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We aim to make this website accessible to all users. We endeavour to conform to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative's 'Double-A' standard. In addition most of the webpages are designed to interact in a specific way with screen readers, so that visually impaired users can easily access the content and navigate the site. Indeed, it is our aim to continue improving the level of accessibility so that we can make our website truly 'user friendly' for all.

If you would like this information in an alternative language or format such as large print or audio please contact us on 0845 12 24454 or e-mail info@hwfire.org.uk

Text Size

For a computer using Windows operating system:

  • Full Screen: F1l
  • Zoom Text Smaller: - Ctrl+-(minus sign)
  • Zoom Text larger: Ctrl+= (plus sign)
  • No Zoom (100%): Ctrl+0
  • View Page Information: Ctrl+I
  • View Page Source: Ctrl+U

For a computer using a Macintosh operating system

  • Zoom Text Smaller: - Cmd+-(minus sign)
  • Zoom Text larger: Cmd+= (plus sign)
  • No Zoom (100%): Cmd+0
  • View Page Information: Cmd+I
  • View Page Source: Cmd+U

For a computer using a Linux operating system

  • Full Screen: F1l (may depend on window manager)
  • Zoom Text Smaller: - Ctrl+-(minus sign)
  • Zoom Text larger: Ctrl+= (plus sign)
  • No Zoom (100%): Ctrl+0
  • View Page Information: Ctrl+I
  • View Page Source: Ctrl+U

For more information about screen magnification, please see the following information, supplied by the Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB): www.rnib.org.uk

What is a PDF?

The downloadable documents available within this site are in Portable Document Format (often referred to as PDF). A standard adopted by governments and organisations worldwide, PDF is a reliable format for electronic document exchange that preserves document integrity so files can be viewed and printed on a variety of platforms. We chose to make all downloadable documents in this file format for data security and integrity reasons.

How can I open and view a PDF document?

In order to view a PDF document, you need free software called Adobe Acrobat Reader, created by the company called Adobe. However PDFs are not easily accessible to all users so Adobe has developed a method of converting PDF documents into HTML (normal web pages), a more accessible format for assistive technologies.

How do I convert a PDF document into HTML?

The URL (the web address) of a PDF document will appear in the web browser address bar when it is selected. Copy the url (normally looks like this:www.nameofsomething...) and then visit Adobe's website on the link below.

Once you have clicked on the link above, you will see an online form created by Adobe. Simply paste the URL into the box you will see and the contents of the PDF will be automatically converted to HTML - an ordinary web page; and in that form it should then be accessible.

There are further features and capabilities of Adobe products that enhance electronic document accessibility for people with disabilities such as blindness, low vision, and motor impairments. You can visit their website using the link below, where you will find this information and links to resources that help people with disabilities work more effectively with Adobe software.

Other Accessibility Options

Assistive Technology
People who have visual impairments may be interested in the following assistive technology:

  • Screen enlargers (or screen magnifiers) work like a magnifying glass. They enlarge a portion of the screen as the user moves the focus—increasing legibility for some users. Some screen enlargers allow a user to zoom in and out on a particular area of the screen.
  • Screen readers are software programs that present graphics and text as speech. A screen reader is used to verbalize, or "speak," everything on the screen including names and descriptions of control buttons, menus, text, and punctuation.
  • Speech recognition systems, also called voice recognition programs, allow people to give commands and enter data using their voices rather than a mouse or keyboard.
  • Speech synthesizers (often referred to as text-to-speech (TTS) systems) receive information going to the screen in the form of letters, numbers, and punctuation marks, and then "speak" it out loud. Using speech synthesizers allows blind users to review their input as they type.
  • Refreshable Braille displays provide tactile output of information represented on the computer screen. The user reads the Braille letters with his or her fingers, and then, after a line is read, refreshes the display to read the next line.
  • Braille embossers transfer computer generated text into embossed Braille output. Braille translation programs convert text scanned in or generated
  • Talking word processors are software programs that use speech synthesizers to provide auditory feedback of what is typed.
    Large-print word processors allow the user to view everything in large text without added screen enlargement.

To find out more about these technologies and further information, please visit the website of the Royal National Institute of the Blind.