The Improvement Service is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability.

We are actively working to increase the accessibility and usability of our “tellme” website and in doing so adhere to many of the available standards and guidelines.

Guidelines and standards

The website endeavours to conform to level Double-A of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

These guidelines explain how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities. Conformance with these guidelines will help make the web more user friendly for all people.

This site has been built using code compliant with W3C standards for HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for visual layout. To ensure code quality and that standards are maintained we are committed to checking this on a regular basis.

With respect to the provision of services online we have implemented a number of features to make this website easy to use, especially for users with disabilities.

The following features improve navigation for text only browsers, screen reader users, and users of keyboard navigation.

Accessibility Features

This website will function and look as intended in browsers that support these standards as noted below:

  • Internet Explorer (version 6 and above)
  • Firefox (version 3 and above)
  • Google Chrome (version 3 and above)
  • Opera (version 10 and above)
  • Safari (version 4 and above)

If you do not have one these browsers installed or are unable to upgrade, you may find the website easier to use by disabling CSS altogether - please see your browser's help documentation for further information.

Access keys

Access keys are keyboard shortcuts that replace the need to use a mouse for navigation.

List of Access Keys for this site

  • S: Skip navigation
  • 1: Home page
  • 2: News
  • 3: Sitemap
  • 4: Search form
  • 5: FAQs
  • 8: Terms and Conditions
  • 9: Contact Us
  • 0: Accessibility


How to use Access Keys in your browser


Internet Explorer 6 and above - Hold down ALT + the access key then release both keys and press ENTER.

Firefox - Hold down ALT + SHIFT + the access key.

Opera - Hold down SHIFT + ESC, release both keys, then press the access key.


Safari - Hold down CTRL + the access key.

Firefox - Hold down ALT + SHIFT + the access key.

These Access keys are based on UK Government guidelines. We have attempted to avoid conflicts with commonly used operating system shortcuts.


We appreciate that not all people using our sites can use a mouse; we will ensure that all of our websites can be browsed in a logical manner using the Tab button. Pressing the 'Tab' key while on a web page will select the next link on the page. You can press 'Tab' repeatedly to get to the chosen link. The selected link is indicated by the dotted border around the link. Once your chosen link is selected, you can trigger it by pressing the 'Enter' key on your keyboard. You can move backwards through links by pressing 'Shift' + 'Tab' together.

Font sizes

Below are some instructions of how to resize the fonts of the site through different browsers.

Internet Explorer 6

Click the View menu, then select Text Size and then choose larger or largest (the default is medium). Alternatively, hold down the Ctrl key and scroll the mouse wheel (if you have one).

Internet Explorer 7

You can also use the Page Zoom feature: click Tools then Zoom. You can then increase or decrease the page's zoom level. Zoom differs from text resize in that it changes the size of all content, not just text.


Click the View menu, then select Text Size and then choose whether you would like to increase the size (increase) or decrease the size (decrease). Alternatively, hold down the Ctrl key and at the same time, push the - or + key. Alternatively, hold down the Ctrl key and scroll the mouse wheel (if you have one).


Click the View menu, select Zoom and then choose your desired zoom level. Alternatively, press Plus (hold Shift and press the = key) to increase the page zoom, or press the minus key (-) to reduce the page zoom. Alternatively, hold down the Ctrl key and scroll the mouse wheel (if you have one).


Click the View menu then click Make Text Bigger or Make Text Smaller. There are A, A+ and A++ icons on each page to make it easier to adjust font size for those users who cannot do it through their browser.


Labels are used to assist access to form fields. All forms follow a logical tab sequence.


The site has been designed to be easy to read through its colour combinations. If you have any difficulty in reading parts of the site, try increasing the font size, or try altering the visual appearance of your browser.


We have worked hard to ensure that our links are meaningful, and some links are explained in greater detail by using a title attribute, visible when hovering over the link.


JavaScript is used on the site to improve usability. All pages and processes are still accessible and usable if JavaScript is disabled or unavailable.

Flash may be used on the site to enhance the experience of the user. An effort will be made to make sure that if a user does not have the correct plug-in for Flash elements, it does not detract from the user accessing the core content of the website.


Whilst the “tellme” website strives to adhere to the accepted guidelines and standards for accessibility and usability, it is not always possible to do so in all areas of the website. Where non-compliant content is provided reasonable effort will be taken to make accessible and equivalent alternatives available.

Contact information

We are continually seeking out solutions that will bring all areas of the site up to the same level of overall web accessibility. In the meantime, if you have any questions about our continuing efforts to make web-based information accessibile to all users or wish to report an accessibilty problem on any of our pages then please don’t hesitate to contact us.