Just like the museum, we aim to make the website as accessible as
possible. We follow best practice so far as possible. The website comprises
around 750 pages and development has to be gradual. We try to incorporate
improvements in all new development work.
We have regard to and ahere as much as we can to the web content accessibility
guidelines published by W3C. There are a number of techniques that we do not use at all
or very rarely
- Flashing text
- Unsolicited sound (exception: Halloween page, and one virtual tour page, but this can be turned off)
- Text on top of images
We always use an ALT description for every image and these descriptions are written for
the information of visually-impaired users. In all new development and updated pages we use
the "title" element to provide an image title in addition
The Education Sub-site
The Learning Zone section of the education sub-site is designed for
use by children and navigation links are more restricted on the online learnng
resource pages. This is to reduce the opportunities for distraction whilst
working through the educational material. There is always a link to the
education sub-site home page. The education sub-site home page has an option to
display the full navigation menu.
The site's search facility is provided by Freefind.com, a leading
international external seach service provider. The pages which are displayed
giving search results and also alternative site maps, are not fully accessible
although they have been customised as far as possible to make them accessible
to all users. Some particular points to note are:
- Search tips link on the search results page opens a new pop-up
browser window without warning
- There is a link "click here" at the very end of the page. This
links to Freefind's home page where you can find out about using the Freefind
service on your own website.
- The page structure consists of a main heading "Results found in
London Canal Museum Website" followed by two headings that are not coded as
headings: "Search Sponsors" and "Search Results from London Canal Museum". (The
site map pages are similar but with some different wording)
Accessible Website Design
Every effort is made to ensure that the site is accessible to all
users including those with a disability. Our policy is:
- To comply with W3C web design standards throughout the site. There
is only one intentional exception, on the third page of the virtual tour. The
inclusion of a sound clip presents difficulty with validation but will be
accessible to most users. A transcript and a second way to make the sound play
are provided as alternatives.
- To design data tables with header cells and data cells running from
left to right accross the page so that screen reader users can understand the
discontinuing the use of pop-up boxes as these don't work well on small-screen devices.
- To unfailingly provide meaningful information in the descriptions
of images. We use the ALT tag supplemented by the LONGDESC tag and a separate
description file, on occasions.
- We do not use frames for layout at all.
- We use tables for layout only if tabular information is provided.
Otherwise, the site is designed using cascading style sheets to separate
content from layout. The content is designed to make sence when read by a
screen reader. There are some exceptions. Certain pages have yet to be updated
to the current format. The education enquiries in the Education sub-site,
Learning Zone, are the major remaining use of tables for layout. Gradually we
are replacing traditional tables with either CSS-based tables or tables styled
with CSS for responsive design.
- We use heading tags in a logical way to provide structure to
- All links are intended to be meaningful when read in isolation
- We provide an alternative whenever possible to sound files. There
are few of these. It is extremely difficult to describe the sound of the Bantam
Tug engine in words.
- To use contrast and colour so that pages can be read in black and
white or by readers for whom colour vision is a problem.
- Only to open links in a new browser window if the link includes an
indication of this OR the title of the pop-up window includes the word
We try to do a good job, but of course errors occasionally occur. If
you notice an instance where we do not adhere to the above standards or there
is any mistake or other other accessibility problem, please bring it to our