The procurement process is complex, and accessibility should be one of the significant components of this process. The Public Library Accessibility Resource Center (PLARC) has developed the procurement guidelines for purchasing and licensing online digital resources and content.
Accessibility in Libraries
Asking vendors about the accessibility of their products ensures that you provide the most inclusive content and reading systems available for your patrons. This is important because not all content, online services, and reading systems have accessibility built into them by design.
Asking vendors about the accessibility of their e-resource platforms (websites, apps, and reading platforms) ensures that you provide the most inclusive reading experience for library patrons. This is important because not all online services and reading systems have accessibility built into them by design.
Use this checklist when procuring e-resource platforms (websites, apps, or reading platforms) to help you determine if the platforms are accessible. Investing in accessible e-resources at the procurement stage will ensure that they are easier to maintain and upgrade and are more likely to be compatible with assistive technologies.
Evaluating the vendors and companies that libraries purchase from will provide a better idea of how accessible their products will be. If the companies have accessibility policies, employ persons with lived experiences, and have accessibility documentation, it is much likelier that the products they supply libraries are accessible.
We suggest you use this checklist as a guide for library staff when they are starting their accessibility journey or when you provide staff training. The information is summarized from the Accessibility 101 webinar, slides, and the “Quick Reference: Accessibility 101” document.
The Book Riot article, Best Dyslexia-Friendly Books for Kids by Rachel Rosenburg, lists 12 awesome books for people with dyslexia. The books, written and formatted for children with dyslexia, are organized into categories like picture books, chapter books, and graphic novels.
The Library Accessibility Features web page by Lisa Kovak discusses the changed libraries can and should make to conform with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The features discussed on this page include materials, programming, equipment and services, and how to contact the library.
The American Library Association encourages members and library staff to create materials that are accessible for both library patrons and co-workers. The accessibility resources they provide cover accessible documents (in Word and PDFs), adding alternative text in different technology platforms, and testing the accessibility of the resources.
This recording of the Creating Accessible Documents webinar guides you through how to make an accessible Word document, including accessible tables, images, and document structure. The webinar includes demonstrations and examples of how you can start creating accessible documents.
The slides for the Creating Accessible Documents webinar are now available. Learn more about how to accessibly format your Word documents by using Styles.
The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) provides resources for libraries to create accessible programming for kids and teens. The resources include tips for making your programming inclusive, considerations about the physical spaces of your programming, and examples of accessible programming.
The Toronto Public Library (TPL) presents a Social Story to help children become familiar with their library. Social Stories are learning tools for children that describe different experiences and situations they will encounter when visiting their public library. TPL suggests that parents or teachers read this story with their children one or more times before visiting the library to make them feel comfortable about their visit.
The Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) provides content for people with print disabilities and has webinars for libraries and library staff to help them create accessible services and support the needs of their patrons with disabilities. This webinar explores how libraries can support readers with dyslexia.
To get you started on your accessibility journey, we’ve summarized information from the Accessibility 101 webinar. The fact and links in this training resource will help you establish foundational knowledge that you can build on.
The National Disability Authority (NDA) is an Irish organization that works with the Irish Government on policies and practices relevant to the lives of persons with disabilities. The NDA promotes universal design and provides the 7 Principles of Universal Design to help ensure buildings, spaces, information, and products are accessible to all.
This website provides a WCAG compliance checklist that you can use to evaluate your digital content and a very comprehensive list of resources relevant to digital accessibility. This is one of the broader resource lists available online, and they do a great job breaking them down into relevant categories.
This document gathers links, citations, and other resources related to accessibility audits, technologies required for audits, and developers’ resources. The resources are sorted into different categories for ease of use.
Accessibility interview questions list potential job interview questions meant to gauge someone’s understanding of digital accessibility.
This resource provides a quick overview of accessibility settings that library staff can use on Android devices. It could be helpful for troubleshooting with a patron having issues with an Android device.