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1. NCI Accessibility Policy

The National College of Ireland has made every effort to ensure that the design of this web site conforms to web standards for both usability and accessibility. We have followed the W3C's WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) guidelines in the creation of this website and we have used the latest technologies available to structure the website. W3C is the governing authority on web development standards and practices.

The website uses XHTML code to provide document structure and CSS (Cascading Stylesheets) to provide document formatting. By following guidelines set down by the W3C we are trying to make sure that all the information on our web site is available to everybody: not just the text, but the information contained in the images and other media. Using these technologies also allows us to provide a website that loads more quickly, and displays in more devices.

The website contains valid XHTML and CSS code and it conforms to Web Accessibility Initiative's AAA guidelines, which are the strictest guidelines for creating accessible web pages. In addition, the website has been Bobby Tested and has passed all Priority 3 Guidelines.

If you have a problem accessing any information on the site, please contact us using the link below and we will endeavour to provide the information in an appropriate format.

1.1 Visual Design

This site uses cascading style sheets for visual layout. If your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets at all, the content of each page is still readable, but it won't look as visually pleasing as it does when stylesheets are supported.

Our pages use the Verdana font. It is specifically designed for reading text on a screen, and it is common to most machines. Our printer version uses Times New Roman which is used for printed text legibility. It is also common across many machines.

1.2 Browser Compatibility

We have ensured that the website displays on all current browsers including Internet Explorer 6+, Opera 7+, Firefox 1+ and Mozilla/Netscape 7+.

If you do not have one of these, we recommend you upgrade as these browsers support web standards which in turn support the provision of fully functional web services for all users.

1.3 Images

All images used on the site contain descriptive alt text. In addition, images have been moved into the background where possible.

1.4 Tables

Where tables are used, they are written using semantic mark-up which includes properly labelled header cells to allow screen readers to render the data intelligently. Tables are only used where there is a real need for them, in the case of tabular data, for example.

1.5 Links

Link text is written to make sense out of context. We have tried to avoid the use of the words 'click here' for link text.

Many browsers (such as JAWS, Home Page Reader, Lynx, and Opera) can extract the list of links on a page and allow the user to browse the list, separately from the page.

1.6 Increasing text size

If you find that the text on this site is too small, you can change it easily using the following methods:

  • To increase the size of text in Windows Explorer 5+, select View > Text Size > Larger/Largest.

  • To increase the size of text in Netscape 6+, select View > Text Size > Larger or press Ctrl++.

  • To increase the size of text in Netscape 4, select View > Increase Font or press Ctrl + ].

1.7 Navigational Aids

We have built a number of useful navigation aids into the website to benefit all of our users.

1.7.1 Skip Navigation

A function is provided for users of adaptive devices to allow them to skip through the main navigation on each page if they do wish. Screen readers will read out each and every menu option exhaustively on each page, so this function allows a user to go directly to the page content if they wish.

1.7.2 Tab Indexes

We have specified a tabbing order for the menu items on the website. This is useful for users who don't use a mouse to get around the page. When each page loads, it is possible to use the Tab key to access the search feature and all the main navigation buttons in a sequential fashion.

1.7.3 Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbing is used on the website to add extra navigation information and to help a user locate themselves within the website.

1.7.4 Site Map

There is a fully linked site map available.


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