Making our websites easy for everyone to use
Making our websites easy to use is really important to us. We are constantly looking at ways to improve accessibility, so if you have any specific questions or need any assistance, please call 0345 733 5566 and we’ll do everything we can to help.
The things we have done to improve accessibility
Text size - most modern browsers allow users to change the default text size of pages. Users of Internet Explorer and Firefox can go to View > Text Size in the browser menu and chose increase or decrease the text size across the site.
Useful forms - this site features a number of useful forms, such as calculators to help plan you finances or forms for you to contact us with enquiries. These forms allow you to use the TAB key on your keyboard to navigate in a logical order from field to field, as well as allowing you to click the label if you have problems selecting smaller form elements like checkboxes with a mouse or other device.
Keeping it simple - for those needing a simpler view of the site, the Text only link at the top of the page provides access to minimal version of the site, including larger text, a simpler layout and higher contrast.
Screen readers - three Skip links are provided for screen readers to skip straight to the different levels of navigation and directly to the content from the top of the page. For modern versions of screen readers you can browse through pages heading by heading. The following are the default shortcuts:
• H to cycle forwards through the headings
• Shift + H to cycle backwards through the headings
• 1 to navigate to the next level 1 heading (or a number between 1 and 6 to navigate to the next heading on this level)
• Shift + 1 to navigate to the previous level 1 heading (or a number between 1 and 6 to navigate to the previous heading on this level)
• INSERT + F6 to provide a list of all headings.
Living up to standards
We aim to meet W3C standards to improve the accessibility of the site. W3C - or the World Wide Web Consortium - is an international body established to develop interoperable technologies for the web.
We take accessibility seriously and know that simply adhering to standards is only part of the solution. We are ultimately looking to provide you with the best possible service, and this will involve us keeping abreast of the published standards and legal requirements, as well as your real accessibility needs.
Standards we adhere to include:
XHTML - the language used to create web pages on the Internet. This is an XML (eXtensible Mark-up Language) compliant reworking of HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language).
CSS – this stands for cascading style sheets and is a language which allows presentation styles to be attached to structured HTML and XHTML documents.
WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) version 1 – this was published in 1999 and provides three levels of guidelines for assisting in building accessible website. Eventually we aim to meet at least the second level guidelines across all of our sites. We are also monitoring the development of the new draft of the guidelines (WCAG 2) as well as proposed errata for WCAG 1.
NWL recommend viewing and accessing the website using the following supported browsers:
• Safari v5.1.7 +
• Firefox v35 +
• Chrome v38 +
If you experience any problems accessing the Essex & Suffolk Water website, it is recommended that the browser version is checked against the list above and appropriate updates are run to reflect the browsers supported.
We’re working on it
Although we are striving for a high level of accessibility on all of our sites, the large number of pages and sheer amount of information means that some areas of the sites are, at the moment, easier to use than others. We are working on this at the moment.
Once again, if you have any specific questions or need help to use any part of the site, please call 0345 733 5566 and we’ll do everything we can to help. Thank you.