Accessibility Basics

What is accessibility?

Accessibility is the practice of “address[ing] discriminatory aspects related to equivalent user experience for people with disabilities. Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can equally perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with websites and tools. It also means that they can contribute equally without barriers.” The World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) offers a helpful article on accessibility, usability, and inclusion, which “explains the distinctions and overlaps between accessibility, usability, and inclusive design; encourages increased coordination across research and practice in these disciplines; and points out the importance of maintaining the focus of accessibility on people with disabilities.”

The Library Accessibility Alliance (LAA) has also created a toolkit intended to be a living document to provide libraries with resources related to library accessibility. The toolkit includes sections for general library accessibility, library physical space accessibility, library e-resource accessibility, accessible library instructional design, terminology, tools, and legal considerations. 

What is digital accessibility?  

“Digital accessibility is the ability of a website, mobile application or electronic document to be easily navigated and understood by a wide range of users, including those users who have visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities.” The University of Chicago Center for Digital Accessibility offers helpful frequently asked questions on this topic, as does Harvard University

How can I stay up to date with issues as they relate to accessibility in libraries? 

The toolkit’s training and accessibility networks page includes resources for training, list serves, conferences, and general information to help you connect and stay informed.

Where can I find more information on accessibility best practices?

We’ve created lists of reference & instruction support literature and basics of accessibility literature. In addition, see the following external resources:

What questions or feedback do you have? 

Let us know using our DUX Accessibility Toolkit feedback form