Welcome to the Web Accessibility Research Guide for the Fordham University Libraries!
The purpose of this guide is to highlight:
If you have questions about library materials and accessibility, please fee free to contact a librarian below for assistance.
This guide is a work in progress. Please check back for updates that will be released shorty.
Web accessibility is the underlying concept that outlines whether people with disabilities can use and navigate electronic library resources, from databases to PDFs and more. Some electronic resources are born-digital while others are print or legacy format items (i.e. microfilm, phonograph records, etc) that have been digitized and reformatted for use within the digital research environment.
The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was formalized in 1997. This international organization works to develop and maintain web standards, known as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Quoting from the WAI website:
Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. More specifically, people can:
Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including:
Henry, Shawn Lawton. "What is Web Accessibility." Web Accessibility Initiative, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Last modified June 5, 2019. Accessed July 20, 2020.
In other words, web accessibility provides a framework to ensure information such as text, images, and sounds on a web page as well as code or markup that defines structure, presentation, navigation (and more) is readable by assistive technologies in web pages, software, digital applications, digital documents and presentations, etc.
Web accessibility is important because equity and inclusion for people with disabilities is important. Consider these statistics:
We encourage you to contact librarians if you have questions or feedback about accessibility with respect to library services and materials.