Newswest Website Accessibility Evolution:
What is web accessibility?
Web accessibility is the practice of making website functions and content available to all users. Web accessibility in particular, addresses the problems encountered by visitors with disabilities. Disabilities may include visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities or combinations of these types. Each visitor may have a unique set of circumstances. Consequently web accessibility implementation is a multi-strategy process that continually evolves with technology and identified needs.
How is Newswest making its web site Accessible?
Over the coming year, Newswest is evolving its website using generally accepted methods and techniques. These may include stand alone features as well as support for external on line tools or support for software tools that have to be installed on the user's computer. As each page evolves the accessibility statement may evolve to detail best practices for that page.
These changes may include methods to do the following;
- Allow the user to modify the appearance, legibility, size and colors of page content viewed. This may include user selection of predefined whole theme templates in some features. Different pages may work best with different methods such as those built-in to some browsers.
- Allow the user to use main pages without a standard computer mouse. Browsers that support selection by tabbing to be supported for important functionality including scripted functions. Some pages may have large number of controls or links. In those cases duplicate or trivial controls or links may be excluded. To further reduce the keystrokes needed, a limited number of special keyboard shortcuts may be defined for some pages. In some cases these accesskey shortcuts may be customizable to avoid confusion or software conflicts.
- Allow for select screen reader software or on-line tools to read aloud passages or complete pages in a comprehensible form. Pages may include descriptive or functional information on some elements that may aid users of text only browsers and screen readers.
- Some pages or download content may be made available in alternate formats usable by text only browsers and screen readers.
- Provide alternate delivery of some newsprint content in an on-line accessible form.
- Provide alternate methods for contacting Newswest via on-line forms.
- Reduce moving elements activity time or allow the user to freeze their motion.
- Provide special links and controls for accessibility at the top of pages that may be hidden from normal users.
- Inform the user where a control or link opens a pop-up or new window. On some pages support a User option to disable the default behaviour of these controls.
- Provide tool tip information as suitable on links, areas and controls to improve comprehension/usability for normal users.
- To store and use some user accessibility preferences in browser cookies in an anonymous way. In some cases allow preferences to be passed as arguments in the URL address so the user's choice can be remembered by a browser without the need of cookies.
- Provide a site map of accessible pages. Content or pages that predate January 2012 and that are not deemed important or current may be excluded. Content that cannot be reasonably made enjoyable or usable by users with select disabilities may be excluded. Example, visual games and image slide shows may not be accessible to text only browsers and screen readers. A notice regarding inaccessibility may be hidden at the top of those pages or on the links to those pages.
We welcome your suggestions and feedback during this period of transition.
Web Site Testing
As part of the changes Newswest will at times perform various tests for accessibility issues like;
- Color contrast test for various types and severity of colorblindness.
- Luminosity contrast test for low vision conditions.
- Audio only screen reader browsing or simulation,
- Keyboard only interface browsing,
- HTML 4.01 and xhtml 1.0 validation checks.
- Common browser type testing for recent, 2 years old or less, browser versions.
- WAI checklist testing.
We are looking for experienced and new users of accessibility software for browsing, to form a volunteer advisory group. If you feel you would like to contribute to ongoing Newswest Accessibility improvements, email your contact information and a brief sentence on how you can help to the Newswest Web Master, care of, editor at newswest dot org,
This document was last updated August 1, 2010,
How to contact us;
If there are any questions regarding this statement or questions about accessibility issues on our site, you may contact us using the information below.
Send any electronic mail to, editor at newswest dot org,