Using this web site

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Using This Web Site

As noted on the home page, this site was created to be accessible for people with disabilities and user-friendly for all visitors, regardless of which version of which operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.), browser (Explorer, Netscape, Opera, Mozilla, Chimera, Jaguar, etc.), or assistive technologies (braille displays, screen readers, screen magnifiers, virtual keyboards, head-pointing-puff-activation and other switch-access systems, etc.) you may be using.

All pages in this site are in compliance with all levels (priorities 1, 2, & 3) of the W3 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as well as Bobby full AAA approval level and the US Government Section 508 guidelines. All pages validate as XHTML 1.0 and use logical, structured markup as required. None of the pages contains java, java script, frames, or pdf, and none uses or relies on a third-party plug-in.

Here are some features and how they work:

SKIP NAVIGATION: For visitors who are mobility impaired (using switch access, etc.), visually impaired (using screen readers, Braille displays, etc.), or using other forms of assitive technology, there is a skip navigation link at the top of the navigation bar so that you won't have to waste time and effort making your way through the navigation bar whenever you arrive at a new page. Site navigation is designed so that all main pages can be accessed from any page of the web site.

KEYBOARD ACCESSIBLE: The site can be navigated using a keyboard (or assistive technology) instead of a mouse.

BREAD CRUMB TRAILS: Bread crumb trails are used at the top of each page's content area to show your location within the site and to allow quick navigation back up the site levels.

VARIABLE COLUMN AND PAGE WIDTHS: The pages were constructed to resize easily. If you have impaired vision, you can enlarge the text without the lines of text wrapping badly.

CHANGING TEXT SIZES: The pages were created using variable font sizes, so you can easily make the text larger or smaller. Many browsers have a setting that allows you to resize these variable fonts. For example, if you're using Internet Explorer 5 on a PC, look under "View" on the menu bar and choose "Text Size." However, if your browser doesn't have this setting, we've included a menu of style sheets that will enable you to choose among 3 sizes of text and to increase the contrast: the 4th button from the top on the navigation bar is "change text/contrast."

CHANGING CONTRAST: As mentioned above, a style-sheet providing a menu for people with visual impairments to increase the contrast to white text on a black background has been included for those whose browsers do not have settings to adjust contrast. To use this menu, choose the "change test/contrast" button on the navigation bar. The ability to increase contrast by switching color and to change the font sizes is handled by server-side technology (PHP) rather than client-side (javascript).

CASCADING STYLE SHEETS: Consistent with guidelines for accessibility, this site uses Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to keep structure and content separate from design. This approach enables people with disabilities to use their own style sheets (providing individualized formatting of text color, contrast, size, spacing, and other aspects of display) without affecting the structure and content. The site has been developed so that it also functions without CSS. (Tables are only used for tabular data such as charts and to connect images to their description.)

PHOTOGRAPHS AND OTHER CONTENT IMAGES: All content images are labeled with their alternate text equivalent. In our gallery sections, images have a short alt text as well as an in-line description, which is readable in a visual browser. No images were used that require a null alt text.

LINKS: The text of the links describes their destinations. Link text is not duplicated: on any page, links with the same text always lead to the same address. There are no javascript pseudo-links; every link can be followed by any browser, even those which cannot process javascript or those with javascript turned off.

PRINTING: The site has been designed to be "printer-friendly." You can, for example, print the articles on this site in black and white so that only the article is printed, without the navigation bar, etc., showing up.

If you experience any problems (e.g., something causes a problem for your assistive technology; a link doesn't work) or can think of a way to improve the accessibility, usability, or any aspect of this site, please let us know by emailing us with comments or suggestions (at the address

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