This is the official accessibility statement for rnspeak.org. If you have any comments regarding the accessibility (or more importantly, the nonaccessibility) of this site, you can either email me, or, to make things very easy, drop in a comment.
A few major browsers have a nifty feature that enable you to jump to specific links by using keyboard shortcut keys on the browser, as per the definitions on the web site. Most browsers do not support access keys (yet), but as the accessibility and web-standards wave starts hitting all those currently languishing web designers, browser developers are bound to sit up and take notice. So if you happen to be using a hapless browser that throws up its message boxes on seeing accesskeys, you're in bad luck.
Anyway, for the browsers that do support access keys, this site has ten keys defined (this is harmless to the ignoramus varieties). On Mozilla Firefox, for example, ALT lets you use access keys defined on a site. You can press ALT with an access key to go to the link defined on the web site. So ALT+1 on this site using Mozilla will get you straight to the home page. Refer to your browser's help files to find out the specifics for your browser. ALT+2 is the shortcut to the Writings section, ALT+9 the comments and feedback page, and so on.
The access keys for the major subsections on this site are:
I don't have an access key for the accessibility statement page. But this page can be reached easily from the prominent link on the home page.
In terms of published and accepted standards of the Web, all pages on this site are fully validated as HTML 4.01 Transitional and CSS, Level 2. Wherever possible, HTML/CSS tags/elements degrade gracefully on newer browsers, without breaking markup for older ones.
All pages use structured semantic markup, and are laid out using cascading style sheets.
I have tried to comply with the W3C Web Content Accessibility guidelines, except in cases where I believe the deviation is irrelevant to visitors of my site (for example, guidelines pertaining to active content). All web pages, although they use CSS for layout and design, are fully accessible without CSS. I'm a personal advocate of this type of clean and elegant design; in fact, I disable CSS (or use my own style sheet) even when browsing with my favourite visual browser--Opera. (Opera's text-browser emulation with White-on-Black is a continuing favourite of mine.)
This site is fully accessible using text-only browsers like Lynx. With negligible exceptions (in terms of usability), this site conforms to Priority 1, Priority 2 and Priority 3 of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, i.e., AAA Conformance (similarly; Bobby AAA).
I have also tried to comply with the Anybrowser specifications--this site is fully viewable using any browser at all that can read HTML 3+. I've made this site not applicable to as much of the idiocy illustrated in HTML Hell as possible.
All pages use similar layout and navigational links. Two permanent navigation bars are available on every page that link to all the major subsections of this site. The home page can be accessed using Access key 1.
I use Google's services for searching (the free personal version). Caching and indexing is hence done by Google. I have not provided an access key for search. It can be easily located on every page (the only input field, except for the feedback page).
I have not put relative links on any of the pages. This is intentional since I believe it is not suited to the style of layout and flow of information on this site. All pages are categorised logically with structured semantic markup, though.
Most links have descriptive titles to them, that elaborate what the link is. If the link text already describes the link in sufficient detail, I have not provided an attributive link text. This has been a judgement call, but I believe I've kept it straightforward and accessible.
Without exception, links have been written to make sense, with respect to the context in which they appear. No `click here' or `click there'. (Rule-of-thumb followed: Will the link text still make sense when printed onto paper or when viewed without hyperlinks active? Links that say `click here' do not, all links on this site will.)
All content images have descriptive ALT attributes. Almost all images are purely decorative, with no information value to them at all. Browsing without images is perfectly sensible, accessible as well as fast!
This site uses Cascading Style Sheets for visual layout and design, uses only relative font-sizes, and is fully readable with CSS disabled.
If your browser supports custom page styles, I heartily encourage you to browse this site using a minimalist text-only style. If your browser makes it difficult for you to do that, or impossible, even, consider switching to a browser that can; like Opera. Opera is available for almost all major platforms, including Windows, Macintosh, Linux, BSD, Solaris, OS/2 and QNX. (If you are using Opera, try enabling `Emulate Text Browser' and `High Contrast (W/B)' together, while in `User mode'.)
(A little caveat: I have used external CSS for all pages. Bewarned, therefore, that if (and when) you save a file from this site using your web browser; depending on the degree of sophistication of your browser, the accompanying CSS file may not be copied, and hence, the web page layout will resemble a text-only version. If you want to preserve the layout and images, you will need to copy the stylesheet, and associated images along with the page, and put them in in the appropriate directories, so that the internal paths in the HTML are not broken. In other words, it is basically a pain in the insert-least-liked-body-part-here. You will try to do this only if you want to preserve layout.)
No cookies or other turd-like tracking elements will be used. I'm interested only in disseminating my thoughts, nothing else.
This site never breaks the back button, or changes the hyperlink colours. I know that if you want to open a page in a new window, you'd ask your browser to do it for you. I stay out of the way. The back button is never broken. Never.
No irritating MARQUEEs, blinking text, garish backgrounds, scrollbar/statusbar hijacks or frames. You won't see any of those abominations in here. Exorcised, all of 'em. Nope, nup, none at all.