“Federated Repositories of Accessible Materials for Higher Education II” awarded a $1,175,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation | UVA Library News and Announcements

“By law, any material required for the education of a disabled student must be made accessible for them in a timely manner. In the United States, the legal obligation to provide accessible learning materials falls on individual educational institutions, and universities and colleges across the country are scrambling to meet their responsibilities to students with special information-access needs. The staff of disability services offices (DSOs) spend a great deal of time and effort remediating printed texts, transforming them into a variety of electronic formats to improve access for students with print disabilities. Because many of the same texts are commonly assigned at multiple institutions, the result is a wasteful duplication of effort as the DSO staff at each independent university must start the remediation work over again.

For the last two years, the University of Virginia Library has led a multi-institutional project to address this problem. With a two-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, University Librarian John Unsworth initiated an effort to create a web-based infrastructure allowing DSOs to share remediated texts, in order to reduce their nationwide duplication of effort, and thereby make it possible for the staff in these offices to achieve better outcomes for students in higher education….”

Ascending into an Open Future | American Libraries Magazine

“The modern academic library helps users to not just access and store information but to think through the implications of that information, Cottom observed in her keynote. “Access in and of itself is not a solution to unequal returns and experiences,” she said. She recommends The Promise of Access: Technology, Inequality, and the Political Economy of Hope (MIT Press, April) and “Information Has Value: The Political Economy of Information Capitalism” as two texts that underscore this view.

“Within the university, we rarely talk about the rights of our stakeholders to information, not just access,” Cottom said. “What would it look like for an academic community to develop a code of data rights?” She proposed that this code should be people-centered and would guide not just data privacy but also areas such as data autonomy….”

Accessibility of ETDs: Raising the Bar

“Accessibility of online content is of a focus of effort for many higher ed institutions. Electronic theses and dissertations are no exception to this, and graduate school and library staff have been working to improve the accessibility of content submitted by their graduate students. As part of the 2021 TxETDA webinar series, staff from Montana State University, Texas State University, and the University of Texas at Austin will describe the current status of accessibility in institutional repositories (based on a 2020 survey), talk about gaps in accessibility for ETDs, and share templates and workflow ideas for improving ETD accessibility.”

Postdoctoral Associate–Advancing Equity and Accessibility in Archives and Special Collections – Cambridge MA 02139

“POSTDOCTORAL ASSOCIATE–ADVANCING EQUITY AND ACCESSIBILITY IN ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, MIT Libraries-Center for Research on Equitable and Open Scholarship (CREOS), to conduct research in the areas of open and equitable scholarship under the guidance of the principal investigator Stephanie Frampton and in collaboration with library and faculty mentors, research scientists, and fellow postdocs. The research outcomes will inform future research, implementations, or adoptable resources for MIT Libraries and the broader library community.  Will focus on research related to identifying, assessing, developing, and promulgating best practices for advancing equity and accessibility in archives and special collections, with a particular focus on accessibility of digital collections for persons with disabilities. The first year will focus on identifying, describing, and analyzing existing accessibility practices and interventions to digital archives and special collections access; while the second will focus on designing prototypes and evaluating interventions within MIT Libraries’ Distinctive Collections….”

 

 

Fight for the Future – News – 2021-02-24-new-tool-shows-how-amazon-and-other-book

“WhoCanGetYourBook.com offers letter grades in accessibility and availability for books, laying bare prohibitive licensing costs, exclusive deals such as Amazon’s Audible Originals, and usability concerns that are keeping popular books out of the hands of our nation’s most-vulnerable readers….

The ‘Who can get your book?’ quiz offers authors and publishers a letter grade, granting one point for each equitable decision in how a book is released. For example, Trevor Noah’s Born A Crime receives a letter grade of D, based on the memoir’s lack of availability in audiobook format due to an exclusive with Amazon’s Audible—as well as restrictive licensing agreements for the ebook.

 

Access issues with audiobooks in particular don’t stop there. Despite an orientation to equity of access and rare download-and-own options for ebooks, PM Press’ Pictures Of A Gone City still received a C grade because the audiobook they paid to produce via Amazon’s ACX Services is only available on Audible….”

 

EIFL renews Bookshare agreement | EIFL

“EIFL has renewed its three-year agreement with Benetech, a technology company based in Silicon Valley, California, USA, for access to Bookshare, the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities….

As part of the renewed agreement, libraries in 20 EIFL countries can sign up for free to allow their print-disabled readers to use Bookshare:

 

Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Malawi, Moldova, Myanmar, Nepal, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe….”

Web Accessibility in the Institutional Repository: Crafting User-Centered Submission Policies: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  While institutional repositories have long focused on ensuring the availability of research, recent university initiatives have begun to focus on other aspects of open access, such as digital accessibility. Indiana University’s institutional repository (IR), IUScholarWorks, audited the accessibility of its existing content and created policies to encourage accessible submissions. No established workflows considering accessibility existed when this audit took place, and no additional resources were allocated to facilitate this shift in focus. As a result, the Scholarly Communication team altered the repository submission workflow to encourage authors to make their finished documents accessible with limited intervention. This paper shares an overview of the accessibility audit that took place, the changes made to our submission process, and finally provides tips and resources for universities who aim to integrate accessibility more thoroughly into their IR practices.

 

UNESCO launches new publication on accessible documentary heritage

“Marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2020, UNESCO has released a new publication aiming at assisting stakeholders in the preparation of documentary heritage in accessible formats for persons with disabilities.

 

The publication, Accessible Documentary Heritage, offers a set of guidelines for parties involved in the digitization of heritage documents, including librarians, archivists, museums workers, curators, and other stakeholders in carefully planning digital platforms and contents with a view to incorporating disability and accessibility aspects….”

Towards an Accessible Publishing Ecosystem | National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)

“The National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) is excited to announce the receipt of support from the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program – Disability Component (SDPP-D), a program designed to improve the participation and integration of people with disabilities in all aspects of Canadian society, with respect to social inclusion.

The funding of $1 million will enable NNELS to continue to improve equity in access and services for Canadian readers with disabilities, through partnerships with publishers, publisher associations, disability organizations, libraries, and other key stakeholders, as well as expansion of the NNELS collection. It will also allow NNELS to continue to build capacity and offer stable quality employment opportunities to people with print disabilities in the areas of accessibility testing, analysis, software development, and leadership….”