In an effort to improve accessibility, the county Website utilizes various features like text sizing to increase font size; use of descriptive alternative text or 'alt tags' on images to aid users who listen to content on the site using a screen reader; text only version of the Website; and a 'skip to' link which allows users to bypass the header and go directly to the main content of the page. Content such as podcasts include a text-only version so users can still access the information regardless of format.
Departments and agencies of the county provide alternative formatted documents of information from the Website upon request. Contact information is provided consistently throughout the site at the bottom of each page along with links to information about ADA Accessibility and Website Accessibility.
There are numerous Portable Document Format (PDF) documents, forms and brochures on the Fairfax County Website to help users download and print easily. To navigate through text-only PDF files using a screen reader, such as JAWS, you will need a PDF reader. You can download a free copy of a PDF Reader at Adobe or Foxit.
Web browsers are updated frequently to offer new features, improve performance and most importantly, address security issues. The county website is optimized for the latest version of the major browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari) that are in the current official release, and one release prior as supported by the vendor.
Website Accessibility Standards
The county Web technical standards include guidelines for accessibility and the county Web Accessibility Standards include steps which all developers and content contributors are required to follow when developing and maintaining Web pages. The Department of Information Technology, along with the Office of Public Affairs and with input from the Disability Services Board, works to ensure that all county departments and agencies comply with these standards by providing technical assistance and accessibility awareness to their staff.
- Pages are coded in HTML 5.
- Styles are formatted using the Cascading Style Sheets 3 (CSS3) specification (and can be disabled).
- All pages are tested for compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act by passing through the county's automated compliance checking tool.
- All pages comply with priority one checkpoints of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and many comply with both priority one and two.
- Manual usability testing is conducted periodically to ensure the pages are accessible to individuals with disabilities.