Web Accessibility and Accessibility Instruction
Journal of Access Services Volume 6, Number 1, ISSN 1536-7967
Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that programs and services be accessible to people with disabilities. While schools of library and information science (SLIS*) and university libraries should model accessible Web sites, this may not be the case. This article examines previous studies about the Web accessibility of SLIS Web sites and university library Web sites supporting SLIS and builds on these studies by providing current data about SLIS opportunities for learning about accessible products and services for individuals with disabilities. This study looks at the nation's 12 highest-ranked SLIS and at their disability-related curricula. A WebXACT-compliance check is used to determine World Wide Web (W3C) compliance for SLIS and the main libraries. A survey is distributed to the SLIS to determine disability curricular offerings. A Web search of SLIS course descriptions for these schools provides clarification about course offerings. The compliance check gives cause for concern. The survey results indicate that most SLIS programs offer disability instruction: Specifically most SLIS programs offer instruction of Web accessibility. The mixed results from the survey and the compliance check might indicate that the individuals that are responsible for Web design on these campuses are not knowledgeable about W3C standards. The fact that SLIS students are being taught appropriate accessibility standards should indicate that the future of Web accessibility is brighter. (*SLIS is used as a generic term throughout the article to refer to all library science, library and information science, information science, and other similar programs.) (Contains 4 tables and 1 note.)
Green, R.A. & Huprich, J. (2009). Web Accessibility and Accessibility Instruction. Journal of Access Services, 6(1), 116-136.