Statement of Accessibility
Our web site makes every effort to follow priorities one and two of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and drives to maintain a "Double-A" conformance level. We have coded our website and validated it to the HTML 5 standard and used structured semantic markup. The fall-back coding of the site is also HTML 5.
When navigating via the keyboard (tabbing) the first link is the "Skip to Content" feature which allows the skipping of the logo and main site navigation for speedier access to content. This link will not appear for viewers accessing the site with a mouse or through touch screens. In browsers that support "Access Keys" it can also be activated by pressing the specific modifier key for your computer and browser version and the letter "K" on the keyboard.
Access Key Support
Our main site menu supports "Acccess Keys" to function as keyboard short-cuts for mouseless navigation. How these are activated or whether they are supported is strictly a function of your browser software and operating system platform (see "Modifiers" above). Where access keys are used the access key is shown as part of the "title" which can be viewed by highlighting with the mouse or tab key the respective link.
The modifier key varies between both operating systems and browsers. Most web browsers on a Windows-based computer will use "ALT"; while on a Mac computer "CONTROL" is generally the modifier key. As there remains no current standard for this function, implementing it may fluctuate within each application and operating system from no support to using non-standard modifier keys.
For example, at the time of this writing the current version of Fire Fox on a Mac uses the CONTROL key as the modifier, whereas on a Windows computer the function requires pressing both ALT and SHIFT together with the desired letter key. As support for Access Key functionality changes and becomes more adopted or standardized these keys may change from time-to-time and so a list of current modifier keys can be found through this Wikipedia entry.
Style and Appearance
Our site uses Cascading Style Sheets to control all aspects of visual presentation of the site. If these are not loaded or support for them is unavailable, the content of the site remains usable through unformatted semantic markup. We have designed the site so that all information is available regardless of presentation styles loaded, although using an alternative style sheet or none at all will result in the materials not be visually formatted as intended by the designer.
Additionally, our pages also utilize a print style sheet so that the information contained on our site transfers to your desktop printer properly and with only the information needed on the printed page.
Menus and Links
All links have title attributes which describe the link to those using assistive or alternate technologies. This description helps keep the link in context should it occur out of order on the page. The term "Click Here" has been deprecated from use on our pages and replaced with meaningful link text.
We have also deployed tab indexes for mouseless (keyboard) navigation on the main site menu so that links follow in proper sequence prior to reaching the main content. Where multi-level menus are deployed, the flow will be to the header item and then down its subsequent sub-list to secondary and tertiary levels before returning to the main level and continuing to the right. When the end of the main navigation in the document header is reached, the first occuring link in the content body will be the next link in the tab sequence.
The links in the footer of the website use tab indexes of 90 and higher to ensure accomodation of the number of fluctuating links in the body will not supercede their pecking order.
All images in our site that occur as part of the main content presentation include ALTernate text that will show should the image be unavailable or slow to load. Images that are decorative only are called by the screen style sheet with no ALT text or contain null value attributes.
Where warranted, images or graphs requiring more in-depth detail will use "long text" descriptions. These images are marked with the descriptive "D" link and will when selected will take the user to the long-text page and retrieve the appropriate bookmark.
The content of our site is written in basic language as much as possible and uses minimal jargon, technical terms, double-speak and metaphors in order to equalize information access for individuals with learning disabilities or whose first language is not English. Short-forms and abreviations will be spelled-out fully on their first occurence on a page with the abreviation in brackets immediately following them before using just the abreviation next time. For example, "the World Wide Web (WWW) is a large space. It is important to have a great web site to represent your brand on the WWW."
Forms & Input
We have kept forms to an absolute minimum on our site. When they are required, they are made fully accessible with proper labels and tab orders to minimize random jumping of the active field causing the user to become lost or confused, especially for those individuals not using the site visually.
Through dedicated and ongoing work, our site meets or exceeds the Web Accessibility Initiative Level A Guideline. We are also compliant under the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act, Revised Statues of Ontario 2005 as well as the United States American's with Disabilities Act Section 508.
If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions regarding the accessibility of this site, please email Les Patterson, Managing Partner at email@example.com as we are continually striving to improve the experience for all of our visitors.