How Virginia Made Service Access Easy
December 16, 2021 by
During life’s most challenging moments – the need for health care, food, education, or financial services – individuals in need may find it difficult to locate programs and services available to assist them. During these times of crisis, it is essential for government to provide easy access to resources available to the public.
No Wrong Door Virginia, a division of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), recognized the immediate need to connect individuals to critical services and help families locate long-term services and support for their loved ones in a way that is accessible and easy to navigate.
Partnering with NIC Virginia, No Wrong Door Virginia and DARS reimagined the Virginia Easy Access website, reorganizing the site structure to allow users to quickly find what they are looking for in the fewest clicks possible. By adding colorful visual cues to enhance a simplified and intuitive navigation, the new Virginia Easy Access helps connect older adults, adults with disabilities, veterans, families, and caregivers with public programs in a single online resource that is visually compelling, user-friendly, and accessible from any device.
We created Virginia Easy Access because many people find it a daunting task to locate long-term services and supports, [...] This website is truly a person-centered portal to essential services that so many Virginians need.
"We created Virginia Easy Access because many people find it a daunting task to locate long-term services and supports,” said DARS Commissioner Kathy Hayfield. This website is truly a person-centered portal to essential services that so many Virginians need.”
By providing resources on a wide range of health care, financial, social, housing, transportation, food, and education services, easyaccess.virginia.gov vastly improves the citizen experience while bringing new efficiencies to the agency, allowing DARS to serve the critical needs of their constituents in the best way possible.
The addition of a new live chat feature available throughout the site allows users to connect with the agency for additional assistance. A new search feature also allows users to search for services by area or service type. The new Caregiver Tech Tool Finder helps caregivers locate websites, apps, devices, and products to support care.
In addition, site accessibility on Virginia Easy Access is paramount. The site is WCAG level 2 AAA compliant and has been further enhanced through vigorous testing with screen readers to provide full access to the visually impaired.
Virginia Easy Access has garnered a host of alcaides as well, earning multiple awards in the 2021 Hermes Creative Awards and 2021 dotCOMM Awards, including excellence in government website and outstanding website creativity and navigation design.
As more people visit Virginia Easy Access to connect to the critical services and assistance needed to help navigate life’s challenges, the community of Virginians sharing ideas and extending support will continue to grow and light the way for others.