There are more than nine million disabled people in the UK. At least two million people experience serious sight problems. Increasing numbers of disabled people use the internet for information, shopping, study, work and entertainment. However, disabled people find that many web sites are extremely difficult to use because of the way they have been designed.

Hi-energy is committed to making its output as accessible as possible to all audiences (including those with visual, hearing, cognitive or motor impairments) to fulfil its public service mandate and to meet its requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act. We continually test our web sites with a number of browsers, screen readers, accessibility and HTML validators, and other web tools. The results of such reviews are incorporated into improvements for our sites.

The Hi-energy web site includes the following features designed to improve accessibility for users with disabilities:

  • A text-only facility and sitemap are available on every page.
  • The text-only pages - similar to the BBC's 'Betsie' pages - can be adjusted to suit the text size and colour needs of different users.
  • Images on the site contain 'alt tags', which contain simple descriptions of the images to aid users who listen to the content of the site by using a screen reader.
  • Text links are formatted to be as self-evident as they can possibly be.
  • The site's style sheets are designed to allow users to resize the text of the site in browsers that support this feature (generally available under the View menu).
  • Links to external sites open in a new window. Note: Hi-energy is not responsible for the content or accessibility of these referenced sites.
  • The site implements cascading style sheets (CSS). Certain early versions of Netscape (4.x and earlier) and Internet Explorer (3.x and earlier) do not fully support this feature, so elements such as links may display differently. If you are experiencing this, you may wish to disable style sheets. You can do this through your browser. In Explorer (5.50), choose Tools, Internet Options, General Tab, Accessibility, and check the 'Format documents using my style sheet' feature. In Netscape (4.75), choose Edit, Preferences, Advanced, and turn off the 'enable style sheets' feature.
  • Layout is accomplished mainly with CSS and tables but the site is also designed to display well if CSS is not supported. Form controls are properly grouped and labelled.

From time to time, Hi-energy undertakes new web site developments and experiments with new web-based processes. During their development and testing phases, it is possible that they may not comply with our accessibility standards. Please be reassured, we will make all efforts to ensure we bring these new developments into line at the earliest possible opportunity.

Many of the links on our web sites point to forms and publications in Adobe Acrobat® Portable Document Format (PDF) or Microsoft® formats. Both companies offer tools and information to increase the accessibility of documents.