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In order to make the NESC website more accessible, it has been designed with compliance to the strictest standards according to the W3C, the respected authority on web governance.


The NESC Website allows font size and contrast modes to be adjusted in real time throughout the website. Each page contains the following links located at the top of the main content area allowing the user to have complete control over the look and feel of the site.

Text Size: A+ | A- | Reset

Contrast: Normal | High

Clicking on “A+” or “A-” adjusts the text size on applicable sections of the website. Clicking on “High” changes the color scheme of the layout, changing light backgrounds to dark and making the text brighter.


This website complies with the guidelines for accessible design as suggested by the World Wide Web Consortium and United States Governments Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act. The pages on this website validate according to the following standards:

  1. All pages on this site are WCAG-AAA approved, complying with all priority 1, 2, and 3 guidelines of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
  2. All pages on this site are approved, complying with all of the Section 508 Guidelines.
  3. All pages on this site validate as XHTML 1.0 transitional.
  4. All pages utilize custom cascading style sheets (CSS) for content and layout, and have been validated by the W3C.
  5. All pages have real-time built in accessible functions, allowing dynamic font size adjustment and real time switching between high contrast and regular contrast color and layout settings.

Access Keys

Most browsers support jumping to specific webpage links by typing assigned keys on the keyboard.

Google Chrome 3 and higher

  • ‘Alt’ on Windows
  • ‘Ctrl’ + ‘Opt’ on Mac ‘Alt’ + ‘Shift’ on Linux

Firefox 2 & 3

  • ‘Alt’ + ‘Shift’ on Windows and Linux
  • ‘Ctrl’ on Mac

Internet Explorer

Prior to IE8, Alt + Access Key focused on the element, but required ‘Enter’ to be pressed in order to activate the element

Safari 3

  • ‘Ctrl’ for Mac
  • ‘Alt’ for Windows

Safari 4 and higher

  • ‘Ctrl’+’Opt’ on Mac
  • ‘Alt’ on Windows

The main navigation is identified by the following access keys:

Access Key + 1 – Home page

Access Key + 2 – Our Organisation

Access Key + 3 – NESC Work Programme

Access Key + 4 – Publications & Resources

Access Key + 5 – News & Events

Access Key + 6 – Get in Touch

All other pages can be accessed using the ‘Tab’ key


Browsealoud is a computer program that reads aloud all website content including PDF and MS Word documents. As you move the cursor over words, they are spoken aloud.

Browsealoud is a Windows browser plug-in designed for use with Internet Explorer 4 upwards or Netscape Navigator. If you install the Browsealoud plugin onto your PC, you can have the web pages on this website read back to you. To avail of this service, the Browsealoud plugin is available for download to your browser from You can also take a video tour which will assist you on how to use Browsealoud, access the options and change the way Browsealoud will read content aloud to you.

Disability Access Officer

In order to contact the Disability Access Officer for NESC, please email – telephone 01 8146303