map. Apart from that we don’t use access keys. To explain why not, Access keys are keyboard shortcuts that are intended to help users who have difficulty in using pointing devices such as a mouse. They are intended to simplify navigation for people using special devices such as screen readers by delivering quick access to important links.
In an article originally published by Nomensa, it is found that access keys, normally implemented to improve accessible web navigation, can actually cause difficulty in web surfing while using assistive technologies such as screen readers.
There are no universal standards for what link should use which access key. That is not to say there are not some example standards in place, but that even with one, a common standard may not make sense on some web sites. Presently, the UK government has instigated a standard that is aimed at government sites, yet may not work for other sites. It is difficult to envisage a common set of access keys that could be applied across different sites, which would have to be the aim for wide spread usage by people.
Many of the people who should benefit from access keys use special devices to use a computer, for example: users of screen readers or special browsers. These devices often have a multitude of keyboard commands, including some that use the Alt key.
People who are supposed to benefit from access keys rarely know what they are. When testing a site with people using screen readers, none tried using the access keys available. A typical comment was “I don’t think they work with a screen reader”.
Alastair Campbell, Nomensa’s Director of Research and Technology said, “Designed for improving accessibility, access keys have become a rising issue in the field. Since the idea behind access keys was created, accessible technology has evolved and become more efficient, and the access key concept has not been adapted. We are fully committed to the W3C International Accessibility Standards, and are confident this issue will be addressed.”
Without something to encourage the usage of access keys, they simply do not get used. If you go to the trouble of using access keys, they are not likely to be used by the people you aim them at.
If you experience any kind of problem when using this website or you have any other feedback we will be glad to hear from you.
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or write to:
Historic Ryde Society, Ryde District Heritage Centre, Royal Victoria Arcade, Union St, Ryde, Isle of Wight PO33 2LQ.