Our Accessibility Commitment
Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) is committed to delivering web resources accessible to everyone, including individuals with disabilities, and is continually working to increase and improve the accessibility and usability of its websites. We actively strive to deliver a web experience that follows the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), specifically the WCAG 2.0 AA criteria. Current efforts focus on delivering digital content that:
- Is compatible with commonly used screen readers and assistive technology
- Has full keyboard operability
- Communicates all necessary information without dependency on color
- Ensures video accessibility
These are just to name a few of the ongoing efforts that will result in providing universal accessibility to our web content.
Contact LCPS on Accessibility Issues
LCPS welcomes questions, comments, and suggestions on ways to improve our website accessibility. We want to hear from you regarding any accessibility problem you may have encountered on our sites. Please contact us via the options below and we will get back to you to work through your issue, make sure your needs are served and to prevent future problems for others.
LCPS Web Accessibility
21000 Education Court, Suite 319
Ashburn, VA 20148
Help with specific impairments
Use Your Computer to Read Web Pages Out Loud
There are several tools that will read out loud the text on websites to you, some of which may already be installed on your computer. Talking browsers are web browsers that read aloud the text on websites. Screen readers and some screen magnifies are specialized software that read aloud any text on the screen, including that in your web browser. Screen readers and magnifiers often provide a variety of functions such as summarizing the contents of web pages, highlighting the text being spoken, or providing the text on a refreshable braille display. Setting up and learning how to use such tools effectively may need some initial guidance and training. Vendors of such tools usually provide detailed documentation for the customization options and may sometimes provide training and support directly or through third-parties.
Related Resources:Text to speech functions in web browsers:Screen reader tools in operating systems:
- Apple Mac OS X - Accessibility: VoiceOver
- Linux - KDE K Mouth
- Microsoft Windows - Windows XP Accessibility Tutorials: Using Narrator
Enlarge Text and Images
Most web browsers will allow you to simply enlarge and reduce text and image sizes through the options in the menu bar, or by pressing “Ctrl +” and “Ctrl –“ or other keyboard combinations. However, these changes are often temporary and may be lost when you open a new browser window or the next time you start your web browser. To make text and images appear larger by default in your web browser, you need to modify the settings of the web browser.
- Apple Safari - BBC My Web My Way: Making text larger in Safari
- Google Chrome - Help: Change font size (zoom) and Help: Adjust fonts, languages, and encodings
- Konqueror - BBC My Web My Way: Making text larger in Konqueror
- Microsoft Internet Explorer - see "Zoom" and "Change Text Size" in Accessibility in Internet Explorer 8, Accessibility in Internet Explorer 7, and Accessibility in Internet Explorer 6
- Mozilla Firefox - Accessibility: Fonts and Colors
- Opera - Personalize Opera: Presentation modes for Web pages
Magnify Your Screen
If enlarging the text is not enough to make the page easily readable, the next step is to magnify your screen. There are screen magnifies, some of which are built directly into your operating system of your computer. These software tools enlarge the text and images, and can sometimes be set to read the text and the menus out load. Vendors of such software usually provide detailed documentation on customization options and may sometimes provide training and support directly or through third-parties.
Related Resources:Screen magnification tools in operating systems:
Listings of tools, including screen magnification tools:
- Apple Mac OS X - Accessibility: Vision
- Linux - GNOME/Ubuntu Desktop Accessibility Guide: Orca Screen Reader and Magnifier, KDE K Magnifier
- Microsoft Windows - Windows XP Accessibility Tutorials: Using Magnifier, Windows Vista Accessibility Tutorials: Make items on the screen appear larger (Magnifier), Windows 7 Accessibility Tutorials: Make items on the screen appear bigger (Magnifier)
Change Background and Text Colors
You can change the default colors for text, background, or links, and change the default font styles to make the content easier for you to distinguish and read. Several web browsers provide simple options for defining such color and font schemes, including options to resue the color schemes of the operating system, in case you already defined custom settings.
- Apple Safari - information unavailable
- Google Chrome - information unavailable
- Konqueror - BBC My Web My Way: Changing colours in Konqueror
- Microsoft Internet Explorer - see "Choose colors" and "Choose fonts" in Accessibility in Internet Explorer 8, Accessibility in Internet Explorer 7, Accessibility in Internet Explorer 6
- Firefox - Accessibility: Fonts and Colors
- Opera - Personalize Opera: Fonts and colors for unstyled Web pages
Make Your Mouse Pointer More Visible
The mouse pointer is sometime hard to see. The size and color of the mouse-pointer on the screen can be adjusted to make it easier for you to identify and locate it. In addition, most operating systems provide options to show a trail when the mouse-pointer moves on the screen, or to highlight the mouse-pointer when a specific key is pressed (such as the “Ctrl” key).
- Apple Mac OS X - Accessibility: Physical and Motor Skill
- Linux - GNOME/Ubuntu Desktop Accessibility Guide: Mouse and Keyboard Enhancements, KDE information unavailable
- Microsoft Windows - Windows XP Accessibility Tutorials: Adjusting Mouse Options, Windows Vista Accessibility Tutorials: Make the Mouse Easier to Use, Windows 7 Accessibility Tutorials: Make the mouse easier to use
Use the Keyboard to Navigate Screens
Many software applications, including web browsers, can be operated through the keyboard. Web browsers generally support the “Tab” key to jump from one link or form control to the next. Other common keyboard commands include:
- "Enter" - activates links or controls such as form submit buttons
- "Page-Down", "Page-Up", and "Arrow" keys - scroll within the web page
- "Alt Arrow-Left" and "Alt Arrow-Right" - move back and forth in the history
- "Ctrl T", "Ctrl Tab", and "Ctrl W" - create, switch between, and close browser tabs
- Keyboard commands in web browsers:
- Apple Safari - Safari: Browser Window and Menu Shortcuts
- Google Chrome - Getting started: Keyboard and mouse shortcuts
- Konqueror - information unavailable
- Microsoft Internet Explorer - Internet Explorer 8 keyboard shortcuts, Internet Explorer 7 Quick Reference Guide, Internet Explorer 6 Keyboard Shortcuts
- Mozilla Firefox - Accessibility: Using a Keyboard
- Opera - Opera Tutorial: Use Opera without a mouse
- Listings of keyboard commands, including in web browsers:
- University of Victoria - Browser shortcut keys
- Wikipedia - Table of keyboard shortcuts
Color Contrast - Use the High Contrast Option
Use the High Contrast toggle switch in the upper left side of your browser window from any page on this site to switch to high contrast mode. This feature is intended to help those with color blindness or low vision.
The High Contrast toggle switch appears as shown below:
Captions and Transcripts
When audio and videos with audio are produced to be accessible for all users, they contain captions (in some languages "captions" and "subtitles" are the same word). Often these captions are not displayed by default but need to be switched on in the customization options of the software tool that is used to show video or listen to audio (called "media player"). Sometimes text transcripts of the audio are provided in addition or instead of the captions. Ideally these transcripts are provided directly below or nearby the audio content. Sometimes they are provided as external files or separate web pages.
Note: Sometimes, the media players are embedded directly in the content displayed in your web browser. Check the settings of these media players too.
Some keyboards have volume-increase and volume-decrease buttons that will adjust the volume level to your preference. In addition, you can adjust the volume and other sound options from the settings in the operating system of your computer. Depending on the loud-speakers and other sound devices attached to your computer, there may additional volume and sound controls to adjust. Software tools that are used to show video or listen to audio are called "media players". Sometimes they are embedded into the web browser, and they usually have additional volume controls too. Be sure to adjust these options, and to make sure that the sound output of the system or the speakers is not muted.
- click the Start button
- click "Control Panel"
- click "Hardware and Sound"
- click "Adjust System Volume"
- use the volume control to increase or decrease sound to the desired level
Using Voice Commands
Voice recognition can be used to dictate text or to control the entire computer. For instance, so called "voice commands" can be used to launch or to close applications such as the web browser, or to perform actions such as selecting links or scrolling on a web page. Some computer operating systems include such voice recognition capabilities. Voice recognition tools usually need training to better learn your voice, and may still be prone to substantial error rates. However, these software can be effective for people who have difficulty typing and using the keyboard or mouse effectively.
- Voice recognition tools in operating systems:
- Apple Mac OS X - Accessibility: Physical and Motor Skills
- Linux - information unavailable
- Microsoft Windows - How To Use Speech Recognition in Windows XP, Windows Vista Accessibility Tutorials: Use Speech Recognition, Windows 7 Accessibility Tutorials: Use Speech Recognition to operate windows and programs
- Listings of voice recognition tools, including support in web browsers:
- Opera - Opera Tutorial: Control Opera using your voice
- Wikipedia - List of speech recognition software, Speech recognition in Linux
Customize Keyboard Functions
Keyboards can be adjusted through the settings in the operating system of your computer, to help you type more effectively with less effort. Examples include:
Assigning actions, such as selecting menu items or typing in pre-defined text, to an individual key or a combination of keystrokes. For instance, most word editors and web browsers provide a shortcut on the key combination "Ctrl s", as an alternate method for selecting the menu item "save". You can define additional shortcuts for frequent actions that you perform on your computer.
In order to facilitate single-handed typing, you can customize your computer so that functions keys, such as "Ctrl" or "Alt", do not need to be pressed at the same time as other keys to invoke key combinations. For instance, by switching on the sticky keys function, you can press "Ctrl" then "s" to save, rather than needing to press them at the same time.
Filters can be set to avoid repeating the input through a key that has been pressed down for too long, a key that has been pressed down several times within a short interval, or keys that have been pressed and are immediately surrounding a key that was pressed in advance. This is useful for people with reduced dexterity or who may press keys unintentionally.
- Apple Mac OS X - Accessibility: Physical and Motor Skills
- Linux - GNOME/Ubuntu Desktop Accessibility Guide: Configuring an Accessible Keyboard, BBC My Web My Way: Changing keyboard settings in KDE
- Microsoft Windows - Windows XP Accessibility Resources: Keyboard Options, Windows Vista Accessibility Tutorials: Make the Keyboard Easier to Use, Windows 7 Accessibility Tutorials: Make the keyboard easier to use
Improving Your Experience on Our WebsitesTips for using your browser more effectively:
- Use the most current version of your web browser. The latest versions of browsers (Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Chrome) generally perform best with websites like ours.
- Maximize your browser window – This will help you see as much content and functionality as possible. Our sites are responsive, which means our content and layout adjust to fit the width of your browser window as it changes. (Some content may reorient itself or get hidden as you resize the width of your browser window). Maximize your browser in one of these ways:
- Use browser buttons to minimize, maximize, or close your browser window. On PCs, the Maximize button is in the upper right of your browser window. On Macs, the Maximize button is green and is in the upper left of your browser window.
- You can also use the keyboard. On a PC, hold down the Alt key while you press the spacebar. Then press the “X” key to select Maximize. On a Mac, hold down the Control and Command keys while you press the “F” key to view in full screen. On some versions of Macs, you may need to set up a specific keyboard shortcut to do this.
Title II of the ADA requires all state or local government entities with 50 or more employees to appoint a responsible person to coordinate the administrative requirements of ADA compliance and to respond to complaints and appeals filed by the public. Loudoun County Public Schools ADA Coordinator is:
Director of Employee Benefits and Retirement Office
Loudoun County Public Schools
21000 Education Court, Suite 319
Ashburn, VA 20148