Why are organizations continuing to be blind to accessibility?
When we see a person struggling in a wheelchair to navigate a curb with no ramp, we get frustrated and help the person out. In most cases we don't see people who are struggling to read digital content and therefore the issue is not as obvious to the public. It is not until a lawsuit has been filed that the public hears about the persistent issues around digital content accessibility. Even today, we have organizations that have not addressed accessibility to make digital content available to the sight impaired. Why are businesses and organizations still blind to accessibility and what can they do to become compliant?
The evolution of accessibility: upgrading the experience for all users
From learning disorders to reading disorders to hearing, visual, and physical impairments, how do we ensure that every user is able to use the library to its fullest potential? This session will discuss the needs of ALL users, and answer a range of questions: How should digital services support the different kinds of accessibility requirements? How do we make all aspects of library systems equally available to all users by adhering to accessibility standards and usability best practices? How do we actually comprehend our users’ accessibility needs in the first place? And how do we keep our services continuously up-to-date in order to meet our users’ accessibility needs as we deploy new tools in our libraries?
Looking for an accessible open science: overcoming barriers within SciELO Network
People with disabilities and / or the elderly, who currently represent 45% of the world population, especially those associated with Higher Education and research institutions, have reported significant difficulties in guaranteeing their rights to accessible information. Therefore, it is important to portray the current situation of accessibility in the interfaces of the SciELO Brazil collection and in their respective digital assets. In light of this objective, an accessibility assessment was carried out on the SciELO Network website pages. The results indicated absences of: alternative text for images; link labels; page language indication; among others. Considering 82,716 (19.5%) scientific articles from 9,045 volumes published between 2017 and 2020, 205,921 figures and 173,976 tables were prospected. Although 95.05% of the tables are encoded in HTML (98.29% with descriptive labels and 98.18% with captions), none of the analyzed articles presented essential elements for the transmission of information to assistive technologies. This scenario highlights the need to adopt standards to promote accessibility in all stages of the flow of production and dissemination of knowledge.