Title

Accessibility of Institutional Repository Content: Current Landscape and Ideas for a Path Forward

Presentation Type

Presentation

Date

2020-12-03

Description

Institutions of higher education are becoming more aware of the need for content in institutional repositories to be digitally accessible, but improving accessibility can be a slow, difficult process with little additional funding or staffing given. This presentation will begin by examining the current landscape of accessibility and IR content, including the need for and advantages of digitally accessible content, the general lack of IR-specific accessibility efforts (with a few notable exceptions), and some conclusions about why this is the case. Next the presenter will describe measures to improve IR content accessibility that have been taken or planned at the University of Minnesota Duluth, in conjunction with the system-wide University of Minnesota IR, University Digital Conservancy. These measures include adding an accessibility statement to all IR records with information about requesting a remediated version, working with partners to increase the accessibility of original content, and developing and implementing remediation workflows for existing content. Issues such as adapting policies to support accessibility and ensuring the sustainability of these efforts will also be addressed, along with some of the major obstacles faced during this project.

While the University of Minnesota IR runs on DSpace, this presentation is platform-agnostic and addresses the accessibility of IR content rather than platforms. The goal is to educate attendees about why digital accessibility of IR content is important and about some possible steps they could take or adapt to their circumstances to improve accessibility going forward. The presenter hopes attendees will share any experiences they have with IR content accessibility at the end of the presentation, to support a collaborative learning environment.

Keywords

institutional repositories, Northeast Institutional Repositories Day, NIRD, NIRD20, accessibility

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Dec 3rd, 10:15 AM

Accessibility of Institutional Repository Content: Current Landscape and Ideas for a Path Forward

Institutions of higher education are becoming more aware of the need for content in institutional repositories to be digitally accessible, but improving accessibility can be a slow, difficult process with little additional funding or staffing given. This presentation will begin by examining the current landscape of accessibility and IR content, including the need for and advantages of digitally accessible content, the general lack of IR-specific accessibility efforts (with a few notable exceptions), and some conclusions about why this is the case. Next the presenter will describe measures to improve IR content accessibility that have been taken or planned at the University of Minnesota Duluth, in conjunction with the system-wide University of Minnesota IR, University Digital Conservancy. These measures include adding an accessibility statement to all IR records with information about requesting a remediated version, working with partners to increase the accessibility of original content, and developing and implementing remediation workflows for existing content. Issues such as adapting policies to support accessibility and ensuring the sustainability of these efforts will also be addressed, along with some of the major obstacles faced during this project.

While the University of Minnesota IR runs on DSpace, this presentation is platform-agnostic and addresses the accessibility of IR content rather than platforms. The goal is to educate attendees about why digital accessibility of IR content is important and about some possible steps they could take or adapt to their circumstances to improve accessibility going forward. The presenter hopes attendees will share any experiences they have with IR content accessibility at the end of the presentation, to support a collaborative learning environment.