Our website is designed to be accessible, using contrasting colours and legible typefaces. If, however, you need to enhance its legibility, there are numerous steps you can take, some of which depend on the web browser or type of computer (Windows or Mac) you are using.
Changing Text Size
In most web browsers, holding down the Control key and pressing the + (plus) key will increase the size of the text and pictures on the current web-page. To decrease text and picture size, hold down Control and – (minus).
If you are using an Apple computer, the same can be achieved using the Command key: hold it down and press + (plus) to increase text size, and – (minus) to decrease size.
Another way to change font size (if your mouse has a wheel instead of a middle button) is to hold down control while moving the mouse wheel.
Using a Screen-Reader
If you are using a computer with Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you can download and install the Thunder Screenreader from screenreader.net. Once set up, this software will read aloud any web-pages you visit, using the WebbIE browser. It’s a free download, with extensive documentation.
Apple computers include a screen-reader called VoiceOver. Information about activating and using VoiceOver is available from the Apple website.
If you are using the Firefox web browser, Access Firefox has advice on:
- Extensions – “add-ons” to your browser to enhance accessibility.
- Features – built-in Firefox accessibility features.
- Themes – ways to change the appearance of the browser itself, including button sizes, typeface used in menus, etc.
For Internet Explorer, Microsoft publishes advice about:
- Using the keyboard to browse the Internet.
- Customizing the font, formatting and screen colours.
- Using a screen reader or voice recognition software with Explorer.
- Improving legibility when printing web-pages.
Google has extensive advice about accessibility features in Chrome and other Google products. For Chrome:
- Extensions (“add-ons”) to their browser, including third-party extensions.
- Low-Vision Features.
- Keyboard Shortcuts.
- Screen-Reader Integration.
The Opera browser has a number of features to aid accessibility:
- Using the keyboard to navigate, and removing menus, scrollbars, etc, which might not be needed when you use the keyboard.
- Using the zoom function to increase the size of text and pictures.
- Changing the text size in Opera’s toolbars and menus.
- Using “skins” (equivalent to Firefox’s themes) to enable larger images for toolbars.
- Using fullscreen mode to remove all toolbars, status bar and panels to allow more room for displaying Web pages.
- Toggling document and user settings to turn off fancy fonts and designer-dictated font sizes and settings.
Safari’s accessibility options are built-in to the browser, and can be found in Safari preferences. They include:
- VoiceOver Screen Reader.
- Using ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications).
- Enhanced Keyboard Navigation.
- Full-Page Zoom.
- Zoom Text Only
- Closed Captions for HTML5 Video.
- Custom Style Sheets (allowing you to change the design of web-pages).
- Setting a Minimum Font Size.