Accessibility

The University of Salford strives to ensure that this website is accessible to everyone. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the accessibility of this site, or if you come across a page or resource that does not meet your access needs, please contact the webmaster@salford.ac.uk, as we are continually striving to improve the experience for all of our visitors.

Features

The following section has been adapted from the See it Right accessible website - benefits for users page, with kind permission from the RNIB.

Below is an outline of what you can expect to be able to do on sites maintained by the University of Salford, whatever your browser settings or reading needs might be.

Structure

  • Page titles are different on each unique page, and give a good indication about its content. This will help you keep track of where you are in the website, and make it possible to distinguish between pages when you have more than one window or tab open.
  • Headings are relevant and provided in a logical order so that you can use them to get an overview of the page. For screen reader users, this means that you may be able to use screen reader functions to jump from heading to heading, or have a list of all headings displayed, so that you can decide which one is of most interest to you, and then go straight to it.
  • Data tables are given row and column headings where necessary that are not only visually different from the data cells, but coded so that screen readers will be able to identify them. This will make it possible for screen reader users to find out what the relevant headings are, from anywhere within the table grid.

Navigation

You will be able to reach all parts of the website by following links that are keyboard navigable. This means that if you have impaired mobility or sight, you will be able to use your keyboard tab key or switch device to move from link to link, knowing that no parts of the site are "hidden" behind links that can only be displayed by mouse action.

Text sizes

All text is resizable, so if it is too small or large for easy reading, you can use your browser setting to display it at the size you prefer.

If you have already selected a non-standard text size in your browser settings, the size you prefer will be visible from the moment you enter the website, and you won't need to reset it for each page.

Links

The wording for text links will be carefully chosen so that each link is:

  • Clear, giving you a good idea of what the destination page is about.
  • Unique, each one is different, unless it leads to the same page as any others using the same wording.
  • Complete, not relying on nearby text to explain its purpose or context.
  • Concise, as short and to the point as possible.
  • Easy to identify, not beginning with words like "click here for" or "link to".

Links that are constructed as described above, are useful for all visitors, especially those who have modern browsers or access technologies that enable them to extract a list of links from web pages, so that they are easier to sort and faster to select.

Images

A text alternative will be provided for all images, relevant to the reason for the image being there, and will be as short and to the point as possible.  The information you get from the alternative text will depend on the reason for the image:

  • Images used as links will have alternatives that, like good text links, tell you about the destination page.
  • Informative images will have alternative text that contains the information that the image contributes to the page.
  • Images of textwill use the visible text as their alternatives.
  • Decorative images will be given empty alternative text, so that they are silent when a screen reader reads the page.
  • Layout images will also be rendered "silent" by having empty alternative text.

By using these rules the website will be giving screen reader users a page reading experience that is as close as possible to that enjoyed by sighted visitors. It also makes sure that no information is lost if the image isn't large enough for you to read, or images have been turned off to speed up browsing on mobile connections.

Colour

Colours will be chosen to provide good contrast between text and its background, and avoid combinations that are known to cause difficulties for people with colour blindness.

In addition, colour styling will ensure that no parts of the page would be unreadable if you have chosen non-standard colours in your browser colour settings.

A change of colour won't be used as the only way to identify any information. So for instance you won't see phrases such as "streets liable to flooding are in red text". This is obviously because some people can't see the screen, but also because other people may be unable to tell the difference between colours, either because of colour blindness or because their screen doesn't process colours well enough.

Forms

Completing forms is made easy because the information you need to complete each input box will be clear and well positioned:

  • Instructions will be clear and made available before you reach the first form input box. If the form is spread over a number of pages this will also be mentioned before you start.
  • Text labels will always be present, correctly positioned (to the left, or above, text input boxes and to the right, or below, radio buttons or checkboxes), and will include any symbol identifying it as a required field.
  • Scripts won't be used to dynamically position the cursor in form fields, as this can confuse screen reader focus, or in some cases make it impossible for you to re-enter an input box if you need to make a correction.
  • Dropdown selection lists will have manual "Go" buttons, rather than triggering a change instantly, as the more dynamic ones are difficult to use for people who cannot use a mouse.
  • The tab order between the different parts of a form will be logical.

New windows

You won't find many uses of new windows in the site and where we do have, then you will find a warning either in the link text or the sentence the link is given in. Typically new windows are used for audio and video.

Audio and video

Any information that is presented in video, audio or multimedia will have alternatives that make the same information available to people who are unable to see or hear.

This means that captioning or transcript will be used to complement audible or visible information.

JavaScript

No part of the website will be impossible to either reach or use because of a total reliance on JavaScript.

Whenever JavaScript is used, it won't create moving text that cannot be stopped, nor use controls that can't be operated by either the mouse or the keyboard.

Alternative text pages

We don't encourage the use of text only pages, but if there is information in a format that simply can't be made accessible to all, then a text alternative is necessary. If a text alternative page is to be provided, then the less accessible page will provide a link to the text version, before you reach the inaccessible content.

Standards compliance

  1. All pages on this site aim to be accessible to WAI WCAG AA or better, complying with priority 1 and 2 guidelines of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as interpreted by the University's Web Team. Should you encounter any difficulties relating to the level of accessibility of certain pages, please do not hesitate to report the problem to webmaster@salford.ac.uk.
  2. All pages on this site aim to validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional, and use CSS 2.1 for visual presentation. Use of tables for non-tabular information is kept to a minimum. This may cause older browsers (e.g. Netscape 4.x) which do not understand standards-compliant code to display pages in a very basic way. However, the pages should still be usable. Wherever possible, we would recommend upgrading your browser to the latest version number to take full advantage of this site's advanced presentational features.
  3. All pages on this site use structured semantic markup.