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Web Accessibility at Fordham University Libraries: Start Here

Web Accessibility at Fordham University Libraries

Welcome to the Web Accessibility Research Guide for the Fordham University Libraries!

The purpose of this guide is to highlight:

  • Accessibility features within Fordham's electronic library resources;
  • Tools for assessing the accessibility of digital content;
  • Tips for structuring information within electronic documents and presentations to support accessibility (coming soon!).

If you have questions about library materials and accessibility, please fee free to contact a librarian below for assistance.


Beware This guide is a work in progress. Please check back for updates that will be released shorty.

What is Web Accessibility?

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:

  • perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web
  • contribute to the Web

Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including:

  • auditory

  • cognitive

  • neurological

  • physical

  • speech

  • visual

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.

Why is Accessibility Important?

Web accessibility is important because equity and inclusion for people with disabilities is important. Consider these statistics:




Diversity without disability isn't diverse enough

Image credit: National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD)

Contacts at the Libraries

We encourage you to contact librarians if you have questions or feedback about accessibility with respect to library services and materials.

Accessibility Resources at Fordham


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Tierney Gleason
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Rose Hill Campus | Walsh Family Library | Room 129


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Nick Alongi
Lincoln Center Campus
Quinn Library

Reference & Instruction Department

Reference & Instruction Department
Fordham University Libraries

Walsh Library  ♦  Rose Hill Campus  ♦  718-817-3586   
Quinn Library  ♦  Lincoln Center Campus  ♦  212-636-6050   
Fordham Westchester Library  ♦  Fordham Westchester Campus  ♦  914-367-3061   ♦   text 71-TXTX-1284 ♦ 
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