TestingAccessibility Evaluations and Vendor Responses ›
The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) began funding high-level third-party accessibility evaluations for select vendor e-resources in 2017. In 2019, the Association of Research Libraries (ASERL) joined in these and other library accessibility efforts, becoming the Library Accessibility Alliance (LAA). The Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) and the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) joined the LAA in 2021.
E-Resources are selected based upon recommendations from member libraries and the platforms that the majority of the consortia own or are considering for purchase.
The LAA has used two accessibility consulting companies (Deque and Usability/Accessibility Research & Consulting, or UARC, from Michigan State University) for them to perform high-level, meaning not entirely comprehensive, accessibility evaluations based on WCAG 2.1 AA. The consulting companies are given a designated number of hours for the evaluations and are intended to identify some, but not all, accessibility issues/barriers.
The LAA selects typically two vendors a month and submits scoping documents (example scoping document) to Deque and UARC. The scoping document outlines typical library e-resource tasks a user might perform (basic and advanced searching, viewing search results, applying filters and refining results, viewing individual items, etc).
The program provides vendors with a report and the opportunity to improve the accessibility of their products, while giving members of the library community information about the accessibility of specific library e-resources.
All evaluations funded by the LAA are provided to e-resource vendors free of charge. Vendors are invited to submit a response and attend a consultation call with the evaluators, also at no charge. All e-resource accessibility evaluations and vendor responses are publicly available.