Web Design and Accessibility
Communications and Marketing designs, builds, and maintains templates in our content management system (CMS), available to organizations across the university. Colleges and divisions should use the CMS to take advantage of these benefits:
The logo in the top left of each website helps our audiences connect important content to their recognition of Virginia Tech.
A Seamless User Experience
The template is set up to provide a consistent menu, site identification, and footer. This allows users to have consistent access to broad topics as they explore web content.
The Communications and Marketing team collaborates with central IT to ensure that there is continuous improvement in the accessibility of the template. By using this system, colleges and units will benefit from this ongoing maintenance and attention. Learn more about web accessibility below.
The themes available for use within the university content management system (Ensemble) are designed and developed to be accessible to people with disabilities and to reflect the Virginia Tech brand expression on the web. The header, footer, main menu, and search areas within the themes have been deemed non-editable, meaning you are not to change anything about those areas that are built into the theme itself. There are site-level footer customizations that can be done in some of the themes that will allow you to create custom footer content either in the default footer area or above it. Anything between the header and footer that is not part of the menu or search functions is considered non-branded and can be styled as you like. The only caveat that we ask is that you respect WCAG requirements for color contrast and general accessibility per Virginia Tech Policy 7215.
Virginia Tech is committed to equal access and opportunity for all students, employees, and visitors to our campus. The university provides dedicated resources to assist those with disabilities and to address barriers to access, both physical and digital.
Individuals with disabilities contribute to the cultural and intellectual diversity of our campus. Virginia Tech is committed to non-discrimination in employment and education in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
Brand communications and materials must adhere to the guidelines articulated by these accessibility standards. University Policy 7215: Information Technology Accessibility requires digital and web accessibility standards to meet that of WCAG 2.0 Level AA.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) success criteria for color contrast requires a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text, and a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 for graphics and user interface components (such as form input borders). Level AAA requires a contrast ratio of at least 7:1 for normal text and 4.5:1 for large text. Large text is defined as 14 points (typically 18.66px) and bold or larger, or 18 points (typically 24px) or larger.
Social media offers a complex space to tell the Virginia Tech story. Protecting the university brand in this space can be equally complex with emerging new technologies, platforms, and user behavior. Visit Social Media for guidance on how to brand your Virginia Tech-area social media accounts, including profile requirements and avatar guidance.