Virginia Department of Health is committed to making its website usable by the widest possible audience, regardless of ability or technology. We aim to comply with all applicable standards, including the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 749d), as amended in 1998.
Section 508 is a federal law that requires agencies to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to electronic information and data comparable to those who do not have disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. The Section 508 standards are the technical requirements and criteria that are used to measure conformance within this law. More information and the technical standards can be found at www.section508.gov.
Please be aware that our efforts are ongoing as our current website provider implements the relevant improvements to meet guidelines over time. If you would like to request any information in accessible or alternative formats, or report any accessibility issues, please fill out the feedback form.
If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the Web page and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page accessible.
How to zoom in your screen
Some people like to zoom into the screen or web browser in order to see things better. Here are a few ways of doing it depending on your setup:
- On Windows, press the Windows key and plus sign (+) at the same time to zoom in. You can also use the “Magnifier” application under “Accessories.”
- On Mac, go to “System Preferences,” open “Universal Access” and select the “Seeing” tab. Check the box under “Zoom” to “On.”
- On your Apple device, tap “Settings,” then “General,” then “Accessibility.” Tap the “Zoom” button and toggle it “On.”
How to change the colors or fonts on the page
Some people like to change colors or fonts to see words more clearly. Most major web browsers have options to do this:
- In Internet Explorer, go to “Tools”, then “Internet Options”, on to “General”. From here, select “Colors, Fonts, or Accessibility”.
- In Mozilla Firefox, choose “Options”, then “Content”, then finally “Fonts & Colors”.
- In Safari, select “Preferences”, “Appearance” tab, and then hit the “Select…” button next to the font fields.
- In Chrome, go to “Preferences”, activate the “Show advanced settings” link, go to the “Web content” heading and change the “Font size”, “Customize fonts” in other ways, or set default “Page zoom”.
We recommend a mixture of settings like enlarging font size and zooming into the browser for a better experience.
How to find and use a screen reader
Screen readers are text-to-speech software that allow people to read and interact with content in different ways. Many people who cannot perceive what is on the screen will use them to allow audible access to web content.
There are free options available including NVDA for Windows and VoiceOver for Mac. What we recommend is JAWS for Windows. You can use this with your favorite web browser.
- To download NVDA, visit the NV Access website.
- To download JAWS, visit the Freedom Scientific website.
Screen readers accept input in a variety of ways, but one of the most common forms is through your keyboard. By pressing the down arrow in JAWS, for example, you are able navigate through items on the page. JAWS will also accept Braille input.
How to use accessibility tools on mobile
There are a lot of great features right on your smart phone. iOS and Android alike provide many tools to help you access what you love. Let’s have a look at a few of those tools.
VoiceOver for iOS and TalkBack for Android are the screen readers that come built-in.
To turn on VoiceOver, go to “Settings”, then “General”, to “Accessibility”, and then turn “VoiceOver” on.
You can set the “Accessibility Shortcut” to “VoiceOver” from the “Accessibility” page in order to triple-click the “Home” button to toggle VoiceOver on and off. TalkBack has a similar feature.
“Zoom”, “Magnifier”, “Invert Colors”, “Color Filters”, and “Reduce White Point” are other features and tools on iOS that you can use. These are also available through the “Accessibility Shortcut”.