Text on webpages can include headings, links and body text.

Learn more about working with formatting in the T4 text editor.

Text on EVMS' website must follow certain parameters to meet accessibility guidelines.

Providing context

Using text to identify items that rely on sensory information, such as an item's color or location on a webpage, is an important part of making a webpage accessible. How colors display and where information appears on a page can differ for those using assistive technology or mobile devices.

Telling a user to access the link at the right is not as accessible or helpful as telling someone to access the Verification Requests link.

For example, if you are telling users to look for something in a certain location ("Access the map with the blue pin near the left-hand side"), you can give them a heading ("Get Directions") or some other identifying text so they can find this by searching for the identifying text itself to locate the information they need ("Find information on directions under the 'Get Directions' heading").

Don't use only color or location to indicate where users can find something on a webpage

Text that is read using assistive technologies or using a mobile device may not appear in the same location on a user's page as it does on your display.

Text or objects that are a certain color also may not appear the same for users that have turned on a high-contrast display or that are color blind.

Without providing context for information that is indicated by color, location or other sensory information, the page may not be accessible.

Do this: Use text that users with assistive technology can search and find on the page to locate the information they seek.

Text language

The text language for EVMS' website is English. This allows for screen readers to read text in English and for translation software (e.g., Google Translate) to translate it to other languages.

To set up a webpage in another language, submit a help ticket. Web Technologies has the ability to update the page language in cases where it is appropriate.

Emphasizing text

When emphasizing text, use bold.

A sentence that is its own standalone paragraph is one way to make text stand out as well.

Do not use heading styles to emphasize text as, according to w3.org, this "indicates relationships that do not exist in the content" and constitutes an accessibility failure. Headings must not be used for their aesthetic alone. They need to be meaningful to pass accessibility requirements.

Creating tables

All tables on webpages must be created by Web Technologies. Request a table by submitting a help ticket.

EVMS uses tables to display complex data. For example, Cost of Attendance figures are often presented in tables because they show several types of numbers (tuition, fees, loan fees, etc.) in comparison with other variables.

Tables include black text, along with light blue and white alternating row colors. Web Technologies has created its tables to be accessible.

This is an example of a table created by EVMS Web Technologies.

On EVMS' website, assistive technology devices cannot properly read tables that are created outside TerminalFour - in Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, etc.) or other applications. If a table is not accessible, it can constitute an accessibility failure. As a result, tables created outside TerminalFour are not permitted and can be removed by Web Technologies.

Images or screenshots of tables - as well as other images with text - also are not accessible and, thus, not permitted.

T4 users can edit a table's text in TerminalFour once Web Technologies has built the accessible and responsive (mobile-friendly) table.



Avoid jargon, if at all possible, in writing on the website. If jargon is unavoidable, provide a definition that would allow someone outside the field to understand it.

Our Writing for the Web guide has plenty of handy tips for developing content and body text.

Abbreviations and acronyms

On each webpage, use the full name for any entity on first reference. Web Technologies recommends avoiding acronyms or abbreviations, especially those that would not make sense to someone outside EVMS.

If using an abbreviation or acronym is unavoidable, put the shortened version in parentheses after the term, e.g., Sentara Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning at EVMS (SCSIL).

EVMS can appear as "EVMS" on first reference in text on any page because every webpage includes the full name of the institution in the EVMS logo at the top of the page.

Reading level

Keep it simple. Strive to keep your webpages at or below a 10th-grade reading level. This makes information easier to understand.

WCAG resources at w3.org include a list of 16 items to make a page easier to read. Some of these items include:

  • Develop a single topic or subtopic per paragraph.
  • Consider dividing long sentences in two.
  • Remove complex words or phrases that could be replaced with more commonly used words without changing the meaning of the sentence.
  • Use the active voice.
  • Use verb tenses consistently.
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists instead of paragraphs that contain long series of words or phrases separated by commas.

Web Technologies can provide a SiteImprove Flesch-Kincaid grade-level readability report for your webpages by request. Flesch-Kincaid is one of the most common measures for determining how easy a page is to understand. Request your report by submitting a ticket so we can give you scores relevant to the pages you control.

WCAG Success Criteria

  • 1.3.1 Info and Relationships: Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text. (Level A)
  • 1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence: When the sequence in which content is presented affects its meaning, a correct reading sequence can be programmatically determined. (Level A)
  • 1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics: Instructions provided for understanding and operating content do not rely solely on sensory characteristics of components such as shape, size, visual location, orientation or sound. (Level A)
  • 3.1.1 Language of Page: The default human language of each Web page can be programmatically determined. (Level A)

Optional Success Criteria

  • 3.1.3 Unusual Words: A mechanism is available for identifying specific definitions of words or phrases used in an unusual or restricted way, including idioms and jargon. (Level AAA)
  • 3.1.4 Abbreviations: A mechanism for identifying the expanded form or meaning of abbreviations is available. (Level AAA)
  • 3.1.5 Reading Level: When text requires reading ability more advanced than the lower secondary education level after removal of proper names and titles, supplemental content, or a version that does not require reading ability more advanced than the lower secondary education level, is available. (Level AAA)