The following efforts and initiatives are to ensure the Library invests in a culture of accessibility:

2002-2017 (Laying a foundation)

  • Assistive tech introduced to the Library and periodic updates instituted
    • CCTV
    • braille printer
    • JAWS
    • Large print keyboards
  • Development of workshops and sessions on Universal Design for Learning targeted to faculty
  • Created a relationship with the Westchester Library System to access audiobooks and other materials.
  • Read Write Gold piloted to help students with learning disabilities
  • Began testing of our ebooks and ebook platforms
  • Broke out DVD collection by accessibility needs (captioning and audio description)
  • Advocated and collaborated on campus EITA policy

2018

  • Creation of Interim Director of Digital Accessibility position to focus efforts on the intersection between our resources and users (particularly faculty)
  • Workshops and outreach to reduce use of inaccessible content
  • Adoption of Blackboard Ally tool to alert faculty of inaccessible material integrated into the LMS (Moodle)
  • Actively engaged in SUNY based Ally group to take full advantage of Ally updates and uses
  • Interim Director of Digital Accessibility presented at ACRL New England “Beyond the Library: Cross-Campus Collaborations in Support of Faculty Teaching, Research, & Scholarship”
    presentation on the library’s collaboration with the Office of Disability Resources, Teaching Learning Technology Center, and Liberal Studies and Continuing Education in helping faculty to address accessibility issues related to the design, selection, and delivery of course content

2019

  • Outreach to Theatre Arts Conservatory, LSCE, Literature, new faculty, PSGA, resident assistants
  • Vendor advocacy with Alexander Street Press on the need for audio description
  • Compiled VPATs for our databases with brief basic testing using WAVE tool
  • 70 faculty trained in content and accessibility best practices
  • Interim Director of Digital Accessibility presented “Accessibility and Online Learning Objects: Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL)” at ALA national annual conference (also covered in American Libraries Magazine blog post)

2020

  • Interim Director of Digital Accessibility invited to Co-Chair SUNY Library Accessibility Cohort which created:
    • A VPAT review process and repository of most common databases
    • A toolkit to help libraries across SUNY complete necessary reviews, advocate for vendor compliance, and create best practices for an exception process (ongoing)
  • 52 faculty trained in content and accessibility best practices
  • Discovered issue between Perusall (a social annotation tool for students) and Ally which resulted in Perusall uploads not getting scores nor alerting faculty that uploaded content had barriers. Advocated for both vendors to cooperate (improvements are underway)

2021

  • Presented with ODR “Clarifying COVID Lessons: Rethinking Collaboration for students with disabilities… and everyone else” to staff and faculty
  • Presented on SUNY Library Accessibility Cohort to SUNY Library Services
  • Advocated with two filmmakers to secure audio description for two films
  • Interim Director of Digital Accessibility invited to work with SWANK Digital Campus Advisory Board
  • Advised numerous staff and departments on accessibility for campus and student audiences
  • Changed streaming workflow to ensure caption files are added to hosted content and audio-described content added when available
  • Interim Director of Digital Accessibility (invited panelist):”Diversability: a social justice forum on disability and substance abuse”
  • Interim Director of Digital Accessibility presenting on SUNYLA Panel “Understanding and Reviewing E-resource Accessibility” discussing the toolkit and VPAT repository created by the SUNY Library Accessibility Cohort.
  • Integrated accessibility in Library and college-wide strategic planning process.