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Adina Mulliken's picture

Notes from Libraries for Universal Accessibility (LUA) conference call 7/8/13

Notes from Libraries for Universal Accessibility (LUA) conference call 7/8/13

Attendees: Debra Riley-Huff, Adina Mulliken (recorder), Laura Lillard, Melissa Cardenas-Dow, Amy Wilms (sp?),  Jim Tobias, John Siegal, Karen Russ (sp?), Jane Vincent, Doug Joubert, Mireille Djenno, Alec McFarlane.


The call began with introductions.

Adina gave an overview of the site.

Melissa is interested to promote the site among APALA and instruction librarians’ groups she is involved with. 

We are at a point of looking for volunteers to contribute content to the site.

Someone suggested a template for reviewing resources along the lines of the Charleston review. 

John and Karen have a Libguide about what their library does for accessibility that they could contribute, as well as a guide about database accessibility that their librarians use that they can post.

Alec has a guide to library accessibility for people who are Deaf that he can post.

There was discussion about balancing the value of doing reviews that are as useful as possible  with the amount of time and expertise volunteers may have available to contribute reviews.

The site currently says “Volunteer reviewers will have varying levels of experience regarding accessibility, and are not expected to be experts. …. Some volunteer reviewers will contribute their experience of usability of a resource as a person with a disability and others will contribute from the point of view of a person without a disability…. When reading reviews on this site, please use your judgment and additional information about technical standards and policy requirements to supplement your understanding.”

John and Karen will create a listserv for people involved in LUA .

Alec McFarlane's picture

Ladies and Gentlemen

My reference at the LUA Conference Call was to the "Guidelines for Library and Information Services for the American Deaf Community" (ISBN 0-8389-7807-x) as printed and produced in 1996 by the ASCLA subcommittee: Guidelines for Library Services to people who are Deaf or Hearing Impaired and edited by Martha L. Goddard.  This is the last I know of for these particular guidelines, but there is a new chair and I believe they are underway in rewriting these as we speak (see below).  I will need to ask permission to post this guideline in its entirety on the LUA website, but given it is an ASCLA product I think it may be doable.

I need to find, also, the IFLA Guidelines for the Deaf as edited by John Day at a time approximating '96.  I will follow up on this.

The current chair of the ASCLA subcommittee - Guidelines for Lib & Info Svs for American Deaf Community is as follows: 

Jolene Bertloff, MLIS
Interpreter for Deaf & Hard of Hearing
FRID Qualified / EIPA
NAD, RID, & ALA Member
As we spoke of during the conference call, we need to have something of a central repository (and laboratory, if you will) of our various guidelines (and templates for the same).  While we need to find common ground, we also need to find specialties and how they all relate.  The word "Universal" has its implications and that is our challenge.  The role we all play goes back to the role that the ALA plays in developing policy for libraries of all types in America... and indeed Worldwide in its partnership with the IFLA.  
My interest in this committee's activities comes from the fact that I serve as the leader of the ASCLA-LSSP SIG Bridging Deaf Cultures @ Your Library, and also serve on the DCWG Accessibility subcommittee that is more or less focused on eBooks and the accessibility of the same.  Our committee meeting report has not been released yet, but we have discussed the accessibility of various eReaders such as the iPad, Kindle, and the Nook and the need to motivate publishers to make accessibility the first step, not an afterthought.  Some of the comments I have heard at various meetings in Chicago, including the Culture House Libraries: New Models for New Times program as well as the DCWG Communications subcommittee on Sunday echo those of our own meeting.
The position I am arguing for, without regard to committee or charge, is that the ALA should be pushing for the inclusion of accessible technologies from the get go, the beginning.  Even the evening news (a live program) has a script (before) and a transcript (after); the fulcrum of technology should be the utilization of digital power to transcend boundaries.  Think Unicode and the ability to translate, transcribe, subtitle and caption in multiple languages; captioning that has nothing to do with whether or not you can hear.
Please feel free to contact me, share my contact information, and share the references contained herein.
Alec C. McFarlane
Library for Deaf Action (LDA)
2930 Craiglawn Rd.
Silver Spring, MD 20904-1816
ALA Member #2004704
ASCLA & United for Libraries Division Member
Bridging Deaf Cultures @ Your Library
The Red Notebook
I Made America Great
Bridging Deaf Cultures - The Series


Alec McFarlane


Alec McFarlane's picture

CORRECTION:  I reference Culture House Libraries: New Models for New Times in error, I was talking about the ALA, eBooks, and Digital Content: What's Next  program which featured DCWG or Digital Content Working Group committee members.  Taken together this represents one of the four meetings I attended in regard to the DCWG and Universal Access committee activities.

Alec McFarlane