The stylesheets (and header links to those stylesheets) are currently coded in a way that only browsers that support CSS version 3 will load them. This has been done for 3 main reasons.
- Internet Explorer versions 6 and earlier are unable to handle alpha transparency in PNG images without a workaround (no CSS = no background colour = no white area behind images).
- Internet Explorer versions 6 and earlier have trouble with absolutely aligned elements. Because of this, the behaviour of the navigation bar is unknown and may produce undesired results.
- I am unable to successfully run Firefox on my computer, despite having tried numerous "solutions" to fix the "document contains no data" error message.
Therefore (for the time being) the stylesheets have been limited to loading in browsers that recognise CSS 3 media queries. This should not impact the accessibility of the site, in fact it should improve it since browsers that may display something wrong using the stylesheets won't be using them.
I aim for the site to be 100% HTML 4.01 Strict and CSS Version 3 compliant, and WCAG 1.0 AA/AAA compliant. I believe the site is currently WCAG 1.0 A compliant, the only thing needed for AA compliance being a sitemap.
One thing I've had to carefully consider is whether to place the navigational and sponsored links at the start of the source code, or at the end and use absolute positioning to put them where I want them. I came to the conclusion that the content of the document should be the first thing (after the site logo) to appear in the source code, with the navigation bar being positioned absolute in CSS.
I understand that this will allow screenreaders to start reading where the content starts instead of going through a lot of unnecessary data to get to it. Handheld device users also benefit because they don't have to scroll through several pages of links to get to the content.
In conclusion, this site should be accessible to the majority of people using a wide number of devices.