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Further Information

Using access keys Bobby Help for the partially sighted Setting the screen resolution Changing colours, fonts and text size in your browser Changing the colour scheme for Windows or Apple Mac-OS Mouse settings Keyboard settings Useful links

Accessibility guidelines

Using access keys

The HMCS website features “access keys”. These are shortcuts which allow you to get to certain parts of a web site quickly. They help you if you have difficulties using a mouse or prefer to use shortcuts.

On the HMCS website we have used the UK government access key standard on the most commonly used links and help features as listed below:

S - skip navigation
1 - home page
2 - what's new
3 - site map
4 - search
7 - complaints/contact us
8 - terms and conditions
9 - feedback
0 - accessibility help (this page)

 

How you use the access keys depends on whether you have a PC or an Apple Mac, and also on which browser you have. See below for various combinations.

Help for the partially sighted

The Internet and how to use it. This is a link to the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) website, and an article on the Internet and how to access it.

Use of Access Keys

PC, Internet Explorer 5+:

  1. Press and hold down the ALT key.
  2. Then press the number or letter (see the access keys as listed above) and press Enter/Return key

PC, Internet Explorer 4:

  1. Press and hold down the ALT key
  2. Then press the number or letter (see the access keys as listed above)

PC, Netscape 6+:

  1. Press and hold down the ALT key.
  2. Then press the number or letter (see the access keys as listed above)

Apple Mac, Internet Explorer 5+:

  1. Press and hold down the Control key
  2. Then press the appropriate number or letter (see the access keys as listed above) and press Enter/Return key

Apple Mac, Internet Explorer 4.5:

Apple Mac, Netscape 6+:

  1. Press and hold down the Control key
  2. Then press the appropriate number or letter (see the access keys as listed above)

Apple Mac, Netscape, earlier versions:

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Setting the screen resolution

Screen resolution, measured in pixels, refers to the resolution of the computer monitor. The screen area setting is an important factor in how much information your monitor can display. A common setting is 800 by 600 pixels. By increasing the number of pixels your monitor displays, you can view more on your screen regardless of its actual dimension.

The HMCS website has been designed to work well on a screen resolution of 800 by 600 pixels. This means you should not have to scroll from side to side, but you may have to scroll down or up depending on the length of a page.

If you wish to change your screen resolution follow the instructions below, appropriate to your computer system.

Instructions for Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP

  1. Select the Start button (bottom left corner of screen)
  2. From the Settings menu, select Control Panel
  3. If you are using Windows XP, select Switch to Classic View in the left hand pane
  4. Open the Display section by either double-clicking on the Display icon or by highlighting the icon and pressing the Return/Enter key
  5. Select the Settings tab
  6. Move the screen area slider to the right until it reads 1024 by 768 or larger. If this resolution is not available on the computer you are using, choose 800 by 600. [Note that you will need to scroll more on web pages when using this lower resolution]
  7. Select OK to save changes
  8. After the screen resizes, select OK button again to confirm the new screen size

Or

  1. Minimize all open windows
  2. Right click anywhere on the desktop as long as it is not on an icon
  3. Select Properties from the pop-up menu
  4. From the window that appears select the Settings tab
  5. Move the screen area slider to the right until it reads 1024 by 768 or larger. If this resolution is not available on the computer you are using, choose 800 by 600. [Note that you will need to scroll more on web pages when using this lower resolution]
  6. Select OK to save changes
  7. After the screen resizes, select OK button again to confirm the new screen size

Instructions for Apple Mac OS X

  1. Exit all applications and choose System Preferences from the Apple menu
  2. Select the Displays icon
  3. Under the Resolution option, select the 800 by 600 setting, or the closest one to that
  4. Close the Monitors window [Note: Some Apple Mac monitors will NOT allow a setting above 640 by 480]
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Changing colours, fonts and text size in your browser

You can change features on your browser and control the way in which web pages appear. This is particularly useful if you have low vision, need larger fonts, or need high-contrast or different colours from the ones set. Using options available in your browser, you can change:

How you do this depends on what browser you use. Below are the steps for making these features change in Internet Explorer and Netscape.

PC, Internet Explorer 5.x and 6
To edit colours

  1. Select Tools from the browser menu options
  2. Select Internet options
  3. In the General tab, select the Colours button at the bottom of the pop-up screen
  4. Choose the colour options that you find best, then select OK to save the changes

To edit fonts

  1. Select Tools from the browser menu options
  2. Select Internet options
  3. In the General tab, select the Fonts button at the bottom of the pop-up screen
  4. Choose the font options that you find best, then select OK to save the changes

To change text size

  1. Select View from the browser menu options
  2. Select Text size, and choose the option that is best for you

To over-ride the design settings of a web page

  1. Select Tools from the browser menu options
  2. Select Internet options
  3. In the General tab, select the Accessibility button at the bottom of the pop-up screen
  4. Tick any of the options that you want to over-ride and select OK to save the changes

PC, Internet Explorer 4

Apple Mac, Internet Explorer 5.x and 6
To change text size

  1. Select Edit from the browser menu options
  2. From the options menu which appears, select Preferences
  3. Select Web content
  4. Deselect the button marked Show style sheets
  5. Return to the list of preferences
  6. Select Web browser
  7. Select Language/fonts
  8. Select the font size you require

Netscape

  1. Select Edit from the browser menu options
  2. Select Preferences
  3. Open the Appearance group of options

To edit colours

  1. Select Colours
  2. Choose the colours that you want for text, background, visited and unvisited links
  3. To override the colours used by the designer of the web page, select Always use my colours, overriding document'
  4. Select OK to save changes

To edit fonts & font size

  1. Select Fonts
  2. Next to For the encoding should read ‘Western’, to tell the computer which types of letters and symbols to use
  3. From Size select the size of font that suits you (for example, 18)
  4. From the drop-down box next to the Variable Width Font field, select Ariel
  5. The Fixed Width Font box should already read 'Courier New'. From 'Size' select 18
  6. To override the fonts used by the designer of the web page, select Use my default fonts overriding document specified fonts
  7. Select OK to save changes
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Changing the colour scheme for Windows or Apple Mac-OS

Windows

  1. Select Start (bottom left corner of screen)
  2. Select Settings, and then Control Panel
  3. If you are using Windows XP, select Switch to Classic View in the left pane
  4. Open the Display section either by double left clicking on the icon, or by highlighting the icon and pressing the Return/Enter key
  5. Select Appearance tab to see the options available in this section

Then either

  1. Select the arrow in the Colour scheme box to display the colour scheme options available
  2. Scroll down the list to see each one previewed above and, when you find one that is suitable, press Enter to select it. (Some of these colour schemes have large font versions)

Or

  1. Select the arrow in the Item box to display all the objects whose colour you can change
  2. Select the item that you want to change, then open up the colour options by selecting the Colour button. (Selecting Other inside the Colour box will give you the full range of colours available on the system)
  3. Choose the colour you want for that item
  4. Repeat this for every item whose colour you want to change, then select OK to save you’re the changes to your system

Apple Mac OS 8.5, 9.x

The main way to change your Apple Mac's appearance is by using the Appearance section within the Appearance control panel. It lets you choose a variation colour for windows and a highlight colour for text. (The highlight colour is the colour you see when you select text in a program or click on an icon and press return/enter to rename it. The variation colour is as it says below the pull-down menu, the colour that is used when you select an item in a menu.)

  1. Select Appearance Control Panel from the options along the top of the window
  2. Select Appearance
  3. Select Highlight colour drop-down menu to display the colour options
  4. Select the Variation colour drop-down menu to display the colour options

To change the fonts on the system

  1. Select Appearance Control Panel from the options along the top of the window
  2. Select the Fonts tab
  3. Select your options from the drop-down menus for Large system font, Small system font and the Views font [Note: The Large System Font is used in the title bar of windows, the menu bar and menus, and tabs. The Small System Font is for "explanatory text and labels." The Views Font is used for filenames.]

When you have made all the selections, select ‘Save theme’ to save your changes.

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Mouse settings

Windows

You can change three settings of the mouse settings. To start:

  1. Select the Start button in the bottom left corner of the screen
  2. Select Settings, and then Control Panel
  3. If you are using Windows XP, select Switch to Classic View in the left pane
  4. Open the Mouse section either by double left clicking on the icon, or by highlighting the icon and pressing Enter/Return key

To change the click speed, and whether for right or left-handed use:

  1. Select the Buttons tab
  2. Select right- or left-handed
  3. Select single or double click for opening items
  4. Move the slider along to choose the speed for double-clicking
  5. Select Apply to save your changes

To change the visibility and size of the mouse ‘pointers’:

  1. Select the Pointers tab
  2. Choose the scheme of pointers from the drop-down menu (previewed in the box to the right)
  3. Select Apply to save your changes

To change the motion of the mouse:

  1. Select the Motion tab
  2. Move the slider along to choose the speed you want for the mouse
  3. Select the acceleration that you prefer
  4. Select Apply to save your changes.

Apple Mac OS

The Apple Mac has various accessibility features which include: an adjustable keyboard, an ergonomic mouse, CloseView screen magnification software, display adaptation, Easy Access system software (StickyKeys, SlowKeys, MouseKeys), electronic documentation, key-repeat disable, text-to-speech synthesis and voice recognition (PlainTalk), sticky mouse, and visual alert cues. All of these features are included as part of the Apple Mac's system software (system 7.x, 8.x and 9.x), details of which can be found at: http://www.apple.com/accessibility/

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Keyboard settings

Windows

You can change

To change any of these:

  1. Select the Start button in the bottom left corner of the screen
  2. Select Settings, and then Control Panel
  3. Open the Keyboard section either by double left clicking on the icon, or by highlighting the icon and pressing the Enter/Return key
  4. Select your speeds using the three sliders
  5. Select Apply, then OK to save your changes

Apple Mac OS

See above: Apple Mac Accessibility.

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Useful links

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This page was last updated on 9 June, 2008. Web team.
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