Voluntary Action Center of Northern Illinois


The Voluntary Action Center (VAC) of DeKalb County, Illinois, plays a vital role in supporting the community’s most vulnerable residents. Recognizing the limitations of their existing website, VAC embarked on a project to create a more user-friendly and accessible platform. This case study details the key improvements implemented and the resulting benefits for the community.

Challenges of the Old Website:

The previous VAC website lacked intuitive navigation, making it difficult for users to find the information they needed. Additionally, the site was not compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards, creating barriers for users with disabilities.

Solutions Implemented:

  • WCAG 2.1 AA Compliance: VAC prioritized ensuring their website met accessibility guidelines. This included features like clear and concise language, proper use of alt tags for images, and keyboard navigation compatibility.
  • Accessibility Widget (accessiBe): To further enhance accessibility, VAC integrated accessiBe, a tool that automatically scans and adjusts website elements to comply with ADA standards. This ensures ongoing compliance even with future updates.
  • Created Access for A Volunteer Portal: A dedicated section allows volunteers to manage their roles in Meals on Wheels and transportation services, streamlining coordination and communication. (removed reference to secure login area)
  • Donation Integration: A more prominent and user-friendly donation section was implemented to encourage and facilitate community support for VAC’s programs.
  • Spanish Site Translation: Recognizing the growing Hispanic population in Dekalb County, VAC made their website accessible in Spanish, ensuring the community is well-informed about available services.
  • HIPAA-Compliant Digital Forms with Conditional Logic: Paper forms were replaced with digital forms that adapt based on user input. This ensures users only see relevant sections, improving accuracy and efficiency.
  • Streamlined Navigation: The website structure was redesigned to be more intuitive, making it easier for users to find the information they need.
  • Event Feature Area: A dynamic section showcases upcoming events, keeping the community informed and engaged about VAC’s activities.

New site page examples:


The revamped VAC website delivers a multitude of benefits:

  • Increased Accessibility: WCAG compliance and the accessiBe widget ensure the website is usable by everyone, regardless of ability.
  • Improved User Experience: Streamlined navigation and intuitive design make it easier for users to find the information and services they need.
  • Enhanced Volunteer Coordination: Volunteers can now easily manage their involvement in VAC’s programs.
  • Simplified Donations: The new donation section makes it easier for the community to support VAC’s vital work.
  • Convenient Online Payments: Beneficiaries can now pay for services quickly and easily.
  • Spanish Language Inclusion: The translated website ensures the Hispanic community can access VAC’s services.
  • Efficient Forms Management: Digital forms with conditional logic streamline data collection and improve accuracy.
  • Community Engagement: The event calendar keeps the community informed about upcoming activities.


The Voluntary Action Center’s website revamp is a testament to their commitment to inclusivity and community service. By prioritizing accessibility, user experience, and efficient service delivery, VAC has created a valuable resource that empowers the community and strengthens their ability to serve those in need.

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