“Can Accessibility Liberate The “Lost Ark” of Scholarly Work?: Universi” by Raizel Liebler and Gregory Cunningham

Abstract:  For any body of knowledge – an ark of power or a corpus of scholarship – to be studied and used by people, it needs to be accessible to those seeking information. Universities, through their libraries, now aim to make more of the scholarship produced available for free to all through institutional repositories. However, the goal of being truly open for an institutional repository is more than the traditional definition of open access. It also means openness in a more general sense. Creating a scholarship-based online space also needs to take into consideration potential barriers for people with disabilities. This article addresses the interaction between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and university academic library based institutional repositories. This article concludes that institutional repositories have an obligation to comply with the ADA to make scholarly works available to potential users with disabilities. For managers of institutional repositories, following the law is an opportunity to make scholarship even more widely available. University open access institutional repositories need to be accessible to existing and potential disabled users. However, there are no specific rules that university institutional repositories must follow to be compliant with the ADA’s “public accommodation” standard. Accessibility is a changeable, moveable wall, consistently and constantly needing to be additionally inclusive of more – more technology and more users, regardless of disability or limitations. Institutional repositories should not become the crated Ark of the Covenant with their secrets locked inside; instead, they should be as open as possible to all, sharing the scholarship inside.

 

 

 

White Paper Examines Providing Access to Texts in Context of Civil Rights and Copyrights – Association of Research Libraries

“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the University of Virginia (UVA) Library are pleased to release a white paper, The Law and Accessible Texts: Reconciling Civil Rights and Copyrights, authored by Brandon Butler (UVA), Prue Adler (ARL), and Krista Cox (ARL). This white paper, part of a project supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, analyzes how institutions of higher education can meet their mission of providing all students with equitable access to information within the current legal framework. Ensuring access to research and learning materials is critical in protecting the civil rights of people with disabilities….”

Making Open Access Accessible – Home

“The great benefit of making items open access is that, supposedly, anyone with access to the internet can read them. However, many open access advocates don’t always think about people different from them, especially those who are not always able to read or hear what is online. Too often the items we put online that are either open access or promote open access are not made to work with these needs. 

I put together this website to try to address one small area of this problem – online videos promoting open access and other open topics – through the power of crowd sourcing….”

The 5:AM Altmetric conference took place from 25th-28th September 2018 at the London School of Advanced Study – Leeds University Library Blog

The School of Advanced Study is in Senate House or, if you’ve seen the film of George Orwell’s 1984 starring John Hurt, the Ministry of Truth, fitting perhaps for a conference considering the modern information environment where science communication vies online with “fake news”.

Accessibility and Digital Content/Creation | REBUS Foundation

“In the Fall of 2017, Rebus Foundation Assistant Director, Zoe Wake Hyde, took part in a roundtable discussion at University of California, focusing on making digital content and creation more accessible for people with disabilities. The gathering was convened by the Authors Alliance, the Silicon Flatirons Center, and the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, and it brought together a diverse group of participants.

That meeting generated the report, Authorship and Accessibility in the Digital Age, which is now available on the Author’s Alliance Website. Zoe’s thoughts on the experience, including the written report, offer a uniquely Rebus perspective….”

Internet Archive expands access to millions of books for people with disabilities | Internet Archive Blogs

“Now, disabled users that are certified by a growing number of organizations can borrow hundreds of thousands of modern books and download mostly older books all for free.

Individuals that are already a qualified user of  NLS-BARDBookshare, or Ontario Council of University Libraries Scholar’s Portal (ACE)  can link their archive.org accounts and gain access.

Individuals that are are affiliated with any of these organizations can contact them to authorize their archive.org account for print-disabled access….”

Time for accessible journals | Research Information

“The case for making publications accessible is so obvious and has been made so often that I won’t waste time here setting out those arguments. You know that accessibility is the right thing to do.

What you may not know is that making a publication accessible has recently become a whole lot more straightforward – and that your publications today are closer to being made properly accessible – than you realise….”

Sporsho’s Journey of Conquering Vision | The Daily Star

“Besides publishing Braille books, Nazia and her team at Sporsho have also been working to give visually impaired students an open space for learning and self-development. Sporsho is developing an audio library for these students where they can study freely. Sporsho also organises music, poetry recitation and indoor games classes for the visually impaired students. “My dream is to build an open knowledge centre for all where visually impaired youths will get completely barrier free access. They will reach it and study without any discrimination just like any other student. By initiating knowledge and learning based activities, Sporsho’s dream is to establish an inclusive, discrimination-free society for all, especially for the visually impaired people,” says a hopeful Nazia….”