DATE: November 10, 2017
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

New Website Accessibility Standards and Presentations to the Board of Education

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is committed to maintaining a website that is accessible to all — including people with disabilities — and to meeting or exceeding all state and national accessibility standards.

As you know, a higher accessibility standard (WCAG 2.0 Level AA) for government websites will become effective on January 18, 2018.  Under VDOE’s plan to comply, all new content posted on the agency website after January 18, 2018, must meet the new standard.

This requirement includes materials submitted or presented by school divisions to the Board of Education or its committees that are typically made available to the public online as either attachments to Board agenda items or as meeting materials.

The Accessibility section of the VDOE website includes guidance, tools, checklists and step-by-step instructions on how to create accessible Word documents, accessible PowerPoint presentations, accessible Excel files, accessible PDF documents and accessible videos that meet the new WCAG 2.0 Level AA standard. Please take full advantage of these resources in preparing materials and presentations for the Board of Education.

Questions about creating accessible meeting materials may be directed to Director of Communications Charles B. Pyle at (804) 371-2420 or