Incorporating Accessibility into Library OER Programs & Initiatives | Library Accessibility Alliance

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are meant to be as open and available as possible, but if they’re not accessible or on accessible platforms, how “open” are they really? In this webinar, staff from the Michigan State University (MSU) Libraries will share how they’ve integrated accessibility into their OER initiatives and OER grant program to improve the accessibility of OER created at MSU. In order to hopefully implement similar OER accessibility processes at their libraries, attendees can expect to learn about OER accessibility resources, MSU Libraries’ OER accessibility checklist & grant program accessibility requirements, MSU Libraries’ staff who work on OER accessibility, MSU Libraries’ OER accessibility evaluation workflow & procedures, specific OER accessibility challenges/issues and OER accessibility tips and lessons learned.”

Open access to research can close gaps for people with disabilities

In a long-overdue move, the federal Office of Science and Technology Policy has issued guidance on making federally supported research and publications available to all without delay or embargo. This remarkable announcement about open access has the potential to remove information barriers that have long held back social and scientific progress.

Even with immediate open access to research results, however, people with disabilities face unique barriers to information access. These issues must be considered as this policy takes shape.

As disabled researchers with vision impairments, we do not have equitable access to scientific information. This includes barriers to accessing data and peer-reviewed publications, which too often are not available in accessible formats. This gap in access is in opposition to federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act, which support equal access to information.

But scientific information is not limited to downloading journals and databases. Accessing research data can mean using online software, interactive websites or maps, and attending webinars or conferences. When scientific results are not accessible, people with disabilities — researchers, policymakers, advocates, and others —are blocked from full access to information, limiting their research knowledge, participation, and inclusion.


Analyzing repositories of OER using web analytics and accessibility tools | SpringerLink

Abstract:  Open Educational Resources (OER) provide learning opportunities for all. Usually, OER and links to OER are curated in Repositories of OER (ROER) for open access and use by anyone, including people with disabilities, at any place at any time. This study analyzes the reputation/ authoritativeness, usage, and accessibility of thirteen popular ROER for teaching and learning using three Web Analytics and five Web Accessibility tools. A high difference among the ROER was observed in almost every metric. Millions of users visit some of these ROER every month and on average stay 2–26 min per visit and view 1.1–8.5 pages per visit. Although in many ROER most of their visitors come from the country where the ROER hosting institute operates, other ROER (such as DOER, MIT OCW, and OpenLearn) have managed to attract visitors from all over the world. In some ROER, their visitors come directly to their website while in a few other ROER visitors are coming after visiting a search engine. Although most ROER are accessible by users with disabilities, the Web Accessibility tools revealed several errors in few ROER. In most ROER, less than one third of the traffic is coming from mobile devices although almost everyone has a mobile phone nowadays. Finally, the study makes suggestions to ROER administrators such as interconnecting their ROER, collaborating, exchanging good practices (such as Commons and MIT OCW), improving their website accessibility and mobile-optimized design, as well as promoting their ROER to libraries, educational institutes, and organizations.


James Love: The Copyright Ratchet, International Treaties & Fighting for Access

“James ‘Jamie’ Love is Director of Knowledge Ecology International. His training is in economics and finance, and work focuses on the production, management and access to knowledge resources, as well as aspects of competition policy. The current focus is on the financing of research and development, intellectual property rights, prices for and access to new drugs, vaccines and other medical technologies, as well as related topics for other knowledge goods, including data, software, other information protected by copyright or related rights, and proposals to expand the production of knowledge as a public good. James advises UN agencies, national governments, international and regional intergovernmental organisations and public health NGOs, and is the author of a number of articles and monographs on innovation and intellectual property rights.

He talks about access to information being one of the emerging issues of his generation, and how he got wrapped-up in the idea of making access to information more equal and less expensive for everyone. James recalls the failed push for a database Treaty at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the EU’s stubbornness by adopting the Database Directive, and how this, and term extensions, are textbook examples of the ‘copyright ratchet.’ He highlights the dangers of things creeping into international trade agreements, which can tie up politicians’ hands to change course. James touches on the WTO debates on vaccines in relation to the pandemic. He shares first-hand insights on the WIPO Marrakesh Treaty on access to published works for blind and visually impaired persons, including the many attempts to push back against it. James warns of the continuous push for a WIPO Broadcasting Treaty, and the pressure exerted by rights holders on policymakers. Finally, he concludes by observing how the lengthy negotiations on a Broadcasting Treaty, now ongoing for 25 years, has worn out the opposition against it, as priorities shift to other things….”

Accessibility in Open Educational Resources: a series of 3 no-cost Academies designed to build capacity in educator teams

ISKME and CAST’s National AEM Center invite teams of educators to learn how to use accessible Open Educational Resources (OER) to make learning more equitable and bust the barriers to learning that millions of learners experience every day. This opportunity is free to educators and you can watch an explanation here.

Our joint Accessible OER Academy series is provided at no-cost to educators and will introduce district cohorts to how openly licensed resources can be key levers for both adapting existing resources to increase accessibility and using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework to design resources that are accessible for learners with disabilities from the start. The resources and engagement will occur on OER Commons and all resources will be organized into collections that can be posted to OER Commons’s partner Hubs and pushed to partner microsites.

We invite educators from the same district to form a cohort that will join experts in OER and accessibility. Throughout the six-week Academy series, district cohorts will receive access to a curated set of high quality resources to review and adapt for use in their own settings. District cohorts that complete all six sessions will be invited to present at a national summit alongside CAST and ISKME. Each individual participant of the Academy will receive a certificate of completion. Each team will submit one application.

We encourage multidisciplinary cohorts of 3-5 educators that represent a diversity of lived experiences, classroom expertise, and current educational roles. Consider representatives from general ed, special ed, ed tech, assistive technology, library media, and administration. Your team will produce resources that can be used with and to benefit all learners, so consider building a team that can collaborate for instructional purposes. These resources might include student-facing assignments, newsletters to families or other instructional materials.

As a result of participating in the Academy series, educators will be able to:

Understand the fundamentals of both accessibility and OER, and why synergy between the two matters for learners with disabilities.

Apply best practices to ensure OER are created with accessibility from the start. 

Evaluate the accessibility of curated OER based on the principles of accessible design.

The series will consist of six 90-minute webinars with activities between each. The series is split into three levels that have two sessions per level. Each of the six sessions will feature Accessibility and OER experts, resources and group breakout work time.

101 – Fundamentals of Accessibility and OER on Sept. 27th and October 4th  – 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT 

201 – Adapting and Creating Accessible OER on Oct. 11th and October 18th  –  7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT

301 – Curating and Evaluating OER for Accessibility on Oct. 25th and Nov. 1st –  7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT 

Apply as a team by September 13th. If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Soriano ( or Joanna Schimizzi (



An Action Plan for Accessible Images: Practical Solutions for Publishers, Platforms, and Providers – The Scholarly Kitchen

“When it comes to delivering accessible scholarly publications — specifically, those with equal access to collections of images or the graphics that appear in books and journals — we are working with a complex network of shared responsibilities. The Justice Department’s recently updated guidelines on web compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are a good demonstration of how each player in the content supply chain, from authors to producers to distributors, must do their part to make images within scholarly publications accessible to everyone. As our friend Todd Carpenter pointed out last week, alternative text (alt text) for images is becoming a critical component of the high-value content produced by scholarly publishers.

The scholarly communications supply chain is not alone, as content and service providers of all kinds are adapting workflows to enrich image metadata and deliver on accessibility requirements. Companies like Google, Twitter, and Microsoft, among hundreds of others, acknowledge that accessibility and inclusive publishing practices are part of doing business in today’s digital information economy (and mitigate legal liabilities). In addition to leveling the playing field for disabled readers, accessible images offer all users an improved experience — from better search and faster navigation, to enriching audio experiences for those using text-to-speech assistive technologies….”

Full article: Born Accessible: Creating Templates for Standardized, Accessible ETDs

Abstract:  At the University of Southern Indiana (USI), graduate programs primarily produce physical theses and capstones. As programs expand online options, the need for electronic dissertations and theses grows. The institutional repository offered a chance for the library to collaborate with graduate studies and teaching program faculty to develop templates that would streamline workflows and improve document accessibility. Templates were created for doctor of education dissertations in APA style, along with master theses in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles that could serve multiple programs. This presentation outlined the process of working with campus stakeholders to develop the templates, as well as the steps taken to ensure accessibility of both the template and final dissertation or thesis. Presentation resources and electronic theses and dissertation (ETD) templates are available for download at


Navigating Open scholarship for neurodivergent researchers | FORRT – Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training

“We are a group of early-career neurotypical and neurodivergent researchers that are a part of the Framework of Open Reproducible Research and Training (FORRT) community, aiming to make academia and the open scholarship community more open to neurodiversity. Everyone, no matter what they identify with, is welcome in this group. We aim to discuss how open scholarship can be intersected with the neurodiversity movement, and emphasise how differences should be highlighted and accepted, whilst supporting the idea of accessibility. Our neurodiversity team is a group that currently consists of individuals that have autism, dyspraxia/DCD, speech-language differences, ADHD, dyslexia, or are neurotypical allies. If you have these or other neurominorities and wish to be part of the team, you are more than welcome to join!…

Discussions have been, however, scarce regarding not only how open scholarship can advance the neurodiverse movement, but also how it can benefit from it. It is thus a priority to build community to discuss how the neurodiversity movement can be included in open scholarship, as the lived experience of neurodivergent individuals (including encountered barriers) may help to enhance accessibility, allowing open scholarship to be truly open (Whitaker & Guest, 2020)….”


What Does EPUB 3.3 Mean For Accessibility? – Inclusive Publishing

“The publishing community eagerly awaits the new version of the EPUB standard, EPUB 3.3, the related EPUB 1.1 accessibility specification and the updated version of EPUBCheck. We asked EPUB 3.3 editor and DAISY developer Matt Garrish; “What does this mean for accessible publishing?’

Can We Expect Major Changes For Accessibility?

Neither the EPUB 3.3 nor the Accessibility 1.1 revisions represent major changes. Most of our efforts are focused on taking the work we’ve already done and moving the documents through the W3C process to make formal recommended specifications of them (i.e., to be fully recognized by W3C membership). EPUB 3.2 was published by the W3C publishing community group, so those documents did not have any formal standing (they didn’t have to go through W3C membership votes, they didn’t have to show independent implementations, etc.). So, EPUB 3.3 will formalize the standard….”

Full article: Accepting Free Content during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Assessment

Abstract:  Deciding what risks are worth taking amidst a global pandemic poses quite specific challenges for Acquisitions librarians. For example, given that virtually all colleges and universities now offer classes electronically, demand for electronic library content has increased sharply. This challenging situation is magnified at smaller campuses, due to their smaller Acquisitions budgets and having to retain substantial print content. In response, vendors are offering free content to those affected and, given the usual limits on library funding, librarians may find such offers almost irresistible. But while there can be advantages to accepting such content, it can be a double-edged sword. In this paper, we examine how crisis situations, such as the current pandemic, affect librarian decision-making, in particular concerning accepting free content from vendors. How do we best navigate these new territories without losing our bearings amidst a pandemic? And how might these decisions and situations affect our patrons? We focus our research on three important issues, with both practical and ethical implications. First, the issue of patron privacy rights. The free content being offered by vendors poses substantial privacy risks for libraries and patrons, because it is not licensed and thus not governed by privacy agreements. Second, we examine the problem of ensuring accessibility for all users and the extent to which accessibility can be guaranteed with non-licensed content. Finally, we look at the likely impact on faculty-librarian relationships when free content will have to be relinquished and libraries cannot afford the same content. Such changes will likely cause tension between faculty and librarians and be especially frustrating for students. While vendors coming to the aid of the libraries during this time is potentially a generous gesture, it also implies pitfalls and negative impacts in its aftermath.


ar5iv – Articles from as responsive HTML5 web documents

Converted from TeX with LaTeXML.
Sources upto the end of 2021. Not a live preview service.
For articles with multiple revisions, only the initial v1 is made available.
Goal: incremental improvement until worthy of native arXiv adoption.

Sample: A Simple Proof of the Quadratic Formula (1910.06709)

View any arXiv article URL by changing the X to a 5

A Fork in the Road: OA Books and Visibility-Value in the Humanities | Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM)

by Martin Paul Eve

One of the great advantages of open access in the scientific disciplines is that the work of scientists can now be read by any interested party with internet access. While some readers will not be able to understand this, it is nonetheless easy for scientists to show their work. No longer must the public merely take on faith that scientists are doing their job. Instead, those publics can read the findings for themselves. There is self-evidential justificatory benefit for disciplines that make their research open.

Yet what of the humanities and social sciences? In these disciplines, the monograph plays a substantial role in the dissemination of research. But, frequently, these volumes are extremely expensive because they do not see huge print runs. Progress towards open access for book-length work remains frustratingly slow.


The Corruption of Copyright: New Scholarship in Libraries, Technology, and the Law

“Join Library Futures, Internet Archive, and the Georgetown Intellectual Property and Information Policy (iPIP) Clinic for a panel on copyright, licensing, accessibility, and the law. We’ll be discussing new scholarship from legal experts Michelle Wu (retired Georgetown University Law Center) and Blake Reid (Clinical Professor at Colorado Law).

Wu’s “The Corruption of Copyright and Returning to its Original Purposes” (Legal Reference Services Quarterly) looks at how some industries have redirected the benefits of copyright towards themselves through licensing and other activities, which impacts author remuneration and upsets the balance of the public interest. This paper focuses on the book, music, and entertainment industries, examines how copyright has been used to suppress the uses it was intended to foster, and explores ongoing and proposed avenues for course correction:

Reid’s “Copyright and Disability” (forthcoming in California Law Review) discusses how recent progress toward copyright limitations and exceptions continues an ableist tradition in the development of U.S. copyright policy: centering the interests of copyright holders, rather than those of readers, viewers, listeners, users, and authors with disabilities. Using case studies, Reid explores copyright’s ableist tradition to discuss how it subordinates the actual interests of people with disability. ”