Website accessibility information
This website uses California Government Code 11135, Section D of the California Government Code. Code 11135 requires that all electronic and information technology developed or purchased by the State of California Government is accessible to people with disabilities.
There are many types of physical disabilities that affect user interaction on the web. Examples include vision loss, hearing loss, limited manual dexterity, and cognitive disabilities. Users may need different ways to access information on the site. Our goal is to provide a good web experience for all visitors.
Below is a list of some technology solutions we use to make our website easy to navigate, fast-loading and accessible. For other ways to improve ease of use and readability of this site, such as making the font bigger, read how to customize your browser below.
How we make our website accessible
Clean, simple and consistent site
- We keep the source code uncluttered. We separate content display from style to help webmasters and assistive technology. Our website uses simple information architecture. We use consistent navigation and headings. We use the same content layout and graphic design on every page.
- The main navigation, beside the California logo and branding title banner, uses drop down lists for navigation items. Drop down lists are easier for screen readers to read down without sorting through unnecessary code. Drop down lists let users move from link to link using the tab key.
- Breadcrumbs are at the top of each page except the Home page. They are right below the main navigation. Breadcrumbs let you know where you are and where you have been, or where a file is. They make it easier to navigate your way back to where you started.
Images and links with alternative text (alt tags)
- All links, photographs and other relevant images on the site have alt tags. Alt tags describe the link or image so that they are accessible to screen readers. The alt tag appears when you hover over the link or image. It’s useful for people who have images turned off on their browser. A description will display where the image was.
- You can make the font size bigger or smaller. You can use magnification tools or change your browser settings.
- Descriptive semantic HTML code uses tags to describe a document’s content.
- Example: <h1>Semantic Code</h1>. Browsers and computers understand <h1> as a title. We use a separate file called Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) to stylize and define that title.
- A non-semantic way to present this is: <font size=“6”><b>Semantic Code</b></font>. The browser displays it as a large, bold title. But there is nothing to describe it as a title in the code. So computers and assistive technology cannot identify it as a title.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
- We use CSS for content layout and graphical elements such as color, font styles, custom titles and subtitles. Using CSS keeps our HTML clean, streamlined and easier to maintain. It also downloads faster. Users can replace CSS with their own styles.
- To turn CSS off and access the content without any formatting, download and install the Firefox Web Developer toolbar or the Internet Explorer Developer toolbar. With these toolbars, you can turn CSS on and off. They also offer other helpful tools. If you use a different browser, do an Internet search for accessibility or web developer add-ons for your browser.
Fluid sizing display
- The width of our pages changes and adapts to the width of your browser. This is more noticeable if you have a large screen or use high resolution for your monitor. Our website is best viewed at a minimum of 800 x 600 pixels.
Accessible by mouse or keyboard
- You can use the mouse or keyboard to navigate. The tab key moves the cursor from link to link.
- Access keys are keyboard shortcuts. They help you get around the site. For example, use “Alt” + “S” to access the search box.
Accessible without sound or images
- Content is accessible without sound, color, scripts or graphics.
Improved search engine
- Our new search engine gives more relevant results than the application we used before.
Customize your browser to fit your needs
Change font size
In most browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox, you can change the font size with these steps:
- Open your browser
- Select the View button from the top menu bar
- Select Text size
- Select a font size
If your browser uses a different naming convention and you cannot use the steps above, check the Help menu on your browser. The Help menu is usually last on the top menu bar. It can often be accessed by pressing the keys “Alt” + “H.”
Newer browser versions have a magnifying tool to let you zoom. You can display all elements at 150 percent, 200 percent and more. Look for the magnifying tool with a “+”sign. It is usually at the bottom of your browser on the right. Or it is at the top below the standard menu tools on the right. The keyboard shortcut to access this tool is “Ctrl” + “Shift” and “+” to zoom in and “Ctrl” + “Shift” and “-” to zoom out.
- Keyboard shortcuts : This is a list of the most common keyboard shortcuts in Firefox, and the equivalents in Internet Explorer and Opera (from Firefox website).
- Mouse shortcuts: This is a list of the most common mouse shortcuts in Firefox, and the equivalents in Internet Explorer and Opera. The shortcuts are for Windows, but most of the Firefox shortcuts should work in Linux, too (from Firefox website).
- Internet Explorer keyboard shortcuts
- Firefox accessibility extension 1.01 (browser toolbar): The Mozilla/Firefox accessibility extension makes it easier for people with a disability to view and navigate web content. Developers can use the toolbar to check their structural markup. This makes sure it matches the page content.
- List of popular Firefox add-ons
- Internet Explorer developer toolbar: Disables all CSS and images, resizes the window, and more.
- Make Internet Explorer more accessible:
- Internet Explorer accessibility options (from Microsoft.com) has many choices to increase readability and to work better with assistive technology.
- The Internet Explorer link above has answers to common questions about accessibility options in Internet Explorer, such as:
- Can I use the keyboard to surf the web?
- Can I customize the font size, formatting and screen colors?
- How can I improve the way Internet Explorer works with my screen reader or voice recognition software?
- How can I improve legibility when printing webpages?
Change Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
- Use these steps to change the style sheet file in Internet Explorer. For other browsers, check the Help menu.
- Select Tools from the top menu bar
- Select Internet options
- Select the General tab (first tab)
- Select the Accessibility button (bottom section, Appearance)
- Select on check boxes to ignore all colors and font styles and sizes
- Select on the check box “Format documents using my style sheet”
- Browse to your personal style sheet
- Select OK
We are always updating our content and making it more accessible. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact us.