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Simple and Consistent

Our web site uses simple information architecture with uniform navigation and reliable headings throughout. Content layout and graphical design are consistent on every page.

"Skip to:" Links

The Skip to navigation appears at the top of each page. It allows the user to jump to the content area, accessibility page, or footer, and skip the navigation and other header elements, which repeat on every page.

Main Site Navigation and Sub-Navigation

The main navigation, located just below the title banner, and sub-navigation, uses lists. Lists make it easier for screen readers to literally read down the list without having to sort through unnecessary code. Lists also allow the users to use the tab key to move from link to link.

Breadcrumb Navigation

Breadcrumbs, located at the top of each page (except for the homepage) and directly below the main navigation, let you know where you are and where you have been, or where a particular file resides. Breadcrumbs make it easier to navigate your way back to the root folder.

Images with Alternative Text

Photographs and other relevant images on the site are accompanied by alternative text (the alt attribute of the Image <img /> tag). Alt tags provide a written description of the image, which is accessible to screen readers, and it is visible when the mouse is placed over the image. This is also useful for people who have images turned off on their browser, in which case a description will display where the image used to be.

Style Sheets

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are used for content layout and many graphical elements (color, font styles, custom titles and subtitles, etc.) Using CSS for styling keeps our HTML clean, streamlined, easier to maintain, and it downloads faster. Style sheets can be replaced by the user's own styles.

To turn CSS off, and access the content without any formatting, download and install the Firefox Web Developer toolbar or the Internet Explorer Developer toolbar. With these toolbars turning CSS on and off is just a click away, plus they offer many other helpful tools. If you use a different browser, do an Internet search for Accessibility for your particular browser.

Accessible via Mouse or Keyboard

You can use the mouse or keyboard to navigate through the site.

  • The Tab key will move the cursor from link, or tab-enabled element, to the next.
  • >Shift-Tab will move you back to the previous link or tab-enabled element.
  • Within a menu system the Arrow keys (up, left, down and right) allow interaction with the menu items
    and sub-menus.
  • Use Enter to select the highlighted item.

Access Keys

Access keys are keyboard shortcuts that help you navigate the site.
Use Alt-S to access search box.

No Sound? No Images?

It may not be pretty, but all content is accessible without sound, color, scripts or graphics.

World-standard Search Engine

Google Site Search provides fast, relevant results in a format that is familiar to most visitors. In addition to these more obvious features, there are additional features that exist "under the hood."