What is accessibility?

In terms of a website, accessibility is the word used to describe whether the site can be used by people of all abilities and disabilities.

Text Size

You can make the text size larger in your web browser temporarily, or every time you surf the internet.

Temporarily changing text size

In most modern web browsers you can change the text size of the browser by holding down the Ctrl key, and pressing the + (plus) to increase or the (minus) to decrease. Some browsers also let you use the mouse scroll wheel rather than pushing they keys, but you still need to hold down the Ctrl key. These methods zoom in on the page.

Setting your preferred text size for all websites

If you would like to set up your browser to keep your text sizes you can alter the Accessibility options. This varies from browser to browser, but if you’re using Internet Explorer you can find the options in the Tools menu bar, then Internet Options. On there you’ll find an Accessibility button in the bottom right. Clicking on this will allow you to ignore font sizes specified on webpages. For further detailed instructions, and video tutorials, see the BBC website – they have lots of tools and guides on making the web more accessible.


Like the text sizes, you have a lot of control over the website colours and contrasts in your web browser. The methods for doing this do change from browser to browser. In Internet Explorer you can go into the Internet Options from the Tools menu bar and down the bottom under Appearance you can select Colours or Accessibility. Under Colours you can modify the colour schemes of webpages. Under Accessibility you can tell the browser to ignore colours specified on webpages to allow you more control. The BBC website has further information and guides on this, and goes into more detail than we can here.