Shelter is committed to ensuring its website is accessible and inclusive for all its users.

When building this website we have tried to ensure that everyone can use its content and services, regardless of their ability or disability.

The site design and build has taken into account the following guidelines:

The Shelter site currently exceeds WAI single 'A' and is close to WAI 'AA' standards. These guidelines explain how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities. Conformance with these guidelines will help make the web more user-friendly for all people. We are continually working towards complying with 'AAA' standard of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. While Shelter strives to adhere to the accepted guidelines and standards for accessibility and usability, it is not always possible to do so in all areas of the website.

Coding

This site has been built using code compliant with W3C standards for XHTML and CSS. The site displays correctly in current browsers and using standards-compliant XHTML/CSS code means any future browsers will also display it correctly.

Design

This website site uses Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to separate design from content (with rare exception for certain components of some pages). This means that if your browser does not support CSS or if you wish to turn it off then all pages are still easily readable and fully functional.

The site is of fixed width design: this was decided upon to improve the readability of the contents given the 3-column design. The site requires no horizontal scrolling for the most popular screen resolutions and window sizes (1024 x 768 and greater).

Fonts

All fonts are scalable which means you can adjust the type size to suit you by using the options in your browser menu. Go into the 'View' menu in your browser window to increase or decrease font size.

PC/ Internet Explorer 6
From the top menu bar, click View and go to Text size to choose a size

PC/ Internet Explorer 7
From the menu bar underneath the search field, click Page and go to Text size to choose a size

PC/ other browsers
Increase text size: Hold down the CTRL key and press +
Decrease text size: Hold down the CTRL key and press -

Mac / all browsers
Increase text size: Hold down the Command key and press +
Decrease text size: Hold down the Command key and press -

Accesskeys

Our main menu options have been assigned keyboard access keys for users who do not use pointing devices (such as a mouse).

The access keys we have used are based on the UK Government's recommendations, as follows:

  • s - Skip past navigation to the main content of the page
  • 1 - Links to the Shelter home page
  • 2 - Sets focus to the search box

Accesskeys are usable in the most popular browsers, typically used by holding down the Alt key and the required letter or number of the accesskey. In some browsers (such as Internet Explorer) you may need to press the Return key to activate the link.

Browsers

This website has been tested on the following browsers:

PC operating systems:

  • Internet Explorer 5.5, 6, 7
  • Mozilla Firefox 1.5, 2
  • Opera 9
  • Lynx

Mac operating systems:

  • Safari 2, 3
  • Mozilla Firefox 1.5, 2

Content

The content has been written and formatted to make it accessible.

For example:

  • headings highlight sections of text
  • sentences are short with the meaning at the beginning
  • links use meaningful text
  • forms can be navigated using the tab key.

Accessibility software

The most popular software that is useful for assisting access to websites is listed below. Some are free, some are commercial but have free demos.

  • JAWS, a screen reader for Windows. A time-limited, downloadable demo is available.
  • Home Page Reader, a screen reader for Windows. A downloadable demo is available.
  • Lynx browser, a free text-only web browser for blind users with refreshable Braille displays.
  • Links browser, a free text-only web browser for visual users with low bandwidth.
  • Opera browser, a visual browser with many accessibility-related features, including text zooming, user stylesheets, image toggle. A free downloadable version is available. Compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and several other operating systems.

Contact us

We are continually working to improve the quality and accessibility of the Shelter website. While every effort has been made to ensure that it is accessible to the widest number of users, if you experience any problems or have any questions regarding the accessibility of the this website please don't hesitate to report any problems to us.