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Best Practices in Accessibility for Purchasing and Marketing E-Resources: General Tips & Tools

Librarian Resources

ASCLA “Library Accessibility –What You Need to Know” tool kit series of fifteen tip sheets was developed to help librarians in all types of libraries understand and manage access issues to patrons who have cognitive, mental, or emotional illnesses; patrons with learning and/or developmental disabilities; patrons with service animals; patrons needing assistive technologies; and patrons with physical disabilities.

 

 ASCLA "Think accessible before you buy": Questions to ask to ensure that the electronic resources your library plans to purchase are accessible" [pdf]

 

GSA Government-wide Section 508 Accessibility Program, "Buy: Procuring Accessible ICT." There is also the BuyAccessibility Wizard.

 

Green, R.A., & Blair, V. (2011). "Keep it simple: A guide to assistive technologies." Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited.

 

Report of the ARL Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities, November 2, 2012.   

 

Tatomir Accessibility Checklist (TAC) for the assessment of library databases. Found in Tatomir & Durrance (2010), Library Hi Tech, 28(4). 

 

Web Accessibility ToolKit: Making Resources Usable & Accessible in Research Libraries, ARL Accessibility Working Group.

 

 

 

 

Librarian Tools

Color Contrast Tool- WebAim According to the WCAG 2 text color contrast requirements.

Google Accessibility Developer Tools- This tool needs Google Chrome

NVDAT- Free Screen Reader

HTML Code Sniffer- Checks HTML source code and detects violations of coding standards.

Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool (PEAT)- Identify seizure risks in their web content and software.

General Tips- University of Washington

Electronic Resources

-- Be sure that the library's World Wide Web pages and other electronic resources are designed to be accessible to people with disabilities. Consider these items in ensuring accessible electronic resources.

-- Do electronic resources with images and sound provide text alternatives to these formats? Is the design consistent with clear navigation paths?

-- Can the library's electronic resources including online catalogs, indexes, and full-text databases accessed with a variety of adaptive computer technologies such as screen readers and speech synthesis?

-- Do collection development policy statements specifically state that electronic products should be evaluated for accessibility as part of the purchasing process?

-- Do library Web page style guidelines require that pages be designed in an accessible format?

-- Are librarians prepared to assist patrons with electronic resources that they cannot access by providing research consultations or materials in other formats?

Adaptive Technology for Computers

-- At least one adjustable table for each type of workstation in the library can assist patrons with mobility impairments or who use wheelchairs.

-- Large print key labels can assist patrons with low vision.

-- Software to enlarge screen images can assist patrons with low vision and learning disabilities.

-- Large monitors of at least 17 inches can assist patrons with low vision and learning disabilities.

-- A speech output system can be used by patrons with low vision, blindness and learning disabilities.

-- Braille conversion software and a Braille printer can assist patrons who are blind.

-- Trackballs can assist those who have difficulty controlling a mouse.

-- Wrist rests and keyguards can assist some patrons with mobility impairments.

Library Services

-- Does the library have a designated staff member and/or committee who coordinates services for patrons with disabilities, monitors adaptive technology developments, and responds to requests for accommodation?

-- Does the library have a written description of services for patrons with disabilities, including procedures and information on how to request special accommodations? These policies and procedures should be advertised in the library and library publications.

-- Are large print and Braille versions of library handouts and guides available?

-- Are applications for the nationwide network of Talking Book and Braille Libraries available for print disabled patrons?

Building Access and Environment

-- Are there ample high-contrast, large print directional signs throughout the library? Are shelf and stack identifiers provided in large print and Braille formats? Are call numbers on book spines printed in large type? Is equipment marked with large print and Braille labels?

-- Are telecommunication devices for the deaf (TDD/TTY) available?

-- Are library study rooms available for patrons with disabilities who need to bring personal equipment or who need the assistance of a reader?

-- Are hearing protectors, private study rooms, or study carrels available for users who are distracted by noise and movement around them?

Library Staff

-- Are staff aware of disability issues?

-- Are there regular refresher courses to help staff keep their skills up-to-date?

-- Are staff trained in policies and procedures for providing accommodations to patrons with disabilities? Are staff aware of services provided for people with disabilities?

-- Are staff knowledgeable of other organizations, such as federally-funded talking book and Braille libraries, that provide information services to patrons with disabilities?

-- If there are staff members with sign language skills, are they identified to other staff members so that, when available, they can assist patrons who are deaf?

Library Services

-- Does the library have a designated staff member and/or committee who coordinates services for patrons with disabilities, monitors adaptive technology developments, and responds to requests for accommodation?

-- Does the library have a written description of services for patrons with disabilities, including procedures and information on how to request special accommodations? These policies and procedures should be advertised in the library and library publications.

-- Are large print and Braille versions of library handouts and guides available?

-- Are applications for the nationwide network of Talking Book and Braille Libraries available for print disabled patrons?

For a comprehensive listing, please visit Universal Access, Making Library Resources Accessible to People with Disabilities