New year, new website

VHHS remakes website to accommodate people with disabilities


Picture of the new school website

The Vernon Hills High School website has gone through a huge change to make it more accessible for people with disabilities. All schools nationwide are required to comply with specific guidelines for their websites, and must at least have a plan to do so by January 2018.

The American Disability Act (ADA) requires that public organizations follow standards set to make websites easier for everyone to no navigate, no matter if they are color blind, hard of hearing, or have other disabilities. ADA guidelines for websites include color contrast, HTML tags, captions, and clean design elements.    

Mrs. Isabelli, VHHS’s technology integration specialist, led the change of the website.

“Our vendor that hosts our sites [Campus Suite] helped handle the migration process for us. I represented the district side for the most part,” Isabelli said. “They took our old content and we migrated it, which is a fancy term for copy and paste.”

It seemed like a rush to change the website because “technology is kind of catching up with where buildings were 40 years ago when they said ‘Oh we need ramps to make it so that people can actually get in the building,’” Isabelli said. “We’ve been aware that this was a coming thing and we were already examining it.”  

Some students feel that this change is very not helpful for them.

“I don’t really like the new website, just because the formatting is really weird,” said Nadia Tourjman (10). “I can’t access my teachers’ websites, and it is really inconvenient with the whole It is also really hard to find things on the website.”

Mr. Lueken, computer science teacher, is making this a learning experience for his classes by having students make new websites for their clubs or classes.

“One big thing about my class is I’m trying to get students some real world experience,” Mr. Lueken said. “I think making sites ADA [compliant] gets students experience and it does help a certain population.”

One student, Sam Lemme (12) has been successful at making a website ADA compliant — the Student Council Executive Board page.

“As the Tech guy, I needed to bring our website to have the accessibility on the web page so students are able to easily find the information,” Lemme said. “This is really useful as a Student Council person who is trying to get many people to come the events and to be involved.”

In the end, the new website has both advantages and disadvantages.

“Initially, it’s going to make things a little bit harder for students, because not all teachers have their ADA sites,” Mr. Lueken said. “I think there is going to be some time that it takes for students to get everything that they need, but in the end, it will be for the good.“