We are committed to ensuring that our services are available to as many people as possible. The information on this page offers our advice and guidance and help from other expert organisations about how to get the most from our website regardless of access needs.

Font sizes and colour

How to change the settings, such as font size, of commonly used web browsers.

The charity AbilityNet provides a wide range of useful factsheets about using features available in many common operating systems and software to improve access.

The BBC’s My Web My Way service also offers advice about how to use accessibility features offered by common computer operating systems.

Text alternatives

We use alternative text labels on all the graphics on the website. These appear as you hover over the graphic with a mouse and provide a
description of the graphic. When using screenreading software, these text alternative labels are read out and the page becomes easier to understand.

Semantic markup

We have introduced semantic markup to our webpages. This gives the page a structure and allows screenreaders to identify headings, sub-headings, lists, and emphasised text. This in turn makes the page easier to navigate and understand for the visitor.

Clear language

We aim to explain things as clearly as possible using simple language that you can understand.


Wherever possible, we will include subtitles and captions in our online videos. We use YouTube to host videos, which has a number of accessibility features, including the ability to increase the size and language of the subtitles.

YouTube – more information

Reading documents

We publish most of our documents as portable document format (PDF) files. PDFs are accessed using a PDF file viewer such as Adobe Reader which is free to download. Advice is also available about the accessibility features included with Adobe Reader.

Sometimes we will need to publish a document in another format. In those cases information on other document and file types is available.

Other services

Additional support services and facilities are available through our libraries to make it easier to access the web. This includes:

  • trackball
  • keyboard skins
  • accessibility wizard
  • on-screen keyboard
  • screen magnifiers
  • JAWS screen reader (in some larger libraries – please contact first to confirm)

If you, or anyone you know, has problems accessing our website, please send an e-mail to:

Accessibility limitations

Due to certain constraints, we have had to include technologies and features that may cause accessibility issues. These include:

  • Adobe PDF downloadable documents
  • Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint downloadable documents
  • Google Maps (third party map application)
  • YouTube (third party video application)
  • Google Translate

We are making reasonable efforts to overcome these limitations by improving their accessibility and failing that, providing accessible alternatives. If you need alternative versions to our downloadable documents (such as plain text or large print) or if you experience any accessibility problems with our site, please contact us.