[Athen] New Resource for Library Access

Rob Eveleigh eveleigh at oit.umass.edu
Tue May 20 06:54:57 PDT 2014

I generated a "Key Quotes" list from the 2012 ARL report to share with our campus Tech Access Committee and the UMass Libraries. The quotes are pasted below if you'd like to have a look. The quotes seem to be "library-centric", but many of them can be applied to any campus-wide Tech Access initiative.

UMass Amherst
eveleigh at umass.edu

techaccess > Forums > Discussion Forum > ARL Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities

Hi All,
Here are links and some key quotes (with emphasis/bold added) from the ARL report we discussed at our meeting last week.

Press Release (November 5, 2012) - The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released the report of its Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities.

Report: http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/print-disabilities-tfreport02nov12.pdf

* "The growing demand for instructional e-content and burgeoning digital library collections requires greater collaboration amongst all institutional partners, including academic leadership, research libraries, disability services, and information technology services. These partners should share knowledge, define roles, and become knowledgeable about print disabilities, in order to effectively serve users, to meet the requirements of federal and provincial law, to fulfill mission, and to move the market."

* "Whereas in the past, institutional offices of disability services were the primary facilitators of access to needed research resources and instructional materials, increasingly, the digital environment requires research libraries to be full partners with disability services offices and IT departments to ensure that these electronic resources, when acquired, are fully accessible..."

* "There is a growing sense of urgency regarding how best to effectively address these technology-based accessibility challenges... The common practice today is to "fix after the fact," either through scanning and editing printed materials as needed or retrofitting an online service or product well after adoption. This approach is costly for both the library and the institution, and it is not fully effective for individuals with disabilities. Moreover, this approach does not scale to the digital environment. New strategies are required."

* "While publishers, database vendors, and device manufacturers are not subject to federal and provincial accessibility law in their role as providers, libraries are subject to these laws and should demand the necessary design elements to serve the print disabled and all patrons equitably."

* "Accessibility and universal design considerations should be integrated into the library's technology planning and procurement processes."

* "Accessibility should be a central decision factor in choosing information products and services... Universal accessibility should be embedded in future licensed and acquired products and services..."

* "E-book accessibility may involve as many as three different considerations: the accessibility of the content, the accessibility of the reading platform, and the accessibility of the device."

* "Research libraries should institute a plan to make all future websites, pages, and documents accessible while tackling older web resources over time."

* "...accessibility service awareness needs to be a standard part of staff training."

* "Research libraries should designate a liaison librarian who can provide or coordinate library assistance for users in partnership with the institution's disability services office and central IT. Research libraries should also provide professional development for all staff to better understand disabilities, including learning disabilities."

* "Research libraries should identify a point person to partner with institutional assistive technology experts and information technologists to monitor trends and developments in this area on an ongoing basis..."

* "Studies have demonstrated that, in addition to being more sustainable, integrated accessibility features are also far less costly in the long run."

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Gaeir Dietrich
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2014 5:19 PM
To: 'DSP&S Directors Listserver'; ld at htclistserv.htctu.fhda.edu; Alt Media List
Subject: [Athen] New Resource for Library Access

Please forgive cross-posts

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has recently released a Web site on accessibility at ARL libraries:


The site includes resources and promising practices, as well as a link (see below) to the background for ARL's accessibility initiative. This background document, the Report of the ARL Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities, presents a very well-documented case for the need for library involvement in accessibility:

2012 Report of the ARL Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disability<http://www.arl.org/storage/documents/publications/print-disabilities-tfreport02nov12.pdf>

Personally, I have always been very impressed with librarians, and I am overjoyed to see the libraries beginning to take an active interest in accessibility. Having them as part of our accessibility team is an enormous step forward!

I would like to encourage all of you to share the ARL Web site with your college libraries and, if appropriate, to enter a discussion with your chief librarian and library staff about how they can become part of the accessibility solution on campus. The recent court cases with the Hathi Trust show that the libraries can take a leadership role in creating access to resources that formally provided little benefit to students with print disabilities because of the inaccessible format.

Not sure why the Hathi Trust case is important? Consider attending the AHEAD conference, July 14-19, 2014, in Sacramento, CA. A number of us will be including information on the Hathi Trust in our presentations.
Gaeir (rhymes with "fire") Dietrich
High Tech Center Training Unit of the
California Community Colleges
De Anza College, Cupertino, CA
If you would like to schedule a site visit, training, or phone consultation, please contact HTCTU Secretary, Jasper Haze at jhaze at htctu.net<mailto:jhaze at htctu.net> or 408-996-4636; to ensure that priority e-mails are seen, please copy Jasper on important and time-sensitive matters.

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