The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is committed to providing information and services, which are fully accessible to all of our customers. The aim with the website is to make it as accessible as possible regardless of the ability or disability of the user. Good design improves access for all users. It has been designed in accordance with the WC3 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It conforms to most of the priority 1, 2 and 3 checkpoints subject to some clarifications as outlined below.
The website was developed using XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets, which are screen reader friendly and more accessible. It has been designed in a manner that avoids clutter and provides a consistent navigation style. The use of colour, breadcrumbs and links to the main thematic areas on each page allows for easier navigation.
The website content is separated from the presentational elements, which makes it available to visitors using technologies such as screen readers.
The website has been designed around four main thematic areas for ease of navigation. We feel that users should be easily able to identify which category the information they require falls into.
There is an option for each user to increase or decrease the font size being used on the site.
Department's Policy on Accessible Publications (doc, 50kb)
Accessible Information Request Form (doc, 104kb)
Some of the information on this website is available in PDF format to provide for easier reading and printing of documents. This format is not always accessible. Newer PDF documents are being created in accessible PDF format but many of the documents on site predate that particular format.
Adobe Reader is required to view pdf files on this site. A free copy can be downloaded from the Adobe website (external link)
A new search engine, Verity Ultraseek has been included, which has improved the retrieval of documents and also allows for an advanced search function.
A number of browsers allow you to jump to specific links using special keys. On Windows the combination is to press ALT and an access key, on Macintosh it is Control and an access key. The codes are based on international standards. The set of keys used on all pages on this site are:
- 1 – Skip to the main content
- s – Small font size
- m – medium font size
- l – Large font size
All links have title attributes. External links all open in a new window.
All images have ALT descriptions unless they are decorative in which case they have null values.
The use of tables has been kept to a minimum on the site.
The website is coded to Transitional XHTML standards. All pages have been verified using the W3 Organisations validator. In addition sample pages are checked using the following browsers:
- Internet Explorer 5.5 up to 7.0
- Firefox 1.0.1 and up
- Netscape 0.9.6 and up
- Opera 7.45 and up
- Lynx 2.8.5 and up
- Safari 1.0.3 and higher
- Firefox 1.0 and higher
All older browsers can access the website although the content maybe without graphical layout due to lack of CSS compatibility within the browser.
The Department is committed to maintaining and monitoring the accessibility of this website. As part of this process we welcome any comment, suggestions or details of problems encountered from users. Comments should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org .
We are in the process of writing guidelines for all web publishers to ensure all new content published to the site is fully accessible.
These guidelines cover issues such as creating user friendly web content, writing meaningful alternative text, creating accessible link phrases and creating accessible documents.