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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Laura DeLancey

In an effort to ensure vendor compliance with Section 508, some libraries have begun requesting Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs) or other documentation of…

2010

Abstract

Purpose

In an effort to ensure vendor compliance with Section 508, some libraries have begun requesting Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs) or other documentation of accessibility compliance. The purpose of this paper is to assess the accuracy of vendor-supplied compliance documentation, and to identify common accessibility issues highlighted by the VPATs. A detailed discussion of vendor responses to each Section 508 checkpoint is provided in the Appendix.

Design/methodology/approach

Researchers compared 17 VPATs with the results of an automated accessibility scan to identify inconsistencies and common problems.

Findings

Vendors reported being fully compliant with 64 percent of the applicable VPAT items, and partially compliant with a further 24 percent. However, in 16 of 17 cases, there were discrepancies between the information on the VPAT and the results of the scan. Of the total 189 VPAT checkpoints the author scanned, 19.6 percent had errors (meaning the information on the VPAT was inaccurate 19.6 percent of the time).

Research limitations/implications

Several VPAT checkpoints could not be automatically verified by the scan. Instead they require manual/visual verification, which the author did not do. Because the author only scanned three pages of each resource, the author was not able to check all content.

Practical implications

Vendor-supplied accessibility documentation should not be taken at face value, but requires verification and follow up to ensure its accuracy. This study also identified some of the most common accessibility issues, which will help both librarians and vendors improve their products and services.

Originality/value

Other studies have analyzed the accessibility of library resources and specifically vendor databases, but none have assessed the accuracy of vendor-supplied Section 508 compliance documentation.

Article
Publication date: 8 March 2011

Diana K. Wakimoto and Aline Soules

This paper seeks to compare the accessibility features and ease of use of three tutorial creation products – Camtasia® 6 (by TechSmith®), Captivate® 4 (by Adobe®), and…

1190

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to compare the accessibility features and ease of use of three tutorial creation products – Camtasia® 6 (by TechSmith®), Captivate® 4 (by Adobe®), and VoiceThread® – to determine which product creates the most accessible tutorials.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper tested the accessibility of the tutorials created using Camtasia, Captivate, and VoiceThread against the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template® (VPAT®) criteria. The tests were completed using JAWS®, a screen‐reading software application. Results were compared to determine which product(s) created the most accessible tutorials. The products' ease of use and user manuals were also evaluated.

Findings

Camtasia and Captivate exceed VoiceThread in terms of accessibility compliance. In testing the products, the paper concluded that the VPATs were accurate, with minor exceptions. All products provide user manuals and help guides; Camtasia and Captivate have steeper learning curves than VoiceThread.

Research limitations/implications

This study compares only three of the available tutorial creation products. Accessibility features may change with new versions.

Practical implications

The results of the evaluation will enable other librarians to make more informed decisions when purchasing and using tutorial creation products.

Social implications

Ensuring accessibility of online resources is everyone's responsibility. This paper will help readers to meet that goal.

Originality/value

While there are comparison studies of the features of Camtasia, Captivate, and VoiceThread, accessibility features are largely uncovered. This study adds this dimension to the literature, enabling librarians to make more informed decisions when selecting and using these products to create accessible tutorials.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 September 2018

Erica Getts and Katie Stewart

This paper aims to review existing literature on distance library services for individuals with disabilities with a specific focus on deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) users…

1134

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review existing literature on distance library services for individuals with disabilities with a specific focus on deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) users and provide strategies for creating an online library that is accessible to this community.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors reviewed articles covering distance library services for D/HH users and then identified specific parts of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 that are applicable to the D/HH community. By using the literature, strategies for developing and purchasing accessible electronic library resources are presented.

Findings

While there is a breadth of literature focused on creating accessible resources for online libraries, there is a gap when it comes to D/HH users. Libraries can cater to this community by providing text-based alternatives for all library instructional materials and working closely with vendors to ensure that library databases are accessible.

Practical implications

The authors present strategies for creating and converting electronic resources and services that are accessible to D/HH users.

Originality/value

This paper fills a gap in literature by addressing fully online library services for users with disabilities with a particular focus on meeting the needs of D/HH users in a distance-learning environment.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 46 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2015

Kerry Falloon

This chapter aims to present best practices in providing inclusive resources and services offered to persons with disabilities at a public university library, in light of…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter aims to present best practices in providing inclusive resources and services offered to persons with disabilities at a public university library, in light of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Methodology/approach

A review of past practices and future considerations are presented from the perspective of providing both effective services and acquiring accessible resources.

Findings

Effective practices, at a college library serving individuals with disabilities, need to be a consistent part of daily practices and policies. Due to changing populations of students with disabilities, library outreach to the local disability office and communication to library professionals is essential. Practices for acquiring, assessing, and purchasing library resources require conformity to legal standards in order to be an “accessible” library.

Practical implications

Success for college students with disabilities also requires an institutional and system-wide university commitment to accessibility. As a case study in practice, the College of Staten Island (CSI) Library actively assesses accessibility at their library, which can be relevant to other academic libraries.

Originality/value

Limited amount of studies document the application of compliance with the ADA to daily library acquisition practices. Initiatives are also presented that can lead to future procurement guidelines at the CSI and similar organizations.

Details

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and the Inclusive Future of Libraries
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-652-6

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2015

Axel Schmetzke

The author takes a comprehensive look at the accessibility of e-resources for all people, including those with disabilities, in the context of collection development (CD).

Abstract

Purpose

The author takes a comprehensive look at the accessibility of e-resources for all people, including those with disabilities, in the context of collection development (CD).

Methodology/approach

Employing a combination of research methodologies policy analysis, content analysis, and phone survey—the author explores the extent to which the needs of people with disabilities are considered.

Findings

Several professional library organizations recommend accessibility-sensitive selection and procurement procedures. However, not all students enrolled in library school programs might learn about the issue. Few books on the subject cover the issue adequately. Nationwide, CD policies requiring conformance to accessibility standards are the exception; and when librarians meet to make decisions about the selection of specific e-resources, the needs of people with disabilities are rarely on their radar screens.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers conducting similar surveys in the future might want to not only select a statistically more representative sample of academic libraries but also widen their focus and include both accessibility and usability in their investigations.

Practical implications

Textbook authors and course instructors in the area of CD need to address accessibility and usability. Librarians need to raise the issue with database and e-book vendors during license negotiations.

Social implications

The acquisition of e-resources designed to be accessible and usable for all will enable people with disabilities to participate more fully in our information-driven society.

Originality/value

The data collected provide for a broad discussion of the extent to which the needs of people with disabilities are considered in connection with CD.

Details

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and the Inclusive Future of Libraries
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-652-6

Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2015

Jonathan Lazar and Irene Briggs

The chapter provides instruction on how public libraries can improve the services that they provide to community members with print-related disabilities.

Abstract

Purpose

The chapter provides instruction on how public libraries can improve the services that they provide to community members with print-related disabilities.

Methodology/approach

A combination of methods was used (interview, survey, document analysis, usability testing, and expert inspection), to investigate the current level of service provided to community members who are blind or low vision by the Baltimore County Public Library, in five areas:

1. Web Accessibility and Maintenance

2. Staff Awareness and Training

3. Physical Environment of the Library

4. Library offerings, including databases, materials, and equipment: what we have now and what we should have

5. Marketing materials: what, how, and where to be more visible

Findings

In all five areas, there were important findings about current barriers to accessibility, and suggestions for improvement in the future were made in the chapter.

Practical implications

The chapter details the steps taken by a large public library system, in a challenging budget environment, with changing leadership, to make improvements in the quality of service provided to people who are blind or low vision.

Originality/value

In the past, people with print-related disabilities were often referred to the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. However, over time, the nature of materials acquisitions at public libraries has changed. A large percentage of materials acquired by public libraries is now in digital format, which provides an opportunity for public libraries to start providing services to people with print disabilities.

Details

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and the Inclusive Future of Libraries
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-652-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 September 2018

Heidi M. Schroeder

This paper aims to describe a variety of accessibility initiatives implemented at the Michigan State University (MSU) Libraries to better support persons with disabilities…

1142

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe a variety of accessibility initiatives implemented at the Michigan State University (MSU) Libraries to better support persons with disabilities who want to use and access library services and resources.

Design/methodology/approach

By using two campus accessibility policies to help expand and improve its accessibility efforts, the MSU Libraries implemented accessibility purchasing procedures for e-resources; drafted a five-year accessibility plan, which launched an extensive multi-year staff accessibility training plan and detailed plans for content accessibility and accessibility investment; dedicated additional library staff positions and time to accessibility; drafted an accessibility statement and website documentation; established an in-house remediation service; increased library web page and collection remediation; and began leading efforts related to vendor e-resource accessibility in the Big Ten Academic Alliance library consortium.

Findings

As a result of these many accessibility initiatives, the MSU Libraries has thought strategically about and taken action on constantly improving its accessibility in a variety of areas; provided or hosted 29 staff accessibility training sessions; implemented new accessibility positions, roles and services; and helped influence and improve library e-resource accessibility, especially through its leadership in the Big Ten library consortium.

Originality/value

Most libraries strive to provide welcoming access to information and library services for all users, including persons with disabilities, but resources and literature on comprehensive accessibility initiatives in academic libraries are somewhat limited. The library accessibility initiatives implemented by a large, academic research library shared in this paper will hopefully contribute to the much-needed library and information science literature on this topic.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 46 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2015

Debra A. Riley-Huff

To provide librarians with a better understanding of what makes online content truly accessible and to increase awareness of the current common accessibility issues found…

Abstract

Purpose

To provide librarians with a better understanding of what makes online content truly accessible and to increase awareness of the current common accessibility issues found in library web sites and vendor supplied electronic resources.

Methodology/approach

A through and in-depth literature review takes a look at the web accessibility problems historically found in library web sites. It then briefly explains the basics of web accessibility and delves more deeply into structural content access, which is the hallmark of true accessibility. The simple mechanics as well as the pros and cons of traditional methods of providing keyboard access to web content is discussed. The chapter then provides a gentle introduction to HTML5 and the Web Accessibility Initiative-Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA), current use, techniques for use, and application opportunities. The chapter also provides the research results of a broad examination of the basic structural accessibility state of many current database providers.

Findings

The research shows that the accessibility of library web sites is improving; however many library vendor database products still have significant accessibility problems.

Practical implications

Through the practical accessibility explanations, the chapter points out the ways librarians can use this knowledge to work with users and communicate with product providers regarding the accessibility of library resources.

Originality/value

This chapter provides a rich resource for understanding and implementing web accessibility, particularly as it applies to keyboard navigation and the new accessibility features in HTML5 and WAI-ARIA.

Details

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and the Inclusive Future of Libraries
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-652-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 October 2018

Amy Kazuye Kimura

The purpose of this paper is to review the library and information science literature related to the accessibility of digital resources by individuals with mental…

1719

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the library and information science literature related to the accessibility of digital resources by individuals with mental, physical or other impairments, to assess the state of research in the field and to explore new avenues for investigation.

Design/methodology/approach

There is an increasingly rich body of literature surrounding digital accessibility in libraries, ranging from practical guides for authors of Web content, to principles of universal design, to the ethical considerations of libraries subscribing to packages of digital content, to critical examinations of the accessibility guidelines themselves. This review is intended to be illustrative, not exhaustive; less attention is given to studies of specific tools that will become quickly outdated, and more attention is given to underlying considerations and approaches that will remain relevant even as technologies change.

Findings

Many libraries and vendors have taken steps to provide equal access to websites and electronic resources in recent years. While the literature reflects an increasing level of critical engagement with concepts around disability and diversity, it also demonstrates methodological weaknesses in assessment projects that do not lead to meaningful accessibility.

Originality/value

This review offers theoretical and practical perspectives from recent work that can assist librarians in planning and decision-making, as they deal with an increasingly complex landscape of digital resources.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 46 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

213

Abstract

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

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