Libraries must ensure that users of all abilities can successfully use the technologies we provide. Despite the many ethical and legal motivations, not all of our technologies meet accessibility standards. Ultimately, the responsibility for making technologies accessible falls to the developers and vendors, but it does not begin with them. Advocacy from library staff of all duties is crucial for ensuring that disability access is a priority in library technology.
This workshop provides a foundation of skills and knowledge for becoming an accessibility advocate for any library worker. Background on disability types, assistive technologies, standards, and laws will be provided. Basic technology accessibility concepts will be covered, including simple tests and questions for working with vendors. Depending on the interests and background of workshop attendees, additional topics may be explored such as document formats, metadata, or testing practices.
No technical expertise is required of participants, although some discussions will get into HTML and other semantic markup languages. Attendees should bring a laptop or similar device that will enable them to participate in activities. Some software installations may be required.