The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is committed to providing web content that is accessible to all – including people with disabilities – and to meeting or exceeding all state and national accessibility standards. The information on this page is provided to increase awareness about the importance of accessibility and to provide resources for schools and school divisions.
Web accessibility allows people with disabilities to access all web content. In general, there are four categories of disabilities:
- Visual disabilities – blind, low-vision, vision impaired, elderly, including the following specific conditions: myopia, color blindness, glaucoma and ocular albinism
- Auditory disabilities – hearing impairments, including presbycusis, acoustic trauma, auditory processing disorder and otosclerosis
- Motor disabilities – physical disabilities limiting access to device-dependent web content, including repetitive stress Injury, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's and muscular dystrophy
- Cognitive disabilities – intellectual/development disabilities, including Down’s syndrome, autism, global developmental delay and dyslexia
Additionally, temporary disabilities and injuries may result in otherwise fully-abled people relying on accessible web content for important information.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has identified the following as common barriers that prevent people with disabilities from accessing content on school, division and state education agency websites:
- Missing “alt tags” describing images for blind and low-vision users
- Content inaccessible for users unable to navigate with a mouse
- Inaccessible color combinations for textual information
- Uncaptioned or inaccurately captioned videos
- Inaccessible Documents
For more information about how to address these and other barriers, go to Tools & Resources.
On January 18, 2017, the U.S. Access Board published a final rule in the federal register to update Section 508 to set Web Content and Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA – also known as ISO/IEC 40500:2012 – as the new standard for website accessibility. The rule requires adherence to the new accessibility standards twelve months from its date of publication.
Currently, the VDOE website meets W3C’s WCAG 1.0 Level A and current federal Rehabilitation Act Section 508 standards. The agency is working towards WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance.
The goals of the VDOE Website Accessibility Plan are as follows:
- All new content posted on the VDOE website after January 18, 2018, will meet W3C’s WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance.
- All content posted prior to January 18, 2018, on the VDOE website will be remediated to meet W3C’s WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance.
Your patience is appreciated as VDOE continues effort to improve the accessibility of the VDOE web content. Questions or concerns should be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org.