To ensure all students are equipped with the competencies necessary to thrive in the 21st century, the Orange County Department of Education offers world-class support, professional development and innovative student programs. Providing information that is relevant and timely is critical to this mission, as is maintaining the highest standards of accessibility.
With that in mind, OCDE has fully embraced the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, known as WCAG 2.0, which were established by the World Wide Web Consortium, an international community with a shared vision for Web accessibility.
WCAG 2.0 covers a wide range of recommendations to make Web content more accessible for individuals with disabilities, including those experiencing blindness and low vision, hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement and photosensitivity. In fact, these carefully crafted guidelines enhance the experience for all users.
Principles of Accessibility
The following four principles established by the World Wide Web Consortium represent the foundation of OCDE’s accessibility efforts.
Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented.
User interface components and navigation must be operable. This means that users must be able to operate the interface. The interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform.
Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable. This means that users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface. The content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding.
Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. This means that users must be able to access the content as technologies advance. As technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible.
Evaluation and Testing
The non-profit organization WebAIM, based at Utah State University, has developed a WCAG 2.0 Accessibility Checklist for WCAG 2.0 compliance. As we develop new content for OCDE.us, we regularly refer to this checklist to make sure we’re meeting or exceeding accessibility requirements.
WebAIM's WCAG 2.0 Checklist
WebAIM has also developed a Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE) that can test a website for WCAG 2.0 compliance in real time. OCDE developers and content authors regularly refer to this tool to make sure the department is maximizing accessibility on all of its websites.
Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool
How can we help you more?
Our ongoing effort to make our websites more accessible benefits from your feedback. If you discover areas of our websites that you find difficult or challenging to understand because of accessibility issues or any other reason, we want to know about it.
Please email our support staff with questions or concerns you have, and we will respond as soon as possible.
Check out the following references for more information about website accessibility.
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium
WebAIM - Web Accessibility in Mind