This page contains information about the options available to maximise the accessibility of this website. It sets out the features we have used to ensure the site is as accessible as possible to people with impairments and the technology they use.

Jump to:

  1. Accessible stylesheets

  2. Making text larger or smaller

  3. Listening to the text on our webpages

  4. Using plain language

  5. PDF files and accessibility

  6. Links to other pages and other websites

  7. Microsoft Word files

  8. Making your computer and the web easier to use

  9. Conforming to web accessibility guidelines

  10. Accessibility features

  11. Navigating around the site

  12. Site map

  13. Contact information

1.  Accessible stylesheets

We offer the facility for you to change the size of the text on this website.

To change the size of the text, please select a text size, using the links at the very top of this web page.

2. Making text larger or smaller

It is very easy to make the text on our webpages larger or smaller to suit your preferences. We have provided a simple one-click facility for making the text one size larger or smaller - just select the 'Text size' links in the yellow bar at the very top of each web page.

All popular browsers let you increase or decrease the size of the text on a webpage providing the website you are looking at allows this to happen. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Chrome browsers all have a page zoom facility which enlarges or reduces the whole page, including images as well as text.

Instructions on how to make text larger or smaller for all popular browsers are available on the My Computer, My Way (new window) created by AbilityNet. This site also has information about how you can make your software, keyboard and mouse and web browser better suit your needs.

3.  Listening to the text on our webpages

We have a very simple tool, called Readspeaker, that reads the text on our webpages out to you. Just click on the 'Listen' button which is at the top of every webpage.

We have enabled the Readspeaker service on this site to help anyone who prefers to listen than to read, including people with impaired vision, dyslexia, or low literacy.

You do not need to install any special software on your computer to use this service.
You simply click the Listen button (at the top of this page) to listen to the webpage’s content. An audio player will appear and ReadSpeaker starts reading the text of the webpage out loud. In the player you can:

  •  Pause/restart the reading

  •  Stop the reading

  •  Use the progress bar to navigate in the audio

  •  Adjust the volume

  •  Click the settings icon to adjust the behaviour of the service

  •  Click the download icon to download the audio file

  •  Close the player 

4.  Using plain language

We are committed to using plain language throughout our website at We  strive to consistently present information in a clear and easy-to-understand way.

This website was reviewed by the Plain English Campaign (new window) in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 and has been awarded their Internet Crystal Mark every year since 2008.

As the site is constantly changing, there may be occasions when we do not meet the standards we strive to meet. For the benefit of visitors to our website we often publish information from other organisations where we have no influence over the use of language, and like many other councils we make use of a number of third party applications that we cannot easily make changes to.

However, if you have difficulty understanding any part of our website, please let us know by emailing, and we will take steps to improve it.

5.  PDF files and accessibility

We create PDF files to make documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc, available via the web in a format that produces small file sizes and is accessible to a wide range of people using the free Adobe Reader software (new window).

We also publish a number of PDF documents produced by other organisations. Consequently, we have a large number of PDF documents on our website.

We believe PDF files are a good way of making many kinds of documents available via the web but we are aware that there are some accessibility issues with PDF documents. As part of our editorial process we review all documents that are to be published on the website and decide on the best way of presenting the information. In some cases we will create web pages as well as publishing a PDF file to make sure the information is as accessible as possible.

The latest version of Adobe Reader contains many features specifically designed to make it easier for people with disabilities to access PDF files. Follow this link to find out more about Adobe Reader and accessibility (new window) and accessing PDF documents with assistive technology.

An acrobat access plugin is also available from the adobe web site:

Adobe (opens in new window)

Further Information on Accessible PDFs is available on the Adobe web site.

Adobe accessible PDFs (opens in new window)

Links work in the same way on every page of our website:

  • All links to external websites open in a new browser window

  • All internal links display in the same browser window

  • All links to documents open in new window and we tell you the file format and size in the link text.

We provide links to external sites in order to give visitors to our site related information from what we believe to be reputable sources. However, we not responsible for the content of external internet sites so we cannot guarantee the accuracy or accessibility of their content.

7.  Microsoft Word files

If you want to view Microsoft Word files you need to have a compatible word processer installed on your computer otherwise you will not be able to open the file.

You can download a free Word viewer (new window) that will enable you to open and print Word documents if you do not have Word installed on your computer.

8.  Making your computer and the web easier to use

AbilityNet's My Computer, My Way website will guide you through how you can make your computer, software, keyboard and mouse and web browser better suited your needs:

AbilityNet - My Computer, My Way (new window).

9.  Conforming to web accessibility guidelines

In accordance with UK government requirements our website has been built to conform to level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium's (WC3) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (opens in new window). The W3C guidelines explain how to make website content accessible to people with disabilities.

All of the webpages published at have been tested using a variety of accessibility validation tools and pass automated tests for level AA conformance.

In 2009 and 2010 the Shaw Trust Web Accreditation team carried out an accessibility audit of our website. 

During 2015 we engaged the RNIB to carry out an accessibility audit of our website. The RNIB website accessibility audit tested this website against Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 from the W3C.  This audit included testing this website website for accessibility compliances, standards conformance and performance with assisted technologies.

More about the RNIB website accessibility audit (opens in new window)

We will continually assess the site to ensure all content and features remain accessible to all.

If you have difficulty accessing any part of our website, please let us know by emailing, and we will take steps to improve it.

10. Accessibility features

The design of our website includes a number of accessibility features including:

  • Accessibility stylesheets

  • A common design throughout rather than providing text only pages for disabled users, and allowing text sizes and colours to be changed to suit the users needs.

  • Ensuring that all images used in our site are given appropriate alternative text descriptions ("ALT texts"), as required by internationally-recognised Web accessibility guidelines. All graphical navigation buttons are similarly ALT-tagged.

  • To aid users of text-only and audio browsers we have included a hidden accessibility feature, which enables the user to "skip over" the main page navigation buttons (rather then having to tab through them manually at the start of every page). Thus, the user can jump immediately down to the main content of the page.

  • We avoid the use of frames throughout the website.

  • This site uses PDF (Adobe Acrobat) file format for the publication of large and complex documents. Please note that Adobe Acrobat documents can be converted back to plain text using Adobe's Web-based conversion service. We always try to add the size of the PDF to all PDF links. See below for accessible PDF's.

  • To view and print PDF files, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed

  • The site also publishes documents in Microsoft Word format. We always try to add the size of the Word document to all Word links

We only use specialist publishing formats such as Shockwave Flash and other media formats requiring third-party plug-ins where they are useful in demonstrating a particular issue. We use other technologies, such as Javascript, appropriately to avoid creating accessibility barriers. We focus on the use of "open" publishing standards, as defined by the World Wide Web Consortium.

11. Navigating around the site

The site can be navigated in the following ways: Using the content navigation menu (top blue menu bar, at the top of every page) to link to the main content sections on the site, such as About Us, Jobs, News and Events.

A link to the Home page is included on each page via top blue menu bar.

There is also a site-wide search box.

The 'breadcrumb trail' is a navigational aid which runs underneath the top menu bar on every page (except for the home page) of the website. Breadcrumb trails show a particular page's location within the website and help to demonstrate the page's relationship to higher level pages.

Alternatively, you can use the following links:

  • Accessibility - links to this page

  • Home - links to the Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service website homepage

  • Contact Us - links to contact information for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

  • Help - links to information on how to get the most out of this website and ways in which this site can help you find the information and facilities you need.

  • Site Map - links to the page containing an overview of the website contents.

  • A to Z - A-Z of services and web pages

12.  Site map

Some people may prefer to skip the full set of links on our site map

You can choose to have these links abbreviated into a single link to the main A to Z of services page.

13. Contact information

We are constantly working to improve the accessibility features of the Cheshire Fire &and Rescue Service, and welcome your suggestions and comments.

If you encounter any accessibility or technical problems when using this site, please contact the Corporate Communications team: email

We will do our very best to address issues as promptly as we can.

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Last updated: Tuesday 06 July 2021