Text Only Version Removal & Replacement Website Procedures

On Nov. 18, 2021, the Web Advisory Council approved two new changes to the VCU Web Standards & Guidelines. The first is the removal of the “Text Only Version” requirement, and the second is the inclusion of replacement website procedures.

The “Text Only Version” requirement has been dropped

A lot has changed in the world of web accessibility since VCU adopted the Accessibility, VCU, Text Only Version (2.2.5) requirement (based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, 11.4). Not only have other schools and industries shifted away from this approach, but it can create more accessibility concerns in the long run and it’s no longer relevant to VCU’s expanded and thorough accessibility efforts.

Starting today, Dec. 6, 2021, the Accessibility, VCU, Text Only Version (2.2.5) requirement will be dropped. All centrally supported templates within the university CMS will receive day-one patches to drop their “View Text Version” links. Additionally, this means the Accessibility, VCU, Skip Links (2.2.6) and Accessibility, VCU, Readability with Disabled Stylesheets (2.2.7) requirement numbering will be decremented.

Later, on June 6, 2021, the process to remove the centrally supported script for dynamically generating text only versions of websites will begin. If your site is not in a centrally supported template, it’s important to contact your website admin or webmaster to remove any “View Text Version” links from websites sooner than later, as when the script is removed from our servers, your site(s) will have broken links to a non-functional service.

To assist users in identifying and removing “View Text Version” links, a new Siteimprove policy has been created to locate them. If you are a web admin or webmaster and need assistance with making this change on your site(s), feel free to attend a Web Services remote consultation where we can assist you with the change.

New replacement website procedures to be added

VCU Web Standards & Guidelines currently has a section explaining new website procedures. However, most of the new websites that Web Services take live are replacements for existing websites. Now is the time to establish how replacement websites are handled and explicate these procedures to the VCU community.

By the end of Jan. 2022, the “New Website Procedures” page will be renamed to “Website Procedures” and updated to include replacement website procedures, including what to do, what to submit, and what to expect from Web Services throughout the process.