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Accessibility options

Accessibility and usability

At Action on Hearing Loss we are committed to making our website accessible to everyone, regardless of the technology or the ability of the user. We are working to increase the accessibility and usability of our website and adhere to available standards and guidelines.

Help using this website

The following highlights the various issues we have addressed with the objective of achieving a high level of accessibility.

  • Navigation
  • The navigation is logical and consistent throughout the website
  • Clicking on the Action on Hearing Loss logo at the top of any page will take you back to the homepage
  • Every page contains a “Skip navigation” link located at the top of the page.
  • Breadcrumb trails highlight the location of each page within the site structure
  • There is a site search at the top of each page
  • There is a site map accessed from the bottom of each page

Access keys

The following access keys have been used to aid navigation (taken from the UK Government standard).

S – Skip to content

1 - Return to homepage

2 – News & events

3 - Sitemap

4 – Search site (at the top of the page)

6 – Help / contact

8 – Terms & conditions

9 – Feedback / contact us

0 – Access keys details

To operate the access keys:

  • Windows users: press “ALT” plus the listed access key or
  • Macintosh users: press “Control” plus the listed access key
  • Pressing “Enter” will then take you to the page.


  • Content is written as clearly as possible in a clear, readable font.
  • Headings are clear and follow a logical structure
  • Text can be reduced or enlarged in size. This can be done using the built-in text resize tool accessed from links at the top of every page. Please note: Our text resizing tool stores your preference on your computer. This means that whatever option you have selected remains active when navigating the site. Your preferences can be changed at any time and the settings can be returned to default using the tool.
  • Text size can also be changed in most browsers by using View > Text Size in the browser menu bar or using the key combination of Ctrl and "+/-".


  • Links are written to make sense out of context
  • Where applicable, links may also have title attributes which describe the destination of the link in greater detail.
  • Links open in the same window unless otherwise stated (where the link will contain a warning either in the link itself or the title attribute of the link).
  • Links within content are identified by being underlined and highlight on keyboard focus


  • Links to documents will include filename, format and file size.
  • To read PDF documents you will need to have the Adobe Acrobat reader which you can download for free from the Adobe website. The Adobe website also includes further information on PDF accessibility.


  • All graphics and images in our website have alternative text that describes the contents or function of the image. This description will be displayed when images are turned off, on a text-only browser or as a ‘tool tip’ in certain browsers when the mouse pointer is moved over the image.
  • Complex images will link to a text based description of the image.


  • Colours used on our site have been chosen so they provide sufficient contrast for all users to read the pages easily.


  • Form fields have appropriate text labels, fieldsets and legends
  • Errors within a form will be flagged up before the form can be submitted


  • Tables have not been used for layout purposes
  • Data tables will have appropriate summaries explaining the purpose of the content within them


  • British Sign Language (BSL) videos have been included to support key content
  • Videos have not been set to play automatically.

We have also included features that are particularly useful for those using assistive technologies. These include:

  • A Skip Navigation link at the top of the page allowing users to jump straight to the main content of the page.
  • All the pages on our website are "device independent" and can be navigated by using a keyboard, mouse or combination of the two.
  • Visitors using recent versions of the JAWS screen reader can speed up navigation through a page using the following keystrokes:
    • H to navigate through all the headings on a page 
    • Tab to navigate through all link/form elements on the page
    • Insert and F6 to provide a list of all headings
    • Insert and F7 to provide a list of all links

For more keyboard shortcuts for JAWS visit the WebAIM website.

While every attempt has been made to make this site accessible, it does include technologies and features that may cause accessibility issues. These include:

  • Graphical headings which may not appear correctly if you change your settings to use a high contrast layout.
  • Adobe PDF downloadable documents (opens in new window)  (read more about accessing pdfs).
  • Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint downloadable documents.
  • Google Maps (third party map application) which rely on javascript (although content displayed in the map is available in an alternate accessible format).
  • reCAPTCHA (third party CAPTCHA application).

We make every effort to overcome these limitations by improving their accessibility and where possible, will provide accessible alternatives. If however you experience any accessibility problems with our site, please contact us.

Action on Hearing Loss does not assume responsibility for third party applications.

  • The forum included within the Community section of the website is provided by a third party application and therefore out of our control. There are known issues with this system such as filter controls causing the page to refresh automatically, incorrectly labelled images and incorrectly formatted tables.
  • Links present on every page allowing you to share content on your Twitter or Facebook accounts are supplied by a third party application. This content may include inadequately labelled links or invalid HTML markup.
  • As this website is maintained by a Content Management System (CMS), this can generate HTML which can potentially cause difficulties for assistive technology users such as code for detecting Javascript.
  • Use of third party video players means video controls may not be fully accessible.
  • Use of Flash technology means that the Hearing Check is not accessible.
  • Use of a third party application means that the heading structure within the blog may not be fully accessible.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are the common standards followed on accessible websites. This website aims to conform to level AA of the WCAG v2.0.

The website has been developed to conform to W3C standards for HTML (HyperText Mark up Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Additional technologies including JavaScript have been used but the site is not reliant on these to provide access to content.

This site has been optimised for a screen resolution of 1024x768 pixels or greater and for viewing on colour monitors. The site has been designed to be compatible with most leading web browsers including Internet Explorer 6+, Firefox 3.6+, Apple Safari 4+ and Google Chrome.

You can download the factsheets using Microsoft Word 97 or higher for .doc files, or Adobe Reader 5.0 or later for .pdf files.

If you need more information and guidance on using the web and your computer, we have provided some useful links to help (the following links will all open in a new browser window):

If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the accessibility of this site, please email as we are continually striving to improve the experience for all visitors.

This accessibility statement was written in June 2011.

We will constantly monitor the accessibility of this site and revise this statement when changes are made to the organisation’s accessibility policy and when any modifications are made to the website that could impact accessibility.