Accessibility Statement

Accessibility Matters to Us

Every page on this site has been designed to be fully accessible and is checked with the Bobby and A-Prompt testing tools. The markup and style sheets are also checked with W3C validators.

Please contact us about any issues, especially accessibility issues, concerning this site.

Keyboard Shortcuts Organized as a Table

This site allows you to quickly jump around in the page to access the links and sections you need. It also allows you to quickly jump to commonly used pages, such as the site map or home page. There follows a table which explains how the shortcuts work in the browsers that support them. If this is not accessible, please consult the alternative, bulleted list instead. We will update the table and the list as more browsers come to support this accessibility feature of HTML and XHTML.

Keyboard Shortcuts for this Site
Destination Internet Explorer 4 (Windows) Internet Explorer 5 or more (Windows) Netscape 6 (Mozilla 0.98 or less) Netscape 7 (Mozilla 1 or more) Internet Explorer 5 (Apple Macintosh)
Site Navigation ALT+1 ALT+1, ENTER Doesn't work ALT[or CTRL]+1 Doesn't Work
Content (Top of Page) ALT+2 ALT+2, ENTER Doesn't work ALT[or CTRL]+2 Doesn't work
Section Navigation ALT+3 ALT+3, ENTER Doesn't work ALT[or CTRL]+3 Doesn't work
Accessibility Statement (This page) ALT+5 ALT+5, ENTER ALT[or CTRL]+5 ALT[or CTRL]+5 CTRL+5
Search Form (when implemented) ALT+? ALT+?, ENTER ALT[or CTRL]+? ALT[or CTRL]+? CTRL+?
Site Map ALT+9 ALT+9, ENTER ALT[or CTRL]+9 ALT[or CTRL]+9 CTRL+9
Home Page (Root of Site) ALT+0 ALT+0, ENTER ALT[or CTRL]+0 ALT[or CTRL]+0 CTRL+0

As seen from this table these keyboard shortcuts work in IE 4 and onwards for Microsoft Windows, IE 5 and onwards for Apple Macintoshes, Netscape 6 (And Mozilla 1) and onwards for most other operating systems. Safari, Camino, Galeon, Konqueror, Omniweb, Opera 6 or less, Arachne, Lynx, Netscape 4 and earlier, IE 4.5 for Mac, IE 3 for Windows and, unfortunately, most other browsers don't support these shortcuts.

Opera 7 does partially implement Web keyboard shortcuts, but only for alphabetic characters, not numbers or symbols as we've used here. We have considered migrating back to letters, but this causes problems in other browsers and platforms. We'll update this page, if we figure out a way to support Opera 7.

Keyboard Shortcuts Organized as a Bulleted List

To jump the browser to the site navigation (for the main pages of the site):

To jump the browser to the top of the content (top of page) and thus skip navigation:

To jump the browser to the section navigation (for the current section your are in):

To jump the browser to the accessibility statement (This page.):

To jump the browser to the search form (when implemented):

To jump the browser to the site map (site index):

To jump the browser to the home page (the root page of the site):

Standards Compliance

  1. All pages on this site is WCAG AA approved, complying with nearly all priority 1, 2, and 3 guidelines of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Some of these guidelines require judgment, and we've reviewed all the guidelines and feel that this site needs further improvement to rate triple A compliance. We'll keep you posted as things continue to advance.
  2. All pages on this site are Section 508 approved, complying with all of the U.S. Federal Government Section 508 Guidelines. Again, this is a judgment call but, we believe that all these pages are in Section 508 compliance.
  3. All pages on this site validate as XHTML 1.0 Strict. All CSS is also fully compliant.
  4. All pages on this site use structured, semantic markup. Heading tags are used for page titles, subtitles and section headings. For example, JAWS users can skip different headings by pressing ALT+INSERT+[The number corresponding to the heading wanted.].

Navigation Aids

  1. Pages will have rel=previous, next, up, and home links to aid navigation in text-only browsers, such as Lynx. Netscape 6 and Mozilla users can also take advantage of this feature by selecting the View menu, Show/Hide, Site Navigation Bar, Show Only As Needed (or Show Always).
  2. Most heading text, lists, tables and so on will have hypertext anchors to allow users to quickly jump to specific sections in long documents. We avoid unnecessarily dividing documents into many pages. Scrolling is not evil in itself; bloated, mostly content-free pages that load slowly are evil.
  3. A site map, with detailed summaries of each page and their relationship to other pages, is provided.
  4. A search function is pending.

Links

  1. Many links have title attributes which describe the link in greater detail, unless the text of the link already fully describes the target (such as the headline of an article).
  2. All links, including image links, are written to make sense out of context.
  3. Links leading to files that are not hypertext documents will described in detail with link text and title attributes.
  4. Links or form controls that open new windows will be avoided, if it's at all possible. If it's not possible, these links and controls will warn the user what will happen.

Still Images, Animation, Video and Audio Clips

  1. All content images used in this site include descriptive ALT attributes. Purely decorative graphics include null ALT attributes or are handled purely by CSS, thus not requiring descriptive ALT attributes at all.
  2. Complex images include LONGDESC attributes which will point to a page with detailed descriptions to explain the significance of each image to non-visual readers. This is currently not in place, but will be.
  3. Animation is avoided unless detailed textual description via LONGDESC attributes is also provided, see point two.
  4. Closed Captioning is provided on for all Video and Audio files, including streaming files on this site. We are considering adding Audio Description as well.

Visual Design

  1. This site uses cascading style sheets for visual layout.
  2. This site uses only relative font sizes, compatible with the user-specified text size option in visual browsers.
  3. If your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets at all, the content of each page is still readable.
  4. Tables are only used for the organization and structure of data. They are not used for page layout.
  5. A stylesheet specifically for printed media is provided. This removes screen oriented layout and exposes URLs and values placed in TITLE attributes. Unfortunately some aspects of the print stylesheet don't yet work Internet Explorer for Windows.
  6. Because some browsers (Namely Internet Explorer 6 and earlier.) still don't properly support user-defined style sheets, we will implement a JavaScript style-switcher.

Software for Enhancing Web Accessibility

  1. A-Prompt: This free tool for Windows batch processes your Web files and finds Web accessibility errors and helps you correct them. The changes it will suggest are rather wrenching, if you aren't used to accessible design but, once you learn how to think about accessible Web design, it's great for catching small errors in an automated way.
  2. Bobby: This well known, and to be honest, rather venerable, tool gets an honorable mention but, in my opinion, it just doesn't do a good enough job of finding all the errors that A-Prompt does. The technology has passed it by.
  3. A Real Validator: This Windows tool batch processes files to find invalid markup and text encoding. It's shareware but it's really worth it when cleaning up old pages. It also teaches by example how to build valid, well-formed XHTML.
  4. TidyGUI: This free Windows tool cleans up poorly formed markup and improper text encoding. Tidy is also available for other operating systems.
  5. MAGpie: This free tool makes Web multimedia accessible by adding audio description and captioning by way of W3C's SMIL and Microsoft's SAMI markup tags.

Resources on Accessible Web Design

  1. Dive into Accessibility: This is Mark Pilgrim's excellent tutorial with many very practical techniques to improve the accessibility of your site. I suggest you start here first and then move on to item 2. By that point, items 5 and 6 will make more sense to you.
  2. Building Accessible Websites: The Web version of Joe Clark's excellent book on accessible Web design. Read this when you are ready for the advanced stuff. Really, he feels your pain.
  3. WebAIM, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving accessibility to online learning materials.
  4. Designing More Usable Web Sites, a large list of additional resources.
  5. W3 accessibility checklist: This is a quick reference for busy web technicians to learn what is needed for accessibility.
  6. W3 accessibility techniques, This rather abstract and obscure document explains how to implement each point in the checklist above.
  7. Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer, a tool for viewing your web pages without a variety of modern browser features.
  8. Lynx Viewer, a free service for viewing what your web pages would look like in Lynx.

Other Software Accessibility Resources

  1. Adobe's Accessibility Resources: Here you find advice on how to make Acrobat Files accessible.
  2. Apple's Special Needs Page: Here is where to learn about the accessibility features of OS X, Safari and other Apple products.
  3. Linux Accessibility Resource Site: Here is a good place to start to improve access in your applications for Linux and other children of Unix.
  4. Macromedia's Accessibility Resources: Here you can find help to make Flash Objects accessible.
  5. Microsoft's Accessibility Resources: Here is where to learn all the accessibility features in Internet Explorer and all other Microsoft products.
  6. Mozilla's Accessibility Resources: Here is a good place to learn how Mozilla implements the accessibility features found in XHTML, CSS and XML. It is also where to start to learn how well Mozilla supports, or doesn't support, adaptive technology in various operating systems.
  7. Sun's Java Accessibility API: If you are designing Java applets to use on the Web or company LAN, start here.
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