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New windows

Links to non-Shell websites and downloadable files such as PDF, Zip, or Word open in a new browser window when clicked. This allows you to switch between the Shell website and the newly opened window. Links to non-Shell websites will first open a disclaimer statement, which will ask you to click on the ‘Continue your journey’ link to proceed. On all Shell websites, links that open in a new window are clearly marked either by text next to the link title or within the link title tag (alt text).

Page titles

Each page has its own unique page title that clearly explains the page content. This will help you keep track of where you are in the website, and make it possible to distinguish between pages when you have more than one window or tab open.

Headings

Headings are relevant and provided in a logical order so that you can use them to get an overview of the page. For screen reader users, this means that you may be able to use screen reader functions to jump from heading to heading, or have a list of all headings displayed, so that you can decide which one is of most interest to you, and then go straight to it.


Data tables

Data tables have row and column headings, where necessary, that are not only visually different from the data cells, but coded so that screen readers will be able to identify them. This will make it possible for screen reader users to find out what the relevant headings are, from anywhere within the table grid.


Links

Links are written so that they are clear, concise, and unique on each page. This makes the links easier to scan visually as well as if you are using a screen reader.

Making text larger

A lot of web pages can be difficult to view because the text is too small to comfortably read. Choose from the following web browsers for step-by-step instructions on how to increase the size of the text on any web page you are viewing:

Internet Explorer (5.0, 5.5  6.0 7.0)
1. Open your Internet Explorer browser.
2. Open the ‘View’ menu with the mouse.
3. Click on ‘Text Size’.
4. Choose your preferred text size with the mouse, or use the up and down arrow keys and press 'Enter'.

Firefox (1.0, 1.5, 2.0)
1. Open your Firefox browser.
2. Open the ‘View’ menu.
3. Click on ‘Text Size’.
4. Click on ‘Increase’. A quicker way to increase the text size is to hold Ctrl (Cmd in Mac OS X) and scroll down with your mouse.

Opera (9.0)
1. Open your Opera browser.
2. Open the ‘View’ menu.
3. Click on ‘Zoom’.
4. Click on your required zoom level

Safari (3)
1. Open your Safari browser.
2. Open the ‘View’ menu.
3. Select the “Make text larger” menu item.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies - contact your local IT support for further help.

Magnifying your screen

If increasing the text size via the browser or Windows options does not make text easy to read another solution is to magnify your screen. All recent versions of Windows include magnification software, which can make it easier to read text on the screen.

The Windows magnifier lets you increase text to a very large size. It is, however, restricted to a small portion of the screen so most visually impaired people find that they require fully-functional magnification software.

Windows 95, 98, 2000, Me, XP, Vista

  1. Open the Start menu by clicking on the Start button or by pressing the Windows logo key (located between the Ctrl + Alt keys on most keyboards) alternatively press Ctrl + Esc
  2. Click on Programs or alternatively press P on the keyboard until Programs is highlighted and then press Enter
  3. Click on Accessories or press A on the keyboard until Accessories is highlighted and then press Enter
  4. Click on Accessibility or if you are using the keyboard, it will already be highlighted so just press Enter
  5. Click on Magnifier or press M and when Magnifier is highlighted, press Enter on the keyboard
  6. The magnifier is now turned on and the settings box appears.
    You can click in the magnification level box to change the level of magnification, or use the up and down arrow keys
  7. You can minimize the magnifier settings box by clicking the minimize button or by pressing Alt + Spacebar and then press N

Mac OS 8, 9, OS X
For users with the Mac OS 8 or 9 operating system the magnifier CloseView is available. Users running OS X will need to use the inbuilt zoom feature.


Mac OS 8 and 9
To open the Closeview magnifier follow these steps
1. Select the Apple Menu
2. Navigate to the “Control Panels” sub menu and select “Closeview”
3. Follow the on-screen prompts to magnify your viewing area


Mac OS X
1. Select the Apple Menu
2. Select the “System Preferences” option from the menu.
3. Select the “Universal Access” icon
4. Select the “Seeing” tab.
5. Select the “Turn on zoom” option
6. To zoom in press the Alt, Apple and + Sign on the keyboard
7. To zoom out press the Alt, Apple and - Sign on the keyboard

Note: Your maximum and minimum zoom levels can be set from the “Zoom Options…” button.

Changing the font

Internet Explorer (5.0, 5.5 6.0 and 7.0)
1. Open your Internet Explorer browser
2. Open the ‘Tools’ menu with the mouse
3. Click on ‘Internet Options’, or press 'O'
4. Click ‘Accessibility’, or press Alt+E
5. Check the ‘Ignore font styles specified on Web pages’ checkbox with the mouse or by pressing Alt+S
6. Click ‘OK’, or press enter

7. Click ‘Fonts’, or press Alt+N
8. Select a web page font of your choice with the mouse, or by pressing Alt+W and arrowing through the list
9. Click 'OK' twice, or press Enter twice
 
Firefox (1.0, 1.5 and 2.0) 

1. Click on the 'Tools' menu with the mouse or press 'Alt ' + 'T'

2. Click on 'Options', or press 'O' to open the ' Options ' dialog box

3. Make sure that the 'General' option is selected - if not either click on it or press 'Tab' until it is highlighted and then press 'Enter'

4. Click on ' Fonts & Colors ' or press 'F'

5. Click on the box next to 'proportional:' and choose your font type - serif or sans serif - or press 'Tab' until the option box is highlighted, use the arrow keys to expand it and choose your font type and then press 'Enter'

6. Choose your specific font by clicking on the 'Serif:' or 'Sans-serif:'  drop down menus depending on what font type you selected for 'Proportional' and scroll down and select the font you want or 'Tab' into the relevant drop down menu ('Serif:' or 'Sans-Serif:') and use the arrow keys to move 'up' and 'down' the list. Once the font you want is highlighted press 'Enter' to select it.

7. Click on 'Always use my:' 'Fonts' checkbox, or press 'Tab' until the checkbox is highlighted and press the 'Spacebar'

8. Click 'OK' or press 'Enter'

9. Click 'OK' or tab to 'OK' button and press 'Enter '

Opera (9.0)
1. Open the ‘View’ menu with the mouse or press Alt+V

2. Click on ‘Style’ or press 'S'
3. Click on accessibility layout or press ‘C’

Safari (3)
1. Open the ‘Edit’ menu
2. Select ‘Preferences’
3. Press the ‘Select…’ button next to the Standard font: option
4. Select the required font from the list of available fonts

Changing font and background colour

For some people, certain text and background colour combinations are difficult to read. Some internet users also prefer to always have a specific colour such as white text on a black background. In either case, it is easy to set your own colours.

Internet Explorer (5.0, 5.5, 6.0 and 7.0)
1. Click on the Tools menu


2. Click on 'Internet Options', or press 'O'


3. Click on the 'Colors' button, or press Alt+O


4. Choose to have your Windows colour scheme reflected by selecting the "Use Windows colours" option with the mouse or by pressing Alt+W


5. Alternatively, select either the Text button with the mouse (or by pressing Alt+T), or the Background button with the mouse (or by pressing Alt+B)


6. Select the colour with the mouse or by using the arrow keys


7. Click the 'OK' button twice, or press Enter twice
 
Firefox (1.0, 1.5 and 2.0)
1. Open the ‘Tools’ menu with the mouse or press Alt+T
2. Click on ‘Options’ or press 'O'
3. Select the button 'Fonts & Colours'
4. Choose to have your Windows colour scheme reflected by ‘Tabbing to the Use System Colours option’ or  click on the ‘Text’ or ‘Background colour’ option and choose an alternative colour

Opera (9.0)
1. Open the ‘View’ menu with the mouse or press Alt+V
2. Click on ‘Style’ or press 'S'
3. Click on accessibility layout or press “C”

Mac OS 8 & 9 and Mac OS X
Text and background colours can also be changed in the Mac operating system. This can help to ensure sufficient contrast when viewing the site

Mac OS 8 & 9

1. Select the ‘Apple’ Menu
2. Select the ‘Control Panels sub-menu and choose ‘Appearance’
3. Select the ‘Appearance’ Tab
4. Select a colour from the drop down menu next to ‘Highlight Colour’
5. To change the menu and control colours select a colour from the variation drop down menu

Mac OS X

Mac OS X comes with an inbuilt high colour contrast scheme. To activate this scheme follow these steps.

1. Select the ‘Apple’ Menu
2. Select ‘System Preferences’
3. Select the ‘Universal Access’ Icon
4. Select the ‘Seeing’ Tab.
5. Click the “Switch to white on black’ option
6. The desktop appearance will now change

All links on this page open in a new window.

Downloads

We use pdf files to help us preserve the look and feel of our original documents. To open and view pdf files, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader for free. You can also convert pdf to either HTML or Text by using the Access Adobe online PDF conversion tool.

Adobe also publishes information on accessing a PDF using screen readers for users. For further information on accessibility when using Adobe products please visit Access Adobe.

To open and view ZIP files, download the latest version from Winzip. This extraction software allows zip files to be uncompressed so that contents can be viewed.

Video files

To view our videos, optimised for Windows Media Player 7 and higher, you need the Microsoft Windows Media Player and the following computer capability:

Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP/Vista

Pentium II or higher 

At least 16 MB RAM 

At least 2 MB free disk space

JavaScript enabled

16-bit sound card or higher

Internet connection (56K modem/ISDN, cable or ADSL)

Windows Media Player 7 or higher

Monitor capable of supporting 256 colours or more

You may also need JavaScript enabled in your browser. Please follow these instructions:

Internet Explorer (6,7)

1. Select 'Tools' from the top menu

2. Choose 'Internet Options'

3. Click on the 'Security' tab

4. Click on 'Custom Level'

5. Scroll down until you see section labelled 'Scripting'

6. Under 'Active Scripting', select 'Enable' and click OK if you have JavaScript turned off

Mozilla Firefox (1.5, 2.0)

1. Select 'Tools' from the top menu

2. Choose 'Options'

3. Choose 'Content' from the top navigation

4. Select the checkbox next to 'Enable JavaScript' and click OK

  • Viewing problems

If you connect to the internet via a company network, a firewall may be preventing you from viewing video. Ask your IT department whether the firewall is configured to support streaming video and to check the proxy settings for your network. Windows Media Player loads a buffer to improve video quality. This usually takes about 30 seconds. Once the buffer is loaded, the video should start playing.

  • Sound problems

If you can see the video but you cannot hear it, check:

a) if your speakers are switched on

b) the volume settings in Windows Media Player

c) your sound card settings.

If you are able to receive audio, but the sound quality is poor, adjust your speaker volume and adjust the volume settings in Windows Media Player.

Flash

In order to view Flash content, a flash player plug-in version 8 or above is required. If Flash is not installed on your machine you may be prompted to download the plug-in. Alternatively you can download the flash plug-in from the official Adobe site.

Alternative images or HTML versions are provided for those who wish to view content in a non-Flash format.