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ARL and ALA File Comments to FCC on E-Reader Accessibility

image © Terry MadeleyEarlier this month, ARL and the American Library Association (ALA) filed additional reply comments (PDF) to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding a request to waive e-reader access requirements for individuals with disabilities. In the comments, the Associations noted, “We are writing to reiterate our opposition to the waiver sought by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers (‘the Manufacturers’) and present new information regarding the manner in which the e-readers covered by the Manufacturers’ petition (‘basic e-readers’) are utilized.”

 
 

Additional Reply Comments to FCC E-Reader Accessibility Waiver

In December 2013, ARL and the American Library Association (ALA) filed additional reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding a request to waive e-reader access requirements for individuals with disabilities. In the comments, the Associations noted, “We are writing to reiterate our opposition to the waiver sought by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers (‘the Manufacturers’) and present new information regarding the manner in which the e-readers covered by the Manufacturers’ petition (‘basic e-readers’) are utilized.”

pdf GC_Docket_No._10-213_Opposition_Letter_Sent_on_Behalf_of_ARL_and_ALA.pdf

 
 

ARL to Host Events at ALA Midwinter Meeting 2014

independence-hall-philadelphia-george-washington-statueimage © Wally GobetzARL, LibQUAL+®, and SPARC are offering several events at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting to be held in Philadelphia next month. Highlights include: 

ARL Annual Leadership Symposium (invitation only)
Thursday, January 23, 4:00 p.m.–Sunday, January 26, 3:00 p.m.
Four Seasons Hotel

 
 

ARL Urges FCC to Support E-Reader Accessibility

image © Terry MadeleyOn September 13, ARL submitted reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opposing a petition filed by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers. The manufacturers are requesting a waiver from the FCC that would exempt e-readers from the requirement that equipment used for advanced communication services (ACS) be accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities.

 
 

Reply Comments in Opposition to FCC E-Reader Waiver (September 13, 2013)

Reply Comments of the Association of Research Libraries to the Federal Communications Commission in Opposition of GC Docket No. 10-213, Petition for Class Waiver Regarding Access to Advanced Communication Services in E-Readers for People with Disabilities.

pdf FCC-reply-comments-ereaders-13Sept2013.pdf

 
 

Library Copyright Alliance Releases User Guide to Marrakesh Treaty for Blind

image © Dominique ArchambaultOn June 27, a Diplomatic Conference of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) held in Marrakesh, Morocco, adopted the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled. The Library Copyright Alliance has issued a new “User Guide to the Marrakesh Treaty” (PDF) by Jonathan Band. Read a condensed version of the user guide on the ARL Policy Notes blog.

 
 

Library Copyright Alliance Hails WIPO for Landmark Victory for the Blind

reading-a-braille-bookimage © Dominique ArchambaultThe Library Copyright Alliance applauds the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for finalizing the Treaty for the Blind, a treaty that will allow nations to share or make accessible copies for the print disabled in other countries, who, more often than not, have little access to reading materials. The treaty was signed on June 27 in Morocco.

 
 

LCA Files Amicus in HathiTrust Case, Joins Flood of Support from Higher Ed, Disability Groups, Nonprofits

hathitrust-logo-croppedHathiTrustOn June 3, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) filed an amicus brief (PDF) in support of HathiTrust and its partners as they defend their district court victory on appeal in the Second Circuit. LCA consists of three major library associations—the American Library Association, ARL, and the Association of College and Research Libraries—that collectively represent over 300,000 information professionals and thousands of libraries of all kinds throughout the US and Canada.

 
 

Research Library Issues, no. 281 (Dec. 2012): Special Issue on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities

rli281-coverThe ARL Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities released this report to bring much-needed attention to the challenges of print-disabled individuals who are seeking access to both print and digital library products and services. The report contains recommendations for research libraries to make information accessible to their full range of diverse users equitably. ARL believes that research libraries are poised to provide critical direction—along with academic leadership, IT, and disability services—on the service and technology planning, procurement, and licensing necessary to create a fully accessible information environment.

RLI issue 281 includes:

 
 

ARL to Host National Digital Stewardship Resident: Apply by April 5

washington-dc-skyline-by-ed-uthman-newsimage © Ed UthmanARL has been selected as one of ten host institutions for the inaugural National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) program, launched by the Library of Congress and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

 
 

ARL Publishes Report on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities

ARL has released the report (PDF) of its Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities, scheduled for final publication later this month in Research Libraries Issues(RLI). ARL formed the task force in May 2012 to expand upon the ongoing work of the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), of which ARL is a member, in support of an international instrument for the print disabled that is under active consideration by the World International Copyright Organization (WIPO).

 
 

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

Research libraries have a responsibility to make library collections and services universally accessible to their patrons. And as research libraries provide more content electronically to students, faculty members, researchers, and others, the role of libraries and other partners in their institutions and beyond is changing in the provision of information resources and services to patrons with disabilities.

pdf print-disabilities-tfreport02nov12.pdf

 
 

SPEC Kit 321: Services for Users with Disabilities (December 2010)

SPEC Kit 321 explores what services are being provided and how users are made aware of them; what assistive technologies are being offered today and who maintains them; which library staff have responsibility for providing services and how are they trained; and what service policies and procedures are in place for users with disabilities. It includes documentation from respondents that describe the services offered, the assistive technology that is available, service policies, user needs assessment, staff training materials, and job requirements for service coordinators.

This publication is available for purchase in both online and print versions. Download the spec-kit-purchase-options-2013.pdf  for complete pricing and purchase options information.

Link to the online SPEC Kit 321 on the ARL Digital Publications website.

 
 

In the Matter of Facilitating Access to Copyrighted Works for the Blind or Persons with Other Disabilities

Comments from ALA, ACRL, and ARL address the need for improved and expanded access to copyrighted works for the blind and persons with other disabilities.

pdf noi-comments-print-disabilities-28apr09.pdf

 
 

SPEC Kit 243: Service to Users with Disabilities (April 1999)

A scanned version of SPEC Kit 243 (Transforming Libraries 8) is available full view through HathiTrust. pdf View document here »

 
 

FCC Grants One-Year Waiver of E-Reader Accessibility Requirement

image © Terry MadeleyOn January 28, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a one-year waiver exempting e-readers from the requirement that equipment used for advanced communication services (ACS) be accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities. The FCC granted the waiver in response to a petition filed by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers, but limited the waiver to only one year despite the coalition’s request for an indefinite waiver. In the order granting the waiver (PDF), the FCC stated:

 
 

FCC to Decide E-Reader Waiver Petition by January 28

image © Terry MadeleyOn October 22, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau announced that the FCC needs more time to review a petition requesting a waiver for certain e-reader devices to be exempt from the FCC’s advanced communications accessibility requirements. The petition was filed by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers. The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau issued an order (PDF) granting a temporary waiver from the accessibility requirements for certain e-readers until January 28, 2014. During this temporary waiver period, the FCC will evaluate the merits of the petition and decide whether to grant or deny the waiver request. For more background, read about the reply comments ARL submitted to the FCC in September 2013 opposing the waiver.

 
 

Accessibility Summit to Be Held in Ottawa in 2014

image © Carleton UniversityCarleton University has announced the first International Summit on Accessibility, to be held July 12–15, 2014, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. This is the first international conference to promote access and inclusion in all aspects of life for persons with disabilities.

 
 

Institute for Internet Culture, Policy & Law to Highlight Privacy, Accessibility

cornell-u-professional-studies-campusimage © CornellPrivacy and accessibility issues will be featured at this year's Cornell University Institute for Internet Culture, Policy, and Law (ICPL), to be held September 18–20, 2013, at Cornell. The oldest IT, law, and policy conference in the US, ICPL has broadened its reach to address rapidly evolving legal, policy, and social concerns related to Internet culture. The number of participants is limited to 50, allowing for in-depth exploration of topics. Faculty; higher ed administrators; academic librarians; and IT, legal, policy, and student life professionals debate, learn, and share ideas, experiences, and expertise at the three-day institute. 

 
 
 
 

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