The purpose of this paper is to discover whether digitized materials from special collections libraries can be accessed using screen reader technology.
The researchers looked at 69 US academic library web sites from the ARL in 2011 to determine whether textual materials sampled from their digitized special collections were readable with screen reader technology.
The researchers found that 42 percent of the sampled digital collection items are screen‐readable, while 58 percent are not readable.
Screen readers are not evaluated against one another for effectiveness with digital collections. Library web site pathways to digital special collections were not evaluated with screen readers.
This is the first study to examine the accessibility of digitized special collections materials to persons using a screen reader.
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