Our Accessibility

It goes without saying that we are dedicated to the highest standards of web accessibility.  We also embrace new web technologies, recognizing that some techniques will be helpful to some while creating barriers for others.  Our goal with this site redesign is to simplify user pathways to site information and function.  We use the principle of progressive enhancement, beginning with clean, standards-based markup and then enhancing usability and accessibility with the latest techniques for presentation and functionality. However, we expect that our users will find that access to information and function does not depend on those enhancements.  Please contact us should you experience any difficulties.

HyperText Markup Language (HTML)

We have chosen to use the HTML5 doctype but not the new HTML5 elements. Obviously this does not allow us to leverage the power of the new markup, but we feel it is important to avoid the need for JavaScript to create the new elements for browsers that don't support them. Instead, we have referenced the new HTML5 elements in the class attributes of div elements as an intermediate step toward fully supporting the specification.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

We are using CSS3 to enhance some of the non-critical visual elements of our site. There are obvious differences when viewing the website in web browsers that do not support the new properties yet, but the differences are purely presentational and in no way affect access to the content on the website. Because support for CSS3 is still experimental in most cases, we are using vendor specific prefixes for the new properties. Although this makes our CSS invalid, we feel that being able to use new styling options and supporting the development of the standard outweighs the importance for validating our code to CSS 2.1.

Web Accessibility Initiative - Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA)

To aid users with assistive devices and software we have included WAI-ARIA roles for the main sections of our web pages. The roles offer enhanced navigation capabilities for newer technologies only, but in no way prevent older devices and software from navigating the site.

Our site uses JavaScript to make the main navigation menus keyboard accessible. The Tab key cycles through top level links and Arrow keys access the sub-menu links. Users with JavaScript disabled can navigate the site by visiting the top level links or by using the site map.