Access to Electronic Resources for Patrons with Disabilities

Welcome ALLA attendees!

As a companion to my ALLA/AACRL Best Practices Mini-Session, Access to Electronic Resources for Patrons with Disabilities, I’ve compiled this collection of resources for those who would like to learn more about library services and people with disabilities. The list is hardly exhaustive, but I hope it will provide interested persons with a good start. The links are also available via the Diigo collaborative bookmarking site: mbfortson’s alla_access Bookmarks on Diigo.

Those seeking additional information on library services and people with disabilities may be interested in Crash Course in Library Access & People with Disabilities and other posts in the blog’s “Accessibility” category.

Thanks for visiting.


28 C.F.R. § 35.160-164 | Electronic Code of Federal RegulationsReferenced in the ALA “Purchasing of Accessible Electronic Resources Resolution.”

28 C.F.R. § 36.303 | Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

Referenced in the ALA “Purchasing of Accessible Electronic Resources Resolution.”

Accessibility of Online Library Information for People with Disabilities (PDF) | Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology

“This article seeks to determine the extent to which the library profession addresses the need of people with disabilities for accessibly designed online resources—by reviewing the professional library literature for coverage of this issue, by summarizing empirical accessibility studies, and by analyzing pertinent policies adapted by libraries and their
professional organizations.”

Accessibility of Online Resources in Academic Libraries

Presented by Axel Schmetzke & Suzanne Byerley at the 11th Annual Accessing Higher Ground: Assistive Technology and Accessible Media in Higher Education Conference, Nov. 11-14, 2008.

Accessibility to Library Databases and Other Online Library Resources for People with Disabilities | ASCLA Wiki

From the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a page “for sharing information among library employees about accessibility of library databases and other online resources.” Includes information about specific vendors and strategies for/experiences of evaluating resources.

AccessLibraries | DO-IT

DO-IT = “Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology.” Includes presentation materials for “Universal Access: Electronic Resources in Libraries,” a training program to help library staff and volunteers “become more aware of the issues, needs and concerns of people with disabilities in accessing electronic resources.”

Adaptive Technology for the Internet: Making Electronic Resources Accessible to All | ALA

Online edition of Mates, B. T., Wakefield, D., & Dixon, J. M. (2000). Adaptive technology for the Internet: Making electronic resources accessible to all. Chicago: American Library Association.

ALA Policy Manual | ALA

Includes the section referenced in the “Purchasing of Accessible Electronic Resources Resolution,” 54.3.2 (“Library Services for People with Disabilities.)

Americans with Disabilities Act | ADA.gov

Referenced in the ALA “Purchasing of Accessible Electronic Resources Resolution.”

Computers in Libraries 21 (9) | Information Today

Introduction to How People with Disabilities Use the Web | WAI

Provides examples of people with different disabilities access online content. Includes scenarios, examples of the barriers encountered by web users with specific disabilities, and specific assistive technologies and access strategies.

Library Hi Tech 20(2) | Emerald

“Special Issue: Accessibility of web-based information resources for people with disabilities.”

Library Hi Tech 20(4) | Emerald

“Special Issue: Accessibility of web-based information resources for people with disabilities: part 2.”

Library Hi Tech 25(4) | Emerald

“Special Issue: Special Sections on Accessibility and OPAC.”

Library Services for People with Disabilities Policy | ASCLA

Further information on the section of the ALA Policy Manual referenced in the “Purchasing of Accessible Electronic Resources Resolution,” 54.3.2 (“Library Services for People with Disabilities”).

Purchasing of Accessible Electronic Resources Resolution | ALA Connect

Text of resolution passed at the 2009 ALA Conference. The resolution posted here is in .doc format; it is available as a .pdf file via the ACRL website (URL: http://www.acrl.org/ala/aboutala/offices/wo/referenceab/colresolutions/PDFs/electronicresources.pdf).

Resolution of Principles for Digital Content (PDF) | ALA

Referenced in the ALA “Purchasing of Accessible Electronic Resources Resolution.”

Schmetzke Web Accessibility Survey Homepage

Axel Schmetzke’s “clearinghouse for studies involving the collection of accessibility data pertaining to web sites and online resources in education, particularly in higher education.” Includes research studies and vendor-supplied information on the accessibility of online library catalogs, indexes, and databases.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act | Section508.gov

Referenced in the ALA “Purchasing of Accessible Electronic Resources Resolution.”

Section 508 Standards | Section508.gov

Referenced in the ALA “Purchasing of Accessible Electronic Resources Resolution.”

Software Accessibility, Usability Testing, and Individuals with Disabilities | ITD Journal

“This paper reports on a collaborative project between a university and technology corporation that explored computer software usability and accessibility with older adults and individuals who have disabilities, some of whom use assistive technology. The project history and overall goals are described. In addition, the methods and results from usability/accessibility studies involving individuals with visual impairments, people with mobility impairments, and older adults are presented. The implications of these findings are discussed relative to the notion that in order for information technology products to be considered “usable” (i.e., efficient and easy to learn and use), they should be universally designed to meet a wide range of user needs, with or without the use of assistive tech.. Suggestions for future research, as well as for promoting the consideration of the needs of consumers with disabilities during product design, development, and usability testing are also discussed. ”

Testing More Than ALT Text- Techniques for Testing Usability and Accessibility (PDF)

“Conducting usability studies with participants who use assistive technology requires some non-traditional techniques. The complexities of the systems, and poor accessibility on the Web today make doing these studies imperative but challenging. Based on many sessions with participants with disabilities, this paper includes insights and practical tips for managing
planning, recruiting for, and facilitating these studies.”

Think Accessible | ASCLA

An ASCLA toolkit designed to increase awareness regarding the purchasing of products that are accessible to people with disabilities. Includes guidelines and checklists to help ensure usability for patrons with disabilities.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 | W3C

Referenced in the ALA “Purchasing of Accessible Electronic Resources Resolution.”

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