Accessibility is an important issue in modern web design and providing the best experience to the most users is a goal we are constantly striving to meet. Specifically we hope to make our website accessible to most people on most platforms. As this is not always an easy task in a project of this scope we see it as an ongoing bar to strive for and will list on this page the specific efforts we make toward accessibility.
All pages on this site validate as XHTML 1.0 Strict and CSS 2. They also comply with complete separation of content from formatting – content is in the XHTML markup and presentation is in the external stylesheets. This enables the content to potentially be repackaged in many ways and has added benefits. This is a ‘publish once deliver everywhere’ philosophy.
The content of the site is designed to significantly contrast with the background to make it easier for users to view text.
Sitemap / Site Index
The use of a text outline of all pages in the web site – a Sitemap – has been used to allow any page on the entire site to be easily found in relation to its index. If you go there you will soon see an easy visual representation of every page on this website.
Use of Acronyms
Where possible you will see we have used acronyms on this site (eg. HIP) to enhance the explanation of our content. This is a useful feature at times but understandably not all people involved in the future running of it will understand the acronym or its applicability. The acronym therefore will be most notably lacking in the weblog posts or possibly the FAQ Resource.
@import to Protect Old Browsers
The @import statement has been used on this site to access the global stylesheet. This means older browsers will not choke on the new technology and will receive an unformatted version of the content. This is an advantage of using a technology like Cascading Stylesheets and separation of content from presentation.
The use of ems for font sizing in the CSS allows Internet Explorer to resize fonts by going to View / Text Size in the top menu and selecting a larger or smaller font size. If you are on a standard computer with a mouse which has a scroll wheel you can press the Ctrl button on your keyboard and the scroll wheel to resize the text larger or smaller as you desire.
The use of label elements around form field names is used to associate an explicit relationship between names and fields. This means that you can click the actual name and the cursor will automatically appear in the form field. The site forms also use an element called fieldset which explicitly associates groupings of form elements.
Adaptable Page Layout (Tableless)
Within reason as you scale text larger or smaller on this site you will notice the page layout will adapt to your needs without breaking the design. This layout does not use tables as we consider best practice to be that tables should only be used to display tabulated data. This layout does not use frames as we also consider them to be bad practice with dubious consequences for some users.
This site provides Internet Explorer 6 with a 1000 pixel fixed width tableless layout. Other modern browser receive a tableless layout which will fit to various browser sizes from 300 pixels up to 1000 pixels maximum width. This means you can as easily view the HIP website on your Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) as on a laptop or desktop monitor.
All images include alternate text so screen readers and non-graphic browsers can understand the image content of the site. If you are using Internet Explorer and hover over an image you will see a small description of the image displayed as text. This is called alternative text. Non-informative decorative images have an empty alternative text so they will not display this feature.
CSS Print Media
The specific provision of a separate stylesheet file for printers is provided for this site. All pages are print friendly and hide unnecessary content such as navigation and purely decorative images from the printer. Choose any page of this website and select File / Print Preview from your browser toolbar to see this feature in action. In modern browsers other than Internet Explorer the destination links will also be printed in brackets directly after the link in the printed content. This is a site enhancement according to the ideals of progressive enhancement and graceful degradation.
Added Note on Issue Reporting
Finally, it is important to us to provide a working site on a wide variety of platforms and browsers so feel free to contact the Webmistress if you feel any site issues are evident on your monitor. At this stage we would be surprised if Internet Explorer 5 on Mac works perfectly – but it may surprise us! If you can tell us the Operating System and browser version you are using this will help us locate and fix any bugs. Otherwise on behalf of the Hunter Island Press Inc we hope you enjoy these small enhanced features of our website and support our cause.