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:
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.”
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.”
image © 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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
image © 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.
image © 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.
HathiTrustOn 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.
The 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:
image © 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 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).
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.
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.
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.
A scanned version of SPEC Kit 243 (Transforming Libraries 8) is available full view through HathiTrust. View document here »