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Accessibility Statement

We are committed to making the content of this website as accessible to as many people as possible. Under the current Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), goods and services must be provided on equal terms to anyone with a disability.

We are working towards WAI Level 2 accessibility on our site. This is a set of guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). We have already incorporated a number of accessibility features into our website.

Current features include:


More accessible Web pages

  • Stylesheets are used on the site to format and layout the text. This allows the user to customise the site more easily, and allows the designer to make clear the logical structure of the site, which helps accessibility software to do its job properly. Where tables are used, they are readable left to right, top to bottom using screen readers.
  • Frames are not used on the website.
  • Use of alternative text descriptions (alt text), to describe the content of an image. For Internet Explorer users, additional 'title tags' on images and hyperlinks where appropriate.
  • Text based navigation, providing an alterative non-graphical way of working through the site.
  • Hidden 'skips' to assist screen reader users to jump over the main navigation bars, straight to the page contents.
  • Accessibility focus group which includes people with visual impairments and colour blindness with who we consult on new designs, colours and functionality of the website.
  • Forms have been modified to follow a logical tab order for those using a keyboard rather than a mouse to navigate round the screen. In addition, all form elements are labelled to improve access.
  • Limited use of attachments to enable users to access as much of the content as possible. Where information is provided in an alternative format, namely as a PDF document, we provide an HTML version of the content if possible.
  • HTML compliance. Our pages are written to validated xHTML 1.0 Transitional standards.
  • Breadcrumbs Are indicators on each page of where the user is in the site to improve navigation and site structure.

Keyboard Access: Access Keys

Keyboard access is important to any web user who does not have the ability to use a pointing device. Each of our website areas has been developed to enable users to use a set of specified keyboard strokes to navigate around the website.

This site uses UK public website guidelines to define AccessKeys, along with first letter where possible for each of the main sections.

To use the access key features simply follow the steps below:

  • Press and hold the Alt key
  • Press the required access key letter or number
  • Press the return (or enter) key and your browser will take you to your required section of the website

S Skip navigation
1 Homepage
2 What's new (Latest News)
4 Search
5 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions - Q & A)
6 Help
8 Terms and Conditions (User policy and disclaimer)
9 Feedback (Contact Us)
0 Access Keys


Print versions of pages

A printer-ready version of every page is provided using the Print this page link (Alt-P)

How To View This Site

  • Screen settings
    This website has been designed to be viewed with a minimum screen resolution of 800 x 600. If you are using a smaller screen size such as 640 x 480, the font and images will look larger. Similarly if you are using a larger screen resolution such as 1024 x 768 then the font and images will look smaller.
  • Browser settings
    This site has also been designed for and tested using Netscape Navigator version 4, Internet Explorer version 4, Opera and Mozilla Firefox browsers.
  • Changing How This Site Looks
    If you would like to change the way this website looks for your own personal requirements, Durham County Council provide a useful guide to changing font size, type and colour.


Our site is written to validated xHTML 1.0 Transitional standards
Valid XHTML 1.0!

The stylesheet for the site validated by W3C
Valid CSS!

Web accessilbilty compliance Level 1 (2?)

Level A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

Useful Accessibility Links

If you would like further information about accessibility issues and guidelines, the sites below should be of use.

Feedback: Your Comments

If you have any suggestions on how we can improve accessibility or if you encounter any problems, please contact our Website Administrator