Web Accessibility

out-of-focus view of computer screens displaying code, with reading glasses showing a clearer view

Web accessibility is the practice of making websites usable for people of all abilities.

The power of the web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.
Tim Berners-Lee

We offer professional development demonstrating the benefits of assistive technologies. For years, people with disabilities have used assistive technologies to maintain, enable, or increase their opportunities for learning, teaching, working, and recreation. This experience holds true when accessing the web. For people without disabilities, assistive technologies make things easier. For individuals with disabilities, using assistive technologies make things possible! Accessible Technologies offers several services to enhance accessibility at Virginia Tech.

  • Group and individual presentations on modern web accessibility standards. Presentations provide a layout of current work in regards to WCAG, ARIA, and Section 508.
  • Professional accessibility website evaluations provided.

For more information on web accessibility, please send an e-mail to assist@vt.edu.

      • Access Policies

        University policy requires that websites be accessible to people with disabilities. This section lists the benefits of using accessibility standards and guidelines based on U.S. law (Section 508 Standards) and international guidelines (WCAG and ARIA), as well as the benefits of assistive technologies.

      • Standards and Guidelines

        Here we list relevant goals, laws, policies, standards, and functional performance criteria to help you understand your obligations to develop digital resources in an accessible way.

      • Training and Tutorials

        Virginia Tech's Accessible Technologies group provides regular workshops on topics related to assistive technologies and web and document accessibility. Additionally, Virginia Tech provides access to the LinkedInLearning.com online video training library, which provides a number of courses (or sections of courses) on topics related to web and document accessibility. Beyond what is available through Virginia Tech, there are free online courses on the wider web.

      • Accessibility Reviews

        With simple steps most developers and some faculty can get an idea whether or not accessibility is addressed even in the most basic way. Here we explain how to do a very basic accessibility review of a web page.

      • Testing Tools

        There are many free tools for testing the accessibility of web sites and web applications. Find a list of them here.

      • Accessible Design Patterns

        It can be difficult to custom code complex, composite widgets that are not defined natively in the HTML5 specification, such as tree views or tabbed interfaces, in a way that is accessible. Don't reinvent the wheel. Here you will find a list pattern libraries developed by others to be accessible from the get-go.