Making Electronic Resources Accessible in Libraries

by Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph.D., University of Washington

As a result of medical advancements, legislation, and changing attitudes, more individuals with disabilities are pursuing postsecondary studies, succeeding in careers, and participating in community life. Technology plays a role in their level of success. However, some individuals who have assistive technology do not have access to all Internet content and other electronic resources because of their inaccessible design. Inaccessible products include library websites, online catalogs, electronic books, indexes to literature, full-text journal articles, and electronic reserve services.

This publication focuses on how libraries can ensure that everyone has access to their electronic resources. It discusses access, legal, and policy issues and presents recommendations for practice. The field of universal design provides a framework for this discussion.

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