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About The Site

Firstly, we would like to welcome you to the freshly designed Cowley website. We hope the questions and answers below help you to understand why we needed to change things.

What was wrong with the old site?
The actual site was fine but the way it was coded was wrong. It was not at all accessible to screen readers, the visually impaired and other access devices.

So, what's actually changed to make the site more accessible?
We have coded the site in such a way that you are able to change the way you view the site. This includes changing text size, removing style, printing text only, turning certain features on and off and easier navigation.

- If you are using a screen reader you should notice drastic improvements to the site as we no longer use tables for layout.
- We have added a simple link to switch between large and default text sizes.
- We have added a site map to make navigation easier.
- We have added access keys for improved navigation.
- When you print from the Cowley site all you print is text, you will not get a messy page with lots of unnecessary junk - try it!

We hope that the features we have added will make the site easier for everyone to use.

What's this about being valid?
There is an organisation called the W3C. They have the job of setting standards on the web. We comply with two of these very useful standards. Firstly we comply to XHTML strict. This is the cleanest language to write websites in, we minimize browser load times and only use necessary code.

Secondly we are using CSS for style. This basically means that text and other formatting is not done on the page, it's done via an external file. You load this external file only once and therefore this should speed up page load times. Also, you can turn CSS off if you need to do, you couldn't do this before.

Ok enough about accessibility, what new features are there?
Other than drastically improving accessibility we have added a range of new content, this includes a new news section, improved contact pages, info on the new build, more detailed course information and a range of other useful pages. Please check them out.

I've noticed the website doesn't contain as many images, why is this?
We've cut down on images and other features for two simple reasons. 1) Smaller web pages mean faster download times for you. 2) When displaying images and other interactive features this can cause problems with accessibility. To minimise this risk we have only used images and interactive features when needed.

You're talking about accessibility a lot, why is this?
It's now part of the law for us to make this site as accessible as reasonably possible.

Can I comment on this new site?
Yes! Please do! If you go to our contact section you will find details of who to contact.