Universal Accessibility Interest Group

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last person joined: 6 days ago 

Charge: Offers librarians, support staff, students, and other advocates networking and collaboration opportunities, information sharing and programming to promote accessibility in academic libraries, including web accessibility, assistive technology, reference and instruction for users with disabilities and captioning processes.
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  • 1.  August Announcements

    Posted Aug 15, 2023 02:03 PM
    Edited by Anaya Jones Aug 15, 2023 02:05 PM

    Hello Universal Accessibility Interest Group!

    We're nearing the end of another summer and gearing up for another fall.

    For any new members: Welcome! We're excited to learn with you. For our longstanding members, we're glad you're here.

    Personally, this is about the time of year I lament how quickly time passes. For ALA Interest Groups, this means it's time for leadership transitions.


    Please give Trisha Prevett Whiteman a big round of proverbial digital applause in thanks for her two years shepherding this interest group. We appreciate her tenacity!

    This year, we are welcoming two incoming co-conveners!

    • Bridgid Fennell is a Research & Instructional Services Librarian at California State University, Los Angeles. Her research interests include information literacy, instructional design, and accessibility.
    • Cathy Lantz is a Reference & Liaison Librarian at the University of Illinois Chicago. As the co-chair of the Library Accessibility Committee at UIC, she works with campus partners to support students with disabilities and to promote accessibility initiatives. She's collaborated on one study on the accessibility content of library websites and hopes to further develop a research agenda related to accessibility in libraries.

    In the news

    • The Justice department and the Department of Educations jointly released a Dear Colleague letter that outlines Universitys' legal requirements for accessibility and makes for an easy to understand and compelling piece of evidence we can use when talking to our less-accessibility-enthusiastic colleagues.
    • The Department of Justice ("Department") is proposing to revise the regulation implementing title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") in order to establish specific requirements, including the adoption of specific technical standards, for making accessible the services, programs, and activities offered by State and local government entities to the public through the web and mobile apps. The Department is seeking public feedback on its proposal, which aims to clarify how State and local governments can meet their existing ADA obligations as their activities increasingly shift online. 

      For a high-level summary of the NPRM (opens in a new window), read the fact sheet (opens in a new window). The Department has also published a press release (opens in a new window). Members of the public can submit comments on the NPRM (opens in a new winow) online by October 3, 2023. Comments may also be mailed to the Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 440528, Somerville, MA 02144.

    New: Polls!

    You may have seen our silly proof of concept poll last week- We asked you what your favorite season is, and Autumn is currently in the lead, second only to cookie season. In an effort to get to know our members better, we'll be posting short, anonymous polls related to our discussion topics each month. These polls should be easy to answer and give you a way to participate even when you don't have time to write detailed responses. Look out for them with upcoming posts, and let us know what you think!

    This month, we want to know: How is Accessibility related to your job responsibilities?

    View results

    Anaya Jones She/Her/Hers
    Accessibility & Online Learning Librarian
    Northeastern University