Nominations open for VHEAP Organizing Committee!

We are excited to announce the addition of three seats to the VHEAP Organizing Committee, bringing total membership to 11. These positions will have a three-year term, starting July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2024. Nominations are now open, closing at 5:00pm (ET) on Wednesday, May 26th. Once nominations are collected, ballots will be sent to the VHEAP membership on or around June 1st with voting closing on June 23rd. Results will be announced on or around June 25th.

UPDATE (6/7/2021): Nominations for the VHEAP Organizing Committee are closed!

Virginia Tech CPACC Accessibility Cohort – Limited Opportunity Spring 2021

The Accessible Technologies team at Virginia Tech implemented an Accessibility Professional Certification Grant program in 2018.  These grants offer VT employees the opportunity to develop valuable professional skills around accessibility while they serve the university community. Grant recipients received membership in the International Association for Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and course materials designed to prepare participants to take either the IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) exam or the IAAP Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) exam.  Participants joined a community of practice, meeting weekly (via Zoom) to develop skillsets, review prep course material, and enhance accessibility within their respective areas. 

For spring 2021, we are excited to extend invitations to our colleagues across the Commonwealth to join our CPACC cohort.  The CPACC community of practice is facilitated by Christa Miller, Director of Inclusive Media Design at Virginia Tech. A limited number of seats are available. The application window officially opens on Monday January 11, 2021.  Unfortunately, Virginia Tech cannot cover costs associated with the IAAP membership or certification exam fee (if the IAAP certification route is desired).  However, participation in the community of practice will set you on the path of becoming a credentialed digital accessibility professional!  Upon successful completion of the cohort program, participants would be eligible to obtain a Virginia Tech issued CPACC micro-badge acknowledging efforts and cohort completion. 

If accepted into the CPACC cohort, you would be required to join the weekly (1-hour) virtual sessions.  A kickoff meeting for the cohort will occur February 23, 2021 (time TBD by selected cohort participants). The CPACC program will conclude the third week of May 2021.  

Again, we have a limited number of non-VT seats available within our spring 2021 CPACC cohort.  If you are interested in participating, please complete the CPACC application before 5:00PM on February 10, 2021.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.  You are welcome to freely share this information with other colleagues in VA.

For more information, contact Mark Nichols (

Chrome 86’s ‘Quick Highlight Focus’

Chrome 86’s ‘Quick Focus Highlight’ will boldly mark what’s currently ‘focused’

Google is introduces a “Quick Focus Highlight” feature that’s particularly useful for those that navigate the web using a keyboard or assistive tools.

This feature shows an indicator, sometimes called a focus ring, around the element that has keyboard focus in the browser. This is useful not only for keyboard-only users navigating a website, but also web developers who need to troubleshoot CSS styling issues related to visual focus.

Elections have consequences!

Congratulations to our new VHEAP Chair, Lori Kressin (UVA), and Chair Elect, Mark Nichols (VT)! We are very excited about the initiatives that this organization will take under your leadership in the coming years.

Lori Kressin

Lori Kressin, VHEAP Chair

Lori is the Coordinator of Academic Accessibility (COAA) at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA. The COAA works with multiple departments and units across the UVA to ensure accessibility for all to the academic experience at UVA, in particular members of the University community with disabilities.

Mark Nichols

Mark Nichols, VHEAP Chair-Elect

Mark is the Senior Director of Universal Design and Accessible Technologies at Virginia Tech University (VT) in Blacksburg, VA. The mission of Universal Design and Accessible Technologies is to promote the use of teaching and learning strategies, communications practices, technologies, and technology standards that enable everyone in the VT university community, regardless of disability status, to learn and work.