Workshop on Web Accessibility in Digital Libraries

Constellation F: Tuesday, November 1, 8:30 – 10:00AM

This workshop is limited to 40 participants. If you are registered for the Forum and would like to participate in this workshop, please leave your full name in the comments section below. The first 40 to comment will make the participant list, the next 5 after that will be on the wait list. After 45 comments have been posted, the comments section will close and the lists will be posted on this page.

Participants are asked to bring a laptop on which they have the capability of installing browser plug-ins and add-ons. UPDATE: Firefox browser extensions will be involved in this workshop. It is not required to install these extensions, but in order to save time, participants who wish to use these extensions are encouraged to install them before the workshop. Installation instructions are available for all browser extensions that will be used in the workshop.

In this workshop, techniques will be shared for evaluating online digital library resources for web accessibility and offer ways to solve common problems of inaccessibility. Web accessibility means considering all abilities and disabilities when designing or choosing an online resource. Providing an online resource that is accessible improves the experience for everyone, including those with disabilities. While there is no substitute for actual user testing, there are many tools available that can expose potential accessibility barriers for issues like screen reading software, color contrast, keyboard-only use, and mobile device use.

The workshop will begin with participants learning how web accessibility tools can help evaluate an online digital library resource for accessibility. Next, participants will review a manageable set of web accessibility tools out of the many useful tools available (the workshop will also cover ways to find web accessibility tools). Then, the workshop will go hands-on and participants will try these tools by evaluating a site of the participant’s choosing (preferably something from the participant’s own digital library). Based on these evaluations, participants will learn the benefits and limitations of using web accessibility tools and the meaning of results from web accessibility evaluations for recommending or making changes. Techniques to solve common web accessibility issues will be shared. By the end of this session, participants will be empowered to support accessibility of online digital library resources, providing improved access and improved overall experience to everyone, including those with disabilities.

Session Leader

Julie Hardesty has worked in the Indiana University Digital Library Program for almost 4 years and is active in the IT Accessibility/Usability Working Group within the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). She has been involved in web development, usability, and web accessibility at Indiana University since 2000.


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