We are committed to ensuring our online services are as accessible as possible for you. We have built our site to comply with the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines assist website developers by describing best practices to implement websites that will be accessible to all users. Our site complies with:
- WCAG Level Double-A of the Guidelines, available at http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WAI-WEBCONTENT-19990505, with the small number of known exceptions itemized below and,
- the guidelines found in Section 508 of the US Federal Government Rehabilitation Act.
If your browser doesn’t support these technologies (or if they are disabled), the content of each page is still readable, although the look and layout will be significantly altered. We do our best to help make sure the site is functional without these advanced features.
Keep your browser up-to-date to make sure you can take advantage of these new technologies. To find out more about which browsers our site supports, check out our browser requirements.
Pages were also created to allow visually impaired users to use the site effectively using a screen reading aid. For example, all images have text describing the image, title attributes tell users where a link will take them if they click on it, and structured headings are used so users can get an overview of the site and jump quickly to desired sections.
If you have difficulties accessing anything on our site, please let us know.
- Calendar pop-ups for our product application forms and our calculators do not function if the Cascading Style Sheets are switched off when you view the site. If you are using a screen reading aid to help you, it will not be able to read the contents of the calendar. Simply enter the date manually by typing it in the following format: DD-MM-YYYY.
- In our Accounts section of the site, on both request forms and application forms, a screen reading aid will read the first heading of the form twice.
Our Internet Banking service can be adapted for use by partially sighted members. You can change some of the options in your Internet browser and, using the latest version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Google Chrome, you will be able to:
- alter the size and colour of most text (but not images);
- alter the background colour (black text on a yellow background gives the most contrast);
- alter the line length, by changing the size and shape of your browser window or;
- override the colour schemes of this website and others with your preferred settings.
Refer to the accessibility topic in the help section of your browser for details on how to change your browser settings.
If you are comfortable with technology or want to know more about how we achieve accessibility on this site, the information below should be interesting to you.
- All pages on this site were authored using Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) 1.0 Transitional for markup.
- All pages in this site use structured semantic markup. H1 tags are used for main titles, H2 tags for subtitles, etc. This helps users get an overview of the site when using an access aid and jump quickly to desired sections of the site.
- Many links have TITLE attributes, except those where the text of the link already fully describes the target. These attributes describe where a link will take you if you click it to help you navigate effectively through the site.
- This site has been checked using W3C Validators for both XHTML and CSS. However, some features, such as banking and calculator pages, use legacy code and may not validate.
Testing and validation
To test for compliance, we use the following accessibility aids and resources:
- W3C WCAG Guidelines
- IBM aDesigner version1.02 - a disability simulator that helps Web designers ensure that their pages are accessible and usable by the visually impaired.
- JAWS 4.51 Screen reader software for the visually impaired.
- This site has been checked using W3C Validators for both XHTML and CSS. However, some complex interactive features of this site, such as banking and calculator pages, may not validate.
- This site has been cross-checked using Internet Explorer (5.5 +, PC only), Firefox (1.0, PC and Mac) and Safari (1.2 +, Mac only).