is your OPAC accessible?

Accessibility of Online Databases: A Usability Study of Research Databases. Is your OPAC accesible to people who use adaptive technology to look up materials in your library?

Perhaps the most profound outcome of this study for those of us who work in the area of Access Technologies is the extent to which this research shows that [Section 508] conformity and usability can be at opposite ends of the spectrum. A very good example of this dichotomy is the Silver Platter databases which for the most part showed conformity with the Section 508 Standards, but are extremely difficulty to use due to poor site construction and almost a total lack of usability with an audio browser.

from a mgt perspective

There’s also the management perspective to consider when you are providing library services to the disabled. As this writer points out, there are few disabled librarians and very little library education about these special populations.

The needs of the disabled are still not clearly understood by many library managers. Providing library services to the disabled need not be expensive if networking is effectively used. As negative library staff attitudes are the largest barrier to the disabled accessing the library, effective on-going education needs to be instituted. Improving library service to the disabled has proven to improve over-all library service delivery.