Being able to access information on the internet is critical in the 21st century. People with disabilities can struggle to access websites in a way that works best for their particular disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that local government take steps to ensure their communications with people with disabilities are as effective as their communications with others. Stafford County has multiple options for those with vision issues, hearing deficits and even those with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
“It is critical to ensure that all our residents can conduct basic business online like applying for an absentee ballot, applying for benefits or processing a permit application,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Pamela Yeung. “We work hard to make sure everyone has the tools to access the services they need.”
The universal icon for internet accessibility is a circle with a person inside it with outstretched arms. Stafford’s symbol is on the bottom left of the screen on the website. You can click that circle to see what options are available. The system is called an accessibility overlay. In addition, Stafford also uses scanning software that constantly crawls its site to notify the website administrator of improvements staff can make to the website.
What types of assistance are provided? Below are a few examples:
- Text - You can change the appearance and size of fonts to improve legibility and readability.
- Text Spacing – White space between blocks of text can help people with cognitive disabilities comprehend sections of a page and call out boxes.
- Cursor Size – Changing the size of the cursor allows people to locate the cursor more easily.
- Contrast – Color contrast refers to the difference in light between font and its background. Website users who have low vision, low contrast vision, or color vision deficiencies require the ability to change the contrast. Our website allows users to adjust colors or view in black and white.
- Highlighting – Highlighting allows keyboard only users or those who control web access via their voice the ability to know what part of the screen they will interact with if they hit “enter.”
- Focus – There are options to assist folks with improving focus.
Best of all, once you set up your preferences on Stafford’s website, the changes are retained. The next time you visit, the website will appear with your preferences.
Those with severe visual impairment can also download software called a “screen reader” to enable them to use computers and access the internet, including Stafford’s website, better. Screen readers assist with business website as well.
If you have questions about accessing Stafford’s website or have suggestions for improvements to access, please provide feedback at https://staffordcountyva.gov/form_center/website_feedback.php or call the website administrator at (540) 658-5166.