ARL has been engaging issues relating to accessibility for several years.
In 2012, ARL formed a Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities to investigate technological, legal, and service challenges for the research library community in providing access for the print disabled. Print disabilities include visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disabilities that render print inaccessible. The Report of the ARL Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities (PDF) outlines a framework, identifies critical partners, and raises awareness in the community around inclusive design of technology and services.
ARL advocated strongly over a number of years at the World Intellectual Property Organization for a treaty for the visually impaired, which was approved in June 2013. The “Marrakesh Treaty” will significantly improve access to books for millions of people who are blind, visually impaired, and print disabled.
On the third annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD), May 15, 2014, ARL launched a new resource for the library community—a Web Accessibility Toolkit for research libraries. ARL’s toolkit shares the fundamental goal of GAAD which is to ”raise the profile” of digital accessibility and provide resources for improving access to information to “the broadest audience possible.”
ARL is strongly committed to providing access to its own web content to people with disabilities and is currently working to comply with the requirements of W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA (WCAG 2.0 AA). View ARL's accessibility policy.
ARL Publications and Resources
- Web Accessibility Toolkit (May 2014)
- Letter in Opposition to the FCC E-Reader Waiver (PDF) (December 2013)
- Reply Comments in Opposition to the FCC E-Reader Waiver (PDF) (Sepember 2013)
- Report of ARL Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities (PDF) (November 2012)
- Accessibility Matters: a Deque blog: Deque provides private consulting, training and software development to organizations for digital accessibility
- Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD): An annual event to get people talking, thinking, and learning about digital accessibility and users with different disabilities.
Accessibility Policies and Practices
- Penn State University Libraries' Web Accessibility Plan
- Model Licensing Language for Accessibility: Based on several existing model license language on accessibility, a starting place to begin consideration of these issues.
- IFLA Principles for Library E-Lending: Includes a statement about copyright exceptions available to libraries to "re-format a work to enable print disabled access."
Associations and Organizations
- American Council of the Blind (ACB)
- Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), ALA: Think Accessible Before You Buy: An ASCLA Toolkit
- Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
- National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
- The Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities: In 2011, the Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities (AIM Commission) released a report to Congress that focused on improving access to instructional materials for students with disabilities in a timely and cost-effective manner.
- Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, US Department of Justice: Up to date links to Americans with Disabilities Act, regulations, and standards for accessible design.
- Office of Civil Rights, US Department of Education: Reports and resources from the Department of Education including legislation, regulation and policy guidance.