CARLI Commercial Products Committee's 2022 Accessibility in Libraries Forum

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Wednesday, April 6, 2022 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

The CARLI Commercial Products Committee will be hosting the 2022 Accessibility in Libraries Forum on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, 10am-12pm.

In this virtual event, presenters will share information about recent projects and experiences related to user accessibility issues.  Participants will learn about the challenges libraries face and the solutions, best practices, and accessibility initiatives being developed within CARLI libraries.  Discussion and sharing is encouraged.

There will be a total of four presentations, and the same Zoom link will be used for all, so you can view any or all of the presentations.  Recordings of each will be posted online after the event.

(entire presentation)

10:00 am:  

Testing & Communicating the Accessibility Features of Ebook Platforms at UIC
Catherine Lantz & Ryan Lemke, University of Illinois-Chicago
Increasingly in demand, how do Ebooks measure up in terms of accessibility? The University of Illinois Chicago Library built a guide comparing the accessibility features of Ebook  platforms from the perspective of an everyday user of assistive technology. We tested each platform on the function of screen readers (JAWS and VoiceOver), ZoomText, Text-to-Speech, Magnification and re-flowable text, contrast, font size, style, and distinction without color.  We then created a chart to communicate multiple features of multiple platforms in an accessible format. This chart is also a useful resource for reference and collections librarians.

(starts at 10:00am)

10:30 AM:

To Be Seen & Heard: Optelec Clearview+ Speech
Debra J. Kakuk Smith, College of DuPage

The Optelec Clearview+ Speech provides video magnification and text-to-speech technology with simple, easy to use features. The Speech feature activates by touching the screen. Users listen to materials with a natural sounding voice and full-page overview. It recognizes different languages, has an easy-to-use touch screen interface, and can record and save text-to-voice files. Clearview+ opens and reads saved documents or views/enlarges picture files.
College of DuPage Library’s Accommodations librarian and Liaison to Students with Disabilities, Debra J. Kakuk Smith, shares the Optelec Clearview+ Speech selection process. The device was funded by a Perkins V grant. Interdepartmental-collaborations and feedback supporting selection, acquisition, and set-up are outlined. Learn about staff training materials and promotional techniques. See

(starts at 10:30am)

11:00 AM:

Access and Equity via Library Policy Review
Michele Hunt (she/her) & Sata Prescott (he/they), Northern Illinois University

Are you interested in how your library can revitalize its policies to be more accessible, inclusive, and equitable? NIU Libraries’ Policy Task Force systematically created policy format recommendations, drafted a rubric with a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens, and reviewed policies related to access services and building use to ensure that those policies do not place barriers to accessibility, inclusion, and equity. Policy review may not be everyone’s favorite task, but we must prioritize it. Policies are a reflection of how libraries engage with and value their patrons before they step foot in the door. We hope our findings can assist and motivate other libraries to review their own policies and make positive, inclusive changes.

(starts at 11:00am)

11:30 AM:

Accessibility in CARLI Electronic Resource Licenses
Dan Szajna & Jenny Taylor, University of Illinois System Offices

Accessibility is increasingly important to include in contracts for library materials and services, especially electronic resources.  Dan Szajna, Director, System Purchasing and Support Services will discuss accessibility language in contracts and how it came to be included in University of Illinois System contracts, which includes CARLI contracts.  Jenny Taylor, Associate Director of Electronic Resources at CARLI will discuss the wording of accessibility in CARLI e-resources contracts and what efforts CARLI is making towards accessibility in the e-resources brokering program.

(starts at 11:30am)