Have you visited the Orange County Department of Education’s website lately? If so, you may have noticed a few changes.
Earlier this year, OCDE completely revamped OCDE.us, modernizing the look and feel.
“We set out to create a website that represented the quality and caliber of our programs and services,” says Digital Media Manager Shane Cline.
And the overhaul goes way beyond aesthetics.
For starters, the new site is completely responsive, meaning it adapts to fit screens of all sizes, from large desktop computers to smartphones and tablets. It also features a centralized search bar to help make navigating easier, and it incorporates the latest stories from the OCDE Newsroom.
Perhaps most important, the new layout is designed to exceed the latest standards in web accessibility.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, generally shortened to WCAG 2.0, were established by an international community with a shared vision for web accessibility, and they’ve become the gold standard across the country.
WCAG 2.0 comprises a wide range of recommendations to make 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 same guidelines enhance the experience for all users.
“Web accessibility was one of the principal forces that drove the design process of the site,” Cline says. “From considerations as obvious as device compatibility and ease of navigation to the more nuanced considerations like color contrast and coded structural elements, we wanted to make sure the site could accommodate everyone, equally.”
Accessibility will remain an ongoing focus for OCDE, along with other upgrades to strengthen the department’s ability to relay timely and relevant information. Meanwhile, you’ll still be able to find the content you’re looking for on popular destination pages like OCDE’s Employment and Departments sections.