VCU Scholars Compass: Accessibility Statement

VCU Scholars Compass is committed to making digital content accessible to individuals with disabilities. The following information provides details related to the ADA standards compliance and accessibility features of this site. If you would like additional assistance or have accessibility questions about VCU Scholars Compass, please contact the VCU Libraries by email, text (804) 4345-5420, or call (844) 352-7399. VCU Libraries follows VCU accessibility guidelines. You can also contact bepress Consulting Services via email at or by phone at 510.665.1200 ext. 2.

Standards Compliance

  1. All static pages follow U.S. Federal Government Section 508 Guidelines.
  2. All static pages follow priorities 1 & 2 guidelines of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
  3. All static pages validate as HTML5.
  4. All static pages on this site use structured semantic markup. H2 tags are used for main titles, H3 and H4 tags for subtitles.

Structural Markup

Web pages on VCU Scholars Compass include 4 different areas:

  1. A header bar that includes the main navigation,
  2. A main content area,
  3. A side bar,
  4. A footer.

When CSS (Cascading Styles Sheet) are not applied to a document (or when using a screen reader), the 4 areas are read in the above order.

Access keys

Most browsers support jumping to specific links by typing keys defined on the web site. On Windows, you can press ALT + an access key; on Macintosh, you can press Control + an access key.

All pages on this site define the following access keys:

Access key 1
VCU Scholars Compass Home Page
Access key 2
Main Content
Access key 3
My Account
Access key 4
Access key 0
Accessibility Statement

Additional navigation aids

Search results can be navigated by using the following access keys:

Access key f
First results page
Access key n
Next results page
Access key p
Previous results page
Access key l
Last results page

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  1. Unless they are purely decorative items, all images used on this web site have suitable alt attributes.
  2. Content should be usable/accessible with images "off" (disabled).

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  1. Many links have title attributes which describe the link in greater detail, unless the text of the link already fully describes the target.
  2. Links are written to make sense out of context.
  3. URLs are permanent whenever possible.


  1. All form controls are appropriately and explicitly labeled.


  1. The static pages of this web site are usable without JavaScript.

Pop up Windows

  1. In visual browsers, the title attribute of links to external resources says "opens in new window".
  2. Browsers with Popup Blockers should be able to access these external documents.

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Visual design

  1. This site uses cascading style sheets for visual layout.
  2. If your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets at all, the content of each page is still readable.
  3. Any information conveyed through the use of color is also available without color (i.e. text based).

Accessibility References

  1. W3 accessibility guidelines, which explains the reasons behind each guideline.
  2. U.S. Federal Government Section 508 accessibility guidelines.
  3. bepress Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)
  4. VCU Accessibility Web Standards and Guidelines

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Resources on Creating Accessible Content

  1. Microsoft Word: Creating Accessible Documents by WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
  2. PDF Accessibility by WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
  3. Powerpoint Accessibility by WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
  4. Audio and video captioning guidelines, definitions and approved vendors at VCU

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