This includes not only physical access to our offices, but also making it possible for you to contact us outside of normal office hours, and providing a wide variety of ways for you to contact us.
We also tailor our services to be sensitive and responsive to individual needs. For example, we can provide information in alternative formats, our offices are equipped with portable hearing loops, and we can quickly access telephone interpretation services if English is not your first language.
Please contact us if there is anything we can do to assist you further. We are happy to discuss your needs and find solutions to ensure that there are no barriers to limit your access to our services.
The design of our website aims to meet the Priority A and AA guidelines of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. If we make a mistake and you find a difficulty in accessing any part of our website, please let us know. We will try to put things right.
If you need any help using the website or want to speak to someone about any other individual accessibility requirements, you can call 0191 525 5000 to speak to our Customer Service Centre staff. Our opening hours are 8am – 7pm Monday to Friday and, 9am – 2pm on Saturday.
We promise to regularly review the website and add new features to make your experience as good as it can be. If you find something about the website or our services which could be improved, please let us know. Give as much detail as possible.
We provide a range of tools to help you when using our website. For example, you can change the colours and size of the text or you can use a screen reader tool.
You can find out more regarding these options below.
The different buttons allow you to change the appearance of our website to suit your own needs.
The rest of this section explains how the different buttons can help you.
From the Recite toolbar on our web page, click on these buttons to make the text smaller (-) or larger (+). The “Aa” button allows you to change the font type.
From the Recite toolbar on the web page, click this button to change the colours of the text, and the background, and the ruler (see below).
From the Recite toolbar on the web page, click this button to turn on a ruler to help guide your reading. Using the mouse, you can then move the ruler down the page a line at a time as you read. You can change the colour of the ruler using the colour button (see above)
We try to write clearly and use everyday words. We try not to use abbreviations unless necessary. We aim to explain things in a way that’s easy to understand. However, sometimes we may use words which you are not familiar with. The dictionary button can help you. From the Recite toolbar on the web page, click the “A-Z” button. Then click the word “enable” to switch on the dictionary. Highlight any word on the web page by clicking and dragging your mouse over it. The meaning of the word will be shown.
If English is not your first language, click this button and choose the language which you prefer. The web page will be translated into the language of your choice.
From the Recite toolbar on the web page, click this button if you prefer to see a text only version of our website. After you select a text only version, another button will appear so you can choose whether the text appears in long lines right across a wide screen, or whether it appears in shorter lines more centrally on your screen.
To do this, click this button
Screen readers read out loud the information on the page. If you don’t already have a screen reader (e.g. browsealoud), you can hover over the text on the web page and it will read it out for you.