Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Accessible by (Universal) Design

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Accessible by (Universal) Design

Article excerpt

My awareness of the importance of accessibility in libraries (and my motivation for editing this issue of Library Technology Reports) began when I was a reference and instruction librarian at Ohio University, an institution with a strong commitment to accessibility for its large community of disabled patrons. This ethic then solidified when I was E-learning librarian at UC Berkeley between 2008 and 2010, where I had the opportunity to work closely with a colleague and disability advocate Lucy Greco on an e-textbook accessibility initiative. Lucy, who has been blind from birth, transformed my understanding of the word access. She helped me perceive that not only should librarians understand the need for accessible spaces and services, we have the power to advocate for this ethic among vendors and in wider society. (1)

All it takes to become an accessibility advocate is basic awareness and a commitment to fostering universal design in your organization. It is my hope that this issue of Library Technology Reports has contributed to your understanding of the fundamentals of accessible practice in libraries, and moreover, that it has empowered you to begin putting this knowledge into practice in the following ways:

* Standards. Build actionable knowledge into accessibility best practices and standards, as well as meaningful awareness of the disabled user experience. …

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