Enhancing visibility of vendor accessibility documentation
Willis, Samuel K.
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Kent Willis, Samuel, and Faye O’Reilly. 2018. “Enhancing Visibility of Vendor Accessibility Documentation.” Information Technology & Libraries 37 (3): 12–28. doi:10.6017/ital.v37i3.10240.
With higher education increasingly being online or having online components, it is important to ensure that online materials are accessible for persons with print and other disabilities. Library-related research has focused on the need for academic libraries to have accessible websites, in part to reach patrons who are participating in distance-education programs. A key component of a library's website, however, is the materials it avails to patrons through vendor platforms outside the direct control of the library, making it more involved to address accessibility concerns. Librarians must communicate the need for accessible digital files to vendors so they will prioritize it. In much the same way as contracted workers constructing a physical space for a federal or federally funded agency must follow ADA standards for accessibility, so software vendors should be required to design virtual spaces to be accessible. A main objective of this study was to determine a method of increasing the visibility of vendor accessibility documentation for the benefit of our users. It is important that we, as service providers for the public good, act as a bridge between vendors and the patrons we serve.