Digital Projects Specialist Mississippi State University Libraries
Making materials accessible to patrons is a major goal for any information institution. Information professionals want people to use the materials they have. Placing these materials online, or finding ways to promote born-digital materials, can certainly help increase the discoverability of these objects, but it does not always mean an increase in accessibility. Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is critical for libraries to ensure that any person can access and use their materials.
The idea of making all digital materials accessible can be overwhelming, as there is no singular way to make an item accessible. Depending on an institution’s resources, it may be impossible or impractical for all their materials to be made completely accessible. However, it is the responsibility of Information Professionals to make a good faith effort to implement accessibility in their digital collections. In this presentation, we will provide instruction on how you can evaluate your digital workflow for accessibility checkpoint, the types of accessibility necessary for the materials you’re placing online, and which stakeholders will be necessary for these conversations. As the Metadata Librarian and Digital Projects Specialist at Mississippi State University Libraries, we understand that accessibility is not a button to be pushed an ongoing and iterative process. The guides and strategies presented are examples of accessibility procedures, not hard and fast rules. Flexibility is key for any workflow and these examples illustrate different ways how accessibility can be implemented in a digitization workflow. We hope our presentation will encourage you to become more proactive in increasing the accessibility of your digital collections.
Evaluate and assess their current digital workflow for accessibility checks.
Evaluate their digital and to-be-digitized material through an ADA/WCAG compliant lens.
Implement accessibility points for an item by making the item itself and the metadata attached accessible.
Update their workflows to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the accessibility checkpoints and can help maintain or expand them.