Accessibility Statement


Accessibility Statement

The Commonwealth Workforce Development System (CWDS) strives to make its services, including this Web site, accessible for all users. This online Web resource conforms to government standards for accessible Web design. Read the information below for recommendations that may further improve your online experience at CWDS. It’s important to use the on screen instructional text and the available online help for each page when questions arise. For answers to other questions or technical problems you may encounter, please complete an online Support RequestCWDS is committed to continually improving our services. Your ideas are welcomed. A site feedback form is available for submitting your suggestions.

Standards Compliance
This application adheres to the following Web design standards:

Navigation Tips

This application employs the following techniques to aid in navigation:

  • All non-layout tables on this site have a caption, a summary, and properly scoped header cells, to allow screen readers to render them intelligently.
  • Unless within a data grid, link text is never duplicated. Two links with the same link text always point to the same address.
  • There are no links that leave the Commonwealth's Web domain without a warning to the user that permits the user to continue or return to the CWDS site.
  • Common navigation elements are located at the same place on every page. These include quick links to Help, Logout (when logged in), and the Home Page as well as other global items. The reading order of key structural elements is maintained uniformly throughout the site.
  • A "Skip to Main Content" link is provided for users of screen readers. If you are using a screen reader you will be presented with the navigation links first, followed by the header information, then the main page content followed by the page footer information. The Skip to Main Content link is not visible to sighted users.
  • Pages are structured into pertinent sections with distinct headers. On more complex or lengthy pages, navigation in the form of section links immediately precedes the main content.
  • Pop-Ups or new windows are kept to a minimum. Users will be informed via tool tips or link attributes whenever a link target opens in a new window.
  • Every page has a unique, distinguishing title that is displayed in the browser title bar and at the top of the page. This is also represented as the first level header on the page.
  • Pertinent identification information, such as the name of the current logged in user is displayed at a designated location near the top of the page.
  • Consistent labels and naming conventions are provided throughout the system.
  • Browser sessions will not time out without providing appropriate notification to the user. This permits the user to request more time and continue to use the site. This feature requires that JavaScript support be enabled.
  • A Spanish language version is provided for the site. Translated text is also provided for hidden text, error message text, equivalent message text for browsers that do not support JavaScript, tool tips and alternative text for images.
  • Links to this Accessibility Statement, the Contact Us page and other common resources are located in the footer of every page.
Access Keys - Keyboard Shortcuts

Following are the Access Keys that are provided to aid keyboard navigation. Press the key combination followed by the ENTER key to utilize these keyboard short cuts.

Access Keys Navigation
ALT+0 Accessibility Statement
ALT+1 Home Page
ALT+2 Logout
ALT+3 Text Only Navigation (On and Off)
ALT+4 Skip to Main Content
ALT+6 Help
ALT+7 Support Request Page
ALT+C Error Summary List
ALT+Z On Page Back Button

The above Access Key list is applicable for Internet Explorer 6.0, 7.0 and 8.0, Firefox 3.0X. Please note that in Internet Explorer you need to press ENTER after pressing the Access Key combination to activate the hyperlink. If you are using Firefox, the ENTER key is not required. If you are using the latest version of Firefox (i.e., version 3.0 and above), Access Keys work differently. An additional SHIFT key must be inserted in the keystroke sequence. Press ALT+SHIFT+"access key" to invoke the Access Key within Firefox 3.0 and above. JAWS 8.0 or higher is required for the site Access Keys to work effectively with JAWS.

Non-Text Elements

A text equivalent is be provided for all non-text elements:

  1. Non-text elements include programmatic objects and features that require a text equivalent so that their purpose and meaning can be conveyed to the user that is otherwise unable to access these non-text elements. Examples include buttons, images, pictures, graphic representations of text, scripts and spacer images.
  2. For browsers that do not support JavaScript, alternative function will be described. This text description will be presented at the top of the screen in browsers that do not support JavaScript or have JavaScript turned off.
  3. Few images are used on this site. All pertinent images include descriptive ALT attributes. Purely decorative graphics and spacer images include null ALT attributes to prevent them from being voiced by screen readers.

Visual Design Features

This application has taken visual design into account in the following ways:

  • Background and foreground colors have been chosen with a high degree of contrast to maximize visibility. Colors are controlled within the style sheet and therefore may be electively overridden by altering your browser style settings.
  • If your browser or browsing device does not support style sheets at all, the content of each page will remain readable and will be organized in the proper reading order.
  • A dynamic drop-down menu is used to enhance navigation and conserve screen space. It is usable with both a mouse and the keyboard. It automatically converts to a Text Menu if JavaScript support is not available. The drop-down menu relies on style sheets and a text menu alternative is also provided for browsers that do not support style sheets. The "Text Menu" link can be found near the top of the page. An Access Key combination (ALT+3) is also provided to enable the user to easily toggle the Text Menu on and off.
Changing Text Size on the Site

Firefox and Internet Explorer Browser:

  • Hold down <CTRL> and type "+" or "-" to change the font size.
  • Use <CTRL> and the number "0" to return to the default text size.
Internet Explorer 6.0:
Older versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer handles site styles differently. Before font sizes can be easily modified on the CWDS site, the Internet Explorer browser options must be modified. To modify font size for the CWDS site, go to "Internet Options" available under the browser Tools Menu. Select the General Tab in the dialog box and press the Accessibility button. This will open the Accessibility dialog box. Under Formatting select the checkbox to "Ignore font sizes specified on Web pages". Select OK to accept the changes and then Select OK again to close the Internet Options dialog.

Going Back to a Previous Screen – Use the BACK Button on the Page

The CWDS Online Application uses session variables to preserve data you enter on a form during a particular transaction. Using the browser Back Button can cause the page to repost; disrupt the transaction and possibly cause your entered data to be lost. To prevent this during an active session, the Internet Explorer browser provides a common warning message -- Warning: Page has Expired. The warning further instructs the user to refresh the browser page to repost previously entered data and resume the transaction. The Back Button found on CWDS pages functions differently than the browser Back Button. The page Back Button can be controlled programmatically to take the user to a specific page within a process flow that will not impact the data you’ve entered. These differences in behavior can create confusion for users that are not familiar with Web based applications. Session state problems can be avoided by always using the Back Button on the page and the internal navigation or links within the system to move about the application. If the warning message occurs, press your Web browser REFRESH Button or the F5 Function Key to repost previously entered data and resume. An Access Key combination (See Access Key section above.) has also been added as a keyboard short cut to the page Back Button. If no data is being entered and the user is simply browsing static information or content, the browser Back Button can be used without fear of data loss.

Form Field Navigation

Composite Fields:
These are text fields, which are split into two or more fields for the purpose of usability and clarity. For example, dates include a combination of day, month and year, and are split into three separate fields, with character limitations. A user must fill in dates in the expected format thus reducing the margin of error. Each text field is used to fill Month, Date and Year separately. The expected format has been specified on the field labels in addition to descriptive titles provided on each text field.

Auto Tab:
This is a feature provided on composite fields. You do not have to TAB across fields that have "Auto Tab" enabled as the system automatically tabs you through each field as each field is completed. This feature of automatically moving focus from one text field to another is called "Auto Tab".

Date Field:
All dates are to be entered in the format of MM/DD/YYYY. That is a 2-digit month followed by 2-digit day followed by 4-digit year. The previously described "Auto Tab" feature also applies to date fields. The "Auto Tab" feature is also applicable to screen reader and keyboard only users. Appropriately configured screen readers will voice an audible cue for each part of the date fields as "Month 2 digits", "Day 2 digits" and "Year 4 digits", so that you are informed of what is expected to be entered as you proceed filling the date. Screen reader users must be cautious when modifying a date. When TABBING to a date field, part of the date gets selected and overwritten by the values typed in. If you TAB to the month field of the date, the 2-digit month would be in selection. Any value typed in by you would delete the existing value. If you do not want to delete the value, but want to modify just part of the digits, press HOME or END key on the keyboard to deselect the value and modify the value as desired.

Social Security Number:
The Social Security Number is composed of 3 separate text boxes. Since this has composite fields, "Auto Tab" is enabled for these fields. You can enter the first 3 digits of the Social Security Number in the first text box of the Social Security Number. After the first 3 digits of the Social Security Number are entered, you would be automatically taken to the following text box field where you need to enter the next 2 digits of the Social Security Number. After entering the next 2 digits of the Social Security Number, you would be automatically taken to the next text field where in you would enter the last 4 digits of the Social Security Number. Screen readers will voice this movement accordingly as "Social Security Number Part 2 - 2 digits", "Social Security Number Part 3 - 4 digits". You may also use the "List Form Fields" feature on your screen reader to directly jump to each of these fields and edit them individually. Keyboard only and screen reader users are advised to be cautious when modifying Social Security Numbers. When you TAB to a Social Security Number field, part of the Social Security Number gets selected and overwritten by the values typed in by you. If you TAB to the 2nd part of the Social Security Number field, the part 2 of the Social Security Number would be in selection. Any value typed in by you would delete the existing value. If you do not want to delete the value but want to modify just part of the digits, press HOME or END key on the keyboard to deselect the value and modify the value as desired.

Zip Code:
The Zip Code field consists of 2 composite text boxes. The first text box is where you need to enter your Zip Code and the second text box is for the optional Zip Code extension. Auto Tab is enabled for these composite fields. So, after you enter the 5-digit Zip Code, cursor focus would automatically go to the Zip Code extension field. There is no need to Tab to the Zip Code extension field. You will also notice tool tips for each fields as "5-digit zip code" and "4-digit zip code extension". Screen reader users should also hear the same tool tip voiced when TABBING into the Zip Code fields.

Phone Number/Fax Number/Cell Phone:
These fields also use 3 composite text boxes. Auto Tab is enabled for these fields. Screen reader users will be prompted to enter the "3 digit Area Code" in the first text box, "3 digit Phone Prefix" in the second text box and "4 digit Phone Number" in the last text box.

Using Get Buttons with Bound Together Drop-Down Lists:
Within the CWDS Online Application drop-down lists are bound together to facilitate quick, drill down access to individual records within large data repositories. Single select drop-down lists are bound together to provide the ability to search a list of sub-categories within a single, higher category. The user selects a category from the first drop-down list. The first drop-down is followed by a GET Button. The naming convention for the GET Buttons in the series of drop-down lists provides key information about the value of options that will be displayed in the next drop-down list. Here’s one example. A first drop-down contains a list of Workforce Partnering Agencies. The GET Button that follows this list is named "Get Programs". When the user selects a Workforce Partnering Agency from the first drop-down list and then presses the Get Program Button that follows, the second or following drop-down list is automatically populated with programs associated with the selected Partnering Agency (or category). Thus, the naming of the GET Button provides important information about the available options that will be presented in the drop-down list that follows. In this scenario when a screen reader user selects the Get Program Button, cursor focus generally moves away from the Get Button to the form field that precedes the Get Button. However, after the page reloads the cursor focus of the screen reader does not fall consistently on any particular field. In some instances, the screen reader focus returns to the top of the page. This behavior also varies with different screen reader software.The focus issues described above can be disorienting for screen reader users. The following steps can help screen reader users get reoriented to a page in the event the cursor focus does not behave as expected when using a series of bound together drop-down lists.
  1. Make sure that you take note of which Get Button you select last. With that information, JAWS users can use the FIND command (F3 is the Find key in JAWS) to type in the Button name and navigate directly to the Button. After returning to the Get Button where they began, the JAWS user can then proceed to the next form element and complete the process.
  2. The JAWS user can also list form fields on a page by using the INSERT + F5 command and move to the drop-down list where they made the previous selection. The JAWS user can then proceed to the next form element and complete the process.
  3. Use the CTRL + HOME command to go to the top of the page. Then use the "Skip to Main Content" link to skip directly to the beginning of the form. Proceed through the form elements until you reach the drop-down list completed before. You can then resume the completion of the form. Caution: Be careful not to jump past the "Skip to main content" link. This is the first link at the top of the page and can be easily missed if the user TABS or presses the down arrow key quickly.

Recommendations for Specific Assistive Technologies

We worked to make the CWDS site as accessible as possible for all audiences. This site was tested using various types of assistive technology with people that use the technology daily. As a result of this testing, we have compiled some specific recommendations and tips for some of the more common types of assistive technology. We hope that these can further enhance your experience while visiting CWDS. Visit the next page for more details about assistive technology recommendations.

Online Help

The application provides help in the following ways:

  • On page instructional text describes the function of the page and provides other key details for successful completion of the form.
  • Online Help is available that provides an extended description of each form element and button function on the page. Use the Help Link near the top of each page.
  • Global Help containing help on system functions that may or may not relate to individual pages is also provided.

The CWDS Online Help system opens in a separate Pop-Up window to preserve session state and entered data. A simple text outline is used for providing Help. CWDS users can optionally choose a searchable, frames based version of the Help system by selecting the "Show" link found at the top of the Help window. This conforms to a simple frames layout that is maintained consistently across the entire site. A table of contents populates one frame while main content resides in another. All frames have meaningful titles. Persons that use screen readers should configure their software to voice frames.

Requesting Online Support

If you encounter a technical problem using the site and cant resolve the issue further with the available help previously described, use the online  Support Request process to describe the problem you encounter. A support representative will contact you to offer further assistance.

CWDS Service Locations Directory

Individualized CWDS services are also available in person from numerous service locations across the State of Pennsylvania. Use our  Search Service Locations  directory to find the program and service location that serves the area in which you reside.


Copyright © 2018 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. All Rights Reserved.
                               GOVERNOR TOM WOLF

Build Version:11.3.1.14
Application Environment:(LIHBG000WWBT)
Database Environment:Database Instance
Build Timestamp: 12/15/2017 10:03:42 AM
AccessibilityPage.aspx [SSR Number 502]
Current Date: 1/17/2018 9:42:29 AM