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Notes from ALAD and Universal Accessibility Interest Group’s first joint meeting ALA Annual Monday, 7/13/09

Notes from ALAD and Universal Accessibility Interest Group's first joint meeting Monday, 7/13/09, 8am-10am, Chicago, Hilton headquarters hotel


Attendees: Mary Cassner, Sarah Hamrick (Chair, ALAD), Linda Spiro, William Straub, Julia Gustafson, Adina Mulliken (Convener, UAIG)


  1. Introductions.
  2. Discussion on various accessibility topics:


-a Libguide someone has created about accessibility was mentioned

-accessibility of Libguides itself- the forms usually do not have form labels

-web accessibility in general

-assistive technology- several people said it does not get used much in their library

discussion about how often Jaws needs to be updated, some versions were more critical

discussion about how students use computers in libraries to drop-in between classes.  Most students have assistive technology they need on their own computer.


-definitions of disability in different contexts- deafness is not a disability at Gallaudet.

-Captioning and audio description

Difference between captioning and subtitles was discussed.  Some librarians ask the professor if subtitles are okay if captioning isn't commercially available.

When Gallaudet captions a video, they give a copy to the publisher to make available to others. 

The need for advocacy from libraries for more captioning and audio description from filmmakers was mentioned.

Audio description is description of the visual part of the film for blind people.

Costs of captioning can be several hundred dollars per hour of video.  Budgeting can be difficult because requests for captioning may fluctuate from semester to semester.

Availability of captioning on commercially produced DVDs varies.

Someone thinks Films for the Humanities are captioned.

Some DVDs won't play captioning.  Someone thought Motorola is good and Sony isn't (not sure).

Blu-ray was mentioned.  Some people think libraries will skip DVD and go to Blu-ray.


-The World Intellectual Property Organization is trying to establish narrower copyright standards than the US Chaffee Amendment allows.  Chaffee allows copyright exceptions for blind and visually impaired people, such as for making large print copies.  ALA is working to prevent this narrowing.


-Ruth Moon at College of the Redwoods made library introductory tutorials with captioning. 


-request for introductory materials about accessibility.  Sarah mentioned a book by Rhea Rubin.  Adina will post some items on ALA Connect.  Others are encouraged to post resources they find useful as well.


-Adina shared copies of the ASCLA wiki on Accessibility to Library Databases and Other Online Library Resources for People with Disabilities and the proposed ALA resolutions on Web Accessibility and Purchased Electronic Resources Accessibility (they were passed later).

 3.  Explanation of ALAD and UAIG:

Sarah Hamrick from Gallaudet has chaired ALAD for several years.  ALAD is a discussion group about academic library accessibility and disability issues.  ALAD is within the ASCLA division of ALA.


Adina and Sarah decided to start the Universal Accessibility Interest Group within the ACRL division of ALA so as to have a presence for accessibility issues within ACRL and to have the meeting included in the conference Event Planner and other promotional information under ACRL.  ALAD and UAIG are planning to have a joint discussion meeting again at Midwinter.  The Interest Group differs from ALAD in that the Interest Group needs to choose a new Convener each year.  Also, the Interest Group gets a small amount of funding and can take on projects or programs if wanted. 


4. Please consider being a Convener and let Adina know if you are interested.


5. Adina and Sarah will look into setting up virtual conference for Midwinter in January.


6. Meeting times for the Midwinter conference were discussed.  Monday at 8am is a good time for those present.  Suggestions from those who weren't able to attend are welcome.


Submitted by Adina Mulliken