Our websites and the information on them are designed to be as accessible and usable as possible: we want everybody to be able to find what they need, regardless of any disability or impairment.
If you are experiencing difficulties using our website, or if you feel we could improve anything, please tell us about it: email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help.
The BBC's My Web My Way website provides information on configuring your computer and browser to make the web more accessible for you.
Using our 'listen to page' option
If you have trouble reading text online you can use our ReadSpeaker tool to have the text read out loud to you. It is really simple to use and you don’t have to download anything.
Listen to the main content
To listen to the content on any of our pages, you simply click the 'listen to page' link at the top right hand corner (above the search).
- You can also use the Access Key: Alt + L
An audio player appears (see image below) and ReadSpeaker starts reading the text of the web page out loud.
In the player you can:
- Adjust the volume
- Pause/ restart the reading
- Stop the reading
- Restart the reading
- Choose the settings icon if you want to customise the settings
- Click the download icon to download the audio file
- Close the player
Listen to selected text
You can also select a part of the text that you want to listen to. Once selected a pop-up listen button will appear next to the mouse pointer. When you click the pop-up listen button, an audio player will appear and ReadSpeaker will start reading the text you have selected. You will have access to the same controls as described above.
In the settings menu you can:
- Choose whether you want to have the text highlighted while read
- Choose whether you want the text highlighted on a word and sentence basis, sentence only, or word only
- Choose style and colours for the highlighting
- Choose whether you want the reading speed to be slow, medium, or fast
- Choose whether you want the page to scroll automatically to follow the highlighted text
- Choose whether you want the pop-up Listen button to be shown when text is selected
For more information please visit ReadSpeaker's text to speech website.
Downloading and opening documents
Most of our downloadable documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF) and can be read through the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. The current version of Acrobat Reader (XI) has improved accessibility features and we recommend you download it where possible.
In some cases we have provided a Rich Text Format (RTF), which can be opened by any word processing software you currently use, or you can download the free Microsoft Word viewer (or search the web for 'free word viewer' for a range of other products).
We make a large number of documents available on our website, with many of them currently not meeting minimum accessibility standards unfortunately. As of January 2015, when we replace existing or create new ones, we will be making them more accessible by using a good document structure and layout, as well as setting the correct document properties.
If you have any problems downloading or reading the documents on this site, please contact the web team at email@example.com.
Standards and technologies
We aim to make all our websites meet the AA standard of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). The guidelines are designed to help make content accessible to a wide range of people with disabilities, but following them often makes content more usable to all users.
In some cases we use software or web functions provided by third parties to run our websites or present web content. In these cases we do our best to make sure the content is accessible.
Where we cannot guarantee content is accessible, for example when we use Google maps to present information, we aim to provide the information in an accessible format as well.