RECOMMENDED: Empowering GLAM Institutions: The Launch of Digital Library Accessibility Policy and Practice Guidelines

The Digital Library Federation (DLF) recently published the Digital Library Accessibility Policy and Practice Guidelines, a “collaborative document provides guidance for GLAM institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums) to implement accessibility best practices through policies and workflows.”

From the announcement:

Some topics discussed and key takeaways include:

  • Policies should commit to accessibility, name standards like WCAG for each type of content, provide contact info, and define monitoring processes.
  • Procedures should cover ingestion, content types, software and tools used, who will perform accessibility tasks, and uphold applicable standards included in policies.
  • Get institutional buy-in by emphasizing the user benefits, increased usage, and legal requirements. Budget for staff time, tools, or vendor services.
  • Accessibility cannot be achieved in a silo, and is a shared responsibility. Distribute responsibility vertically and horizontally. Accessibility specialists should guide work, administrators supply resources, and all project participants have duties.
  • Integrate accessibility into all phases like planning, design, testing, and maintenance. Spread the cost throughout the lifecycle.
  • Follow standards like WCAG for web content, PDF/UA for documents, and include transcripts, captions, and descriptions with Audio/Visual content. Use inclusive language in metadata.

The guide was created by Calida Barboza, Rebecca Bayeck, Amy Drayer, Jacqueline Frank, Gabe Galson, Mary Hricko, Rachel Hu, Bonnie Russell, Lydia Tang, and Wendy Guerra. Additional support was provided by the DLF Policies and Workflows subgroup, the Digital Accessibility Working Group, and the extended community of accessibility enthusiasts who provided feedback and informed the group’s work.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Ruth Carpenter, Rachel Hogan, Mimosa Shah, Michelle Speed, Vera Zoricic (Editors-at-large for the week), Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara and Pamella Lach (Editors for the week), Claudia Berger, Linsey Ford, Hillary Richardson, John Russell, and Rachel Starry (dh+lib Review Editors).