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Ensuring Accessibility in Research Library Services and Design: Legal, Technological, and Community-based Issues Prudence Adler, Association of Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Ensuring Accessibility in Research Library Services and Design: Legal, Technological, and Community-based Issues Prudence Adler, Association of Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ensuring Accessibility in Research Library Services and Design: Legal, Technological, and Community-based Issues Prudence Adler, Association of Research Libraries Institute for Internet Culture, Policy, and Law Cornell University September 19, 2013

2 Complaints and Settlements Case Western Reserve Reed College Pace University Arizona State University Princeton University Darden School of Business, UVA Louisiana Tech University

3 Complaints and Settlements (continued) Penn State University Florida State University Free Library of Philadelphia Sacramento Public Library Ongoing: University of Montana

4 Letter to Colleges and Universities “Requiring use of an emerging technology in a classroom environment when the technology is inaccessible to an entire population of individuals with disabilities—individuals with visual disabilities—is discrimination prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) unless those individuals are provided accommodations or modifications that permit them to receive all the educational benefits provided by the technology in an equally effective and equally integrated manner.” 6/29/2010

5 NFB Response to EDUCAUSE and I2 E-textbook Pilot “Although we support the use of e- textbooks at colleges and universities, we are shocked and dismayed that you are moving forward with the program without first correcting the obvious accessibility barriers that prevent blind students from participating.”

6 US Law and Disability Policies Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990— Titles I, II, III Rehabilitation Act of 1973—Section 504 Rehabilitation Act, 1998 Amendment—Section 508 Copyright Act—Sections 107, 110(8), and 121 Department of Justice—Civil Rights Division Department of Education—Office of Civil Rights AIM Commission The Authors Guild v. HathiTrust

7 Chafee Amendment—Section 121 Copies may be distributed to “individuals with a disability” who are certified by a competent authority as unable to read normal printed material as a result of physical limitations.

8 Chafee Amendment—Section 121 (continued) Under Chafee, copies can be made by an authorized entity—a government agency or a nonprofit organization—that has a “primary mission to provide specialized services relating to training, education, or adaptive reading or information access needs of blind or other persons with disabilities.”

9 The Authors Guild v. HathiTrust HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world. 76 partner libraries and 2 consortia.

10 The Authors Guild v. HathiTrust (continued) Fair use is a supplement to Section 108. Mass digitization for search, preservation, and accessibility is fair use and is transformative. Use of entire work is fair use. ADA requires and fair use and Chafee Amendment allow digitization for accessibility. Library collections must be equally accessible to the print disabled.

11 The Authors Guild v. HathiTrust (continued) “The ADA requires that libraries of educational institutions have a primary mission to reproduce and distribute their collections to print-disabled individuals, making each library a potential ‘authorized entity’ under the Chafee Amendment.” – Judge Baer, Jr., October 10, 2012

12 The Authors Guild v. HathiTrust (continued) “I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that would not encompass the transformative uses made by [HDL] and would require that I terminate this invaluable contribution to the progress of science and cultivation of the arts that at the same time effectuates the ideals espoused by the ADA." – Judge Baer, Jr., October 10, 2012

13 AIM Commission Key recommendations of AIM include: Congress should authorize the US Access Board to establish guidelines for accessible instructional materials that will be used by government, in the private sector, and in postsecondary academic settings. Congress should review the scope, effectiveness, and function of the Copyright Act as amended (section 121, the Chafee Amendment) to determine whether it or any of its key component elements, as well as its implementation through applicable regulations, need to be updated to adequately address the needs of individuals with print disabilities, including those enrolled in postsecondary education.

14 AIM Commission (continued) Opportunities for capacity building within postsecondary educational institutions are essential for improving the ability of these institutions to provide accessible instructional materials to students with disabilities.

15 Canadian Accessibility Law Canadian accessibility law is under provincial or state jurisdiction. Recent updates to Canadian copyright law, the Copyright Modernization Act, include education and accessibility provisions. The bill provides “amendments to the exceptions available to educational institutions, libraries, museums, archives, and persons with a ‘perceptual disability’ in order to facilitate the use of digital technologies and make the provisions more technologically neutral.”

16 Model US License Licensor shall comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), by supporting assistive software or devices such as large-print interfaces, text-to-speech output, refreshable braille displays, voice-activated input, and alternate keyboard or pointer interfaces in a manner consistent with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines published by the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative. Licensor shall provide Licensee current completed Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) to detail compliance with the federal Section 508 standards. In the event that the Licensed Materials are not Accessibility compliant, the Licensee may demand that the Licensor promptly make modifications that will make the Licensed Materials Accessibility compliant; in addition, in such an event, the Licensee shall have right to modify or copy the Licensed Materials in order to make it useable for Authorized Users.

17 Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) Draft Language for Model Licenses Definition Accessible Formats Content must be perceivable and operable by persons with visual, perceptual, or physical disabilities and be useable with assistive devices, such as screen readers and screen reading software. Formats need to comply with the Accessibility Laws within Canada, including the Information and Communication Standards of Ontario Regulation 191/11, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, To address the requirements of the Act, web content must conform with the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, initially at Level A and increasing to Level AA.

18 Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) Draft Language for Model Licenses (continued) Persons with Visual, Perceptual or Physical Disabilities Licensed Materials must be provided in a format accessible to Authorized Users with visual, perceptual, or physical disabilities. In the event that the Licensed Materials are not Accessibility compliant, as defined in 1.0, the Member Institution shall have the right to modify or copy the Licensed Material in order to make it useable to Authorized Users, within the framework of this Agreement.

19 WIPO Marrakesh Treaty Requires Contracting Parties to adopt copyright exceptions that allow, under certain conditions: the making of accessible format copies; the domestic distribution of accessible format copies; the export of accessible format copies; and the import of accessible format copies.

20 WIPO Marrakesh Treaty (continued) Article 10(3) provides, “Contracting Parties may fulfill their rights and obligations under this treaty through limitations or exceptions specifically for the benefit of beneficiary persons, other limitations or exceptions, or a combination thereof…”

21 WIPO Marrakesh Treaty (continued)

22 Typical Reformatting Workflow Capture a digital still image of a page using a digital photocopier, flatbed scanner, or specialized book scanner. Run OCR software on the page image to automatically extract electronic text. Repeat step 1 if the OCR process yields too many errors due to a poor-quality scan. Repeat steps 1–3 for each page of text to be reformatted.

23 Typical Reformatting Workflow (continued) Ensure that the reading order is proper (if there are columns, footnotes, sidebars, etc.). Edit the digital copy for OCR errors and add additional description, if needed. Convert pages containing mathematical symbols to MathML using one of a number of open source or inexpensive programs. Deliver a final digital copy of the text in the requested accessible format.

24 Recommendations Retrospective print library collections and prospective digital library resources require very different strategies to achieve accessibility for patrons with print disabilities. Universal accessibility should be embedded in future licensed and acquired products and services so special conversion to a usable format will only be required for retrospective works. With born-digital texts, e-readers, and other mobile devices, research libraries should advocate for accessible solutions up front—born-accessible materials—obviating the need for resource- intensive reformatting and retrofitting.

25 Recommendations (continued) The growing demand for instructional e-content and burgeoning digital library collections requires greater collaboration amongst all institutional partners, including academic leadership, research libraries, disability services, and information technology services. These partners should share knowledge, define roles, and become knowledgeable about print disabilities, in order to effectively serve users, to meet the requirements of federal and provincial law, to fulfill mission, and to move the market.

26 Recommendations (continued) Members of the research library community should collaborate within each institution and actively participate in cross-institutional and cross-industry efforts to advance universal design standards for digital information resources, library-mediated or otherwise. Such collaboration will also be most cost effective in acquiring accessible information products and services. Research libraries should institute a plan to make all future websites, pages, and documents accessible while tackling older web resources over time.

27 National Digital Stewardship Residency Developing and promoting policies and services to make digital assets of research libraries accessible. To strengthen and expand a new initiative on digital accessibility in research libraries by incorporating a universal design approach to library collections and services. A suite of solutions, organizational models, and best practices for the research library community will be compiled so that the research library community may collect, produce, curate, preserve, and make available their digital assets in a fully inclusive and accessible way.

28 Report of ARL Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities (PDF)


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