At the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), we say we create and present content to give our visitors accessible and inclusive information to meet their needs. 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 share how VDOE plans to remediate existing content as well as how it will maintain compliance with all new content.
Web Accessibility Overview
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 and stuational disabilities may result in otherwise fully-abled people relying on accessible web content for important information.
Accessibility Barriers Examples
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 alternative text 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 on the VDOE website posted prior to January 18, 2018, that does not meet W3C’s WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance:
- Will be monitored and reevaluated annually on January 18
- Will be remediated by content owners until all files are compliant
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.