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PRIORITIZINGACCESSIBILITY INTHE E-
RESOURCES PROCUREMENT LIFECYCLE:
VPATS AS A PRACTICALTOOL FOR E-RESOURCE
ACQUISITIONS A...
Two Libraries…TwoApproaches
■ Accessibility Exploration: Public Universities (Midwest/Northeast )
Faye O'Reilly
Wichita St...
Diversity & Inclusion at the College of
Staten Island Library- CUNY
■ My background:Acquisitions Librarian for over a deca...
ADA Compliance…a Brief Introduction
■ Title II of the Americans with DisabilitiesAct of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec 1201 and the f...
ADA in Procurement…an Introduction.
■ What about procuring resources?
– All applicable purchases must follow the steps and...
EvaluatingVPATS…the Overall Challenges.
■ Also called the AccessibilityConformance Report (VPAT 2.3Template), developed by...
Models for Accessibility Compliance in
Procurement
■ Cal State UniversityAccessibleTechnology Initiative (ATI) Procurement...
Not JustVPATS….the other tools
■ Librarians can also utilize checklists, such as the Tatomir AccessibilityChecklist (TAC) ...
Accessibility Project…Mapping,
Evaluating, and Rating
■ Created the E-Resources Accessibility ConformanceTool (ER- ACT) fo...
Accessibility Project…Mapping,
Evaluating, and Rating
■ 20 databases evaluated
■ Active subscriptions
■ Divided into 6 dif...
Accessibility Project…
Mapping
Electronic Resources Accessibility
ConformanceTool (ER-ACT)
■ Fashioned after WebAim’s Chec...
Accessibility Project…Evaluating
Accessibility Project…
Rubric Rating
Rating Accessibility of E-resources
Competency Rubric (RAE-CR)
■ Not fully tested yet...
Accessibility Project…
Reporting
AcquisitionsAccessibility
Procurement Report (AAPR)
■ To communicate with the E-Resources...
Accessibility…..Benchmarking & Results
 Accessibility Results
 E-book Platforms (4)-Two technically equal ; qualitativel...
■ MostVPAT’s were older, not the latest version.VPATS should be updated every two years at
minimum.
■ Cannot just rely onV...
Accessibility Project… Future
Recommendations
■ Need to access not only the platform navigation but spend more time in doc...
PRIORITIZINGACCESSIBILITY INTHE E-
RESOURCES PROCUREMENT LIFECYCLE…THE
END
ThankYou!
Kerry A. Falloon
CUNY- College of Sta...
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Prioritizing Accessibility in the E-Resources Procurement Lifecycle: VPATs as a Practical Tool for E-Resource Acquisitions and Remediation Workflow, at Two Academic Libraries

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Prof Kerry Falloon
Acquisitions Librarian, CUNY- College of Staten Island

Faye O'Reilly
Digital Resources Librarian, Wichita State University Libraries

Academic libraries are ethically and legally responsible to follow federal disability law. Specifically, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires electronic and information technology to be fully accessible to individuals with disabilities. It is also become readily understood that a resource born digitally is not necessarily accessible to individuals with disabilities. Hence, Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs), provided by vendors based on their compliance to the recently revised Section 508, are being used by libraries. However, they can be difficult to understand and not always reliable so essentially verification or user testing is still recommended. There have also been two major revisions in 2018 leading from VPAT® 1.0 to 2.0. The purpose of this presentation is to document how two major public universities libraries are approaching VPATs in in a workable and time effective manner during e-resources acquisitions and remediation workflows.

Wichita State University Libraries is using VPATs to efficiently verify the accuracy of vendor claims and assess the usability of digital content by users with disabilities through the use of an Accessibility Remediation Guide. The guide is used to efficiently review library licensed content for accessibility and identify areas of concern, which are reported to the vendor for remediation. VPATs and other accessibility documentation is used by WSU libraries in user communication as well. By highlighting essential standards from the VPAT, WSU libraries has been able to prioritize accessibility in the e-resources workflow. At the College of Staten Island Library, through the assistance of a PSC-CUNY grant and after integrating accessibility into its general policy practices, the library further explored how to utilize VPAT’s in a practical method during its procurement practices. At the same time, CUNY and the CSI campus underwent widespread changes in its IT procurement practices and dissemination of accessibility information amongst the university libraries. The CSI library will discuss how it is using VPAT’s to help determine the appropriate acquisition or non-acquisition decision-making in regards to the procurement lifecycle of e-resources.

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Prioritizing Accessibility in the E-Resources Procurement Lifecycle: VPATs as a Practical Tool for E-Resource Acquisitions and Remediation Workflow, at Two Academic Libraries

  1. 1. PRIORITIZINGACCESSIBILITY INTHE E- RESOURCES PROCUREMENT LIFECYCLE: VPATS AS A PRACTICALTOOL FOR E-RESOURCE ACQUISITIONS AND REMEDIATION WORKFLOWS IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES NASIG JUNE 6, 2019 Kerry Falloon,Acquisitions Librarian,CUNY- College of Staten Island Library Faye O’Reilly, Digital Resources Librarian,Wichita State University Libraries
  2. 2. Two Libraries…TwoApproaches ■ Accessibility Exploration: Public Universities (Midwest/Northeast ) Faye O'Reilly Wichita State University Libraries Digital Resources Librarian Wichita, KS Kerry A. Falloon CUNY- College of Staten Island Library Acquisition Librarian Staten Island, NY
  3. 3. Diversity & Inclusion at the College of Staten Island Library- CUNY ■ My background:Acquisitions Librarian for over a decade/ liaison to the disability office. ■ Close to 700 students registered with the Center for Student Accessibility (CSA). ■ Over 11,000 FTE from associates to doctoral, non-traditional students. ■ Instruction librarians contacted directly by CSA or via library liaison for reasonable accommodations. ■ CSI resources: Career and mentor resources; faculty task force for Universal Design. ■ CSI history: Located on the grounds of the formerWillowbrook State School. ■ CUNY resources: IT AccessibilityTask Force; CATS- CUNYAssistiveTechnology Services; COSDICouncil on Student Disability Issues; Coalition for Students with Disabilities
  4. 4. ADA Compliance…a Brief Introduction ■ Title II of the Americans with DisabilitiesAct of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec 1201 and the following): Equal Access to Information enforced by Dept. of Justice. Prohibits disability discrimination by state funded schools, which includes higher education institutions to all programs and services offered ■ Section 504 of the RehabilitationAct affords individuals with disabilities the same rights as groups protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. IEP’s in K-12 and in higher education, documented services and 504 accommodations in classrooms. ■ Section 508 of the RehabilitationAct requires federal agencies and programs to implement accessibility standards to websites, digital documents, and multimedia content. Amended in 1998. ■ Voluntary Product AccessibilityTemplate-Version 1.3 originally required by the federal government to enable the comparison of how vendor products and services conform to Section 508. Now trademarked asVPAT® version 2.2
  5. 5. ADA in Procurement…an Introduction. ■ What about procuring resources? – All applicable purchases must follow the steps and incorporate the language set forth in the Procurement section of CUNY’s IT Accessibility Statement, – “….accessibility must be addressed in connection with the procurement, development, implementation, and ongoing maintenance for all existing and new electronic and information technology acquisitions.” ■ Who is Responsible for Accessibility? – Creating accessible content is the responsibility of all who create, publish, or procure digital content. Faculty, staff, content creators, designers, and developers all share a role in accessibility. – “….Efforts should be made to keep accessibility in mind at the start of creating or procuring resources since not all things created digitally are accessible, aka. library guides, OER, websites, databases.”
  6. 6. EvaluatingVPATS…the Overall Challenges. ■ Also called the AccessibilityConformance Report (VPAT 2.3Template), developed by the InformationTechnology Industry Council (ITIC) and the U.S.General Services Administration (GSA). Now Federally Registered Service Marks of ITI.VPAT Users agree not to deviate materially from the template provided and to use the service mark “R” where appropriate.  2.0 Initial Release in October 2017 (Grant releasedJuly 2017, delayed 6 months;  2.1 February 2018 Revised; 2.2June 2018 (aka.,- supports with exceptions to partial support)  2.3 December 2018WCAG 2.1 added criteria fromWCAG 2.0 ■ College of Staten Island Library- 38% Library Material Budget Cuts: FY’ 2017 to FY’ 2019.  PSC- RF CUNY grant written to evaluate non-CUNY, directCSI e-resource purchases. Lost twenty resources, 48 to 20 resources with 44% in cuts. Primary Investigator (PI) had to revise accessibility project constantly.  Grant project ran calendar year 2018.
  7. 7. Models for Accessibility Compliance in Procurement ■ Cal State UniversityAccessibleTechnology Initiative (ATI) Procurement Process: ATI’s Accessible ProcurementWorkflow Process consists of Four Major Steps:  Gather Pre-Purchase and Accessibility Information- Purchasing Dept./ Requisitioner  Review Accessibility Documentation- ATI Designee  Review Product/Service- ATI Designee  PlaceOrder- Purchasing Dept. Buyer/ Requisitioner  CUNY- College of Staten Island requires as of early 2018 that any software purchased needs aVPAT, aVendor Disclosure form, and an Internet Security/Privacy Form.Some vendors will not fill out the multi-page documents for small purchases.
  8. 8. Not JustVPATS….the other tools ■ Librarians can also utilize checklists, such as the Tatomir AccessibilityChecklist (TAC) or ALA's Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) guidelines ■ AIM’sWAVE tool ■ AIM’s Color Contrast Checker ■ PDF AccessibilityChecker (Access for All); ■ EPUBValidator (beta) ■ AChecker and other accessibility bookmarklets ■ BigTen Academic Alliance Library E-Resource Accessibility – FormalTesting conducted by Deque Systems, Inc. for the BigTen Alliance in Illinois. ■ Vendor Statements and NavigationGuidelines to later be linked out from the library’s A to Z database list.
  9. 9. Accessibility Project…Mapping, Evaluating, and Rating ■ Created the E-Resources Accessibility ConformanceTool (ER- ACT) forVPAT Mapping /WCAG Ratings and an Accessibility Conformance Form to combineVPAT, User and Librarian Evaluations for each resource. ■ Created a ER-ACT User Questionnaire which looks at eight areas of focus (Alt text, Audio-Visual media; Logical Structure; Contrast; KeyboardAccessibility;Timing; Navigating Content; and Language Input Errors) similar toWichita’s ARG, discussed later. ■ Created an Acquisition’s Accessibility Procurement Report (AAPR) to load into CORAL (an Open Source DRM) on each resource evaluated for the Electronic Resources librarian to review and use in contract negotiations and/or to create remediation, as needed. ■ Lastly, created a Rating the Accessibility of E-resources-Competency Rubric (RAE-CR) in which each Individual Electronic Resource will be rated across performance levels related to accessibility compliance to Section 508 (60%),Vendor Commitment (20%), Universal Design Component (10%) and Impact Factor (10%) for difficult cases. ■ All documentation either kept in CORAL or in Google Drive folder.
  10. 10. Accessibility Project…Mapping, Evaluating, and Rating ■ 20 databases evaluated ■ Active subscriptions ■ Divided into 6 different categories  E-book Platforms (4)  StreamingVideos (2)  Aggregated Databases (3)  Combination Platforms (3)  PublisherJournal Platforms (3)  Non-Traditional Databases (5)  PSC CUNY and CUNY Research Foundation funded. ■ VPAT Collection in 2018  70% of vendors still usingVPAT 1.3  30% of vendors usingVPAT 2.0  65% of vendors issued theirVPAT’s within the last 2 years (2016 to 2018), most within 2017, of collection date.  35% of vendors hadVPAT’s dating three years or more older (2013 to 2015), the oldest collected was 2013.  One vendor had noVPAT regardless of multiple requests
  11. 11. Accessibility Project… Mapping Electronic Resources Accessibility ConformanceTool (ER-ACT) ■ Fashioned after WebAim’s Checklist Standards. ■ Including mapping to 1.3,WCAG 2.0/2.1,VPATS 2.0-2.2 ■ Three different versions-Ver. 1 forVPAT eval.; Ver. 2 for Librarian eval.; andVer. 3 for user eval. ■ Divided by the Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, & Robust:WCAG’s 4 principles. ■ Understanding conformance: Content must satisfy all success criterion at each level and can not evaluate 'false' when applied. ■ Although resource may pass the success criteria, content may not always be usable by people with a wide variety of disabilities, which is why we test.
  12. 12. Accessibility Project…Evaluating
  13. 13. Accessibility Project… Rubric Rating Rating Accessibility of E-resources Competency Rubric (RAE-CR) ■ Not fully tested yet but for difficult purchasing decision making situations by evaluating more qualitative factors. ■ Tool can rate each electronic Resource could be rated across multiple performance levels Highly Competent to Not Fully Competent onAny Level. Rubric be used to start benchmarking where you want a resource to be. ■ In general, among different types of e-resources, find a AA compliant resource in order to compare like resources. ■ AAA success criteria was not evaluated as part of this project.
  14. 14. Accessibility Project… Reporting AcquisitionsAccessibility Procurement Report (AAPR) ■ To communicate with the E-Resources Librarian regarding subscription compliance. ■ For contract negotiations. ■ For acquisition decision making on vendor selection for firm order and PDA streaming videos. ■ For procurement justification, as needed. ■ To set up a reasonable accommodation plan with a vendor for remediation. ■ NewVPAT’s have vendor contact names and numbers. ■ To communicate to patrons and other librarians on accessibility issues.
  15. 15. Accessibility…..Benchmarking & Results  Accessibility Results  E-book Platforms (4)-Two technically equal ; qualitatively DRM-free; more issues with web pages than e-docs (monographs) one platform. Reconsider purchasing from one platform.  StreamingVideos (2)- Both compliant with accommodations but one vendor had poor quality, grainier videos seen as blurry but older videos.One platform has higher definition, helps with vision impairments.  Aggregated Databases (3)-Two platforms equally compliant;One platform passed technically and with contrast but my judgement and user’s was that contrast was horrible for LD (little differentiation) and low vision (all white with light grey).  Combination Platforms (Jrns. & Ebs.) (3)- Compliance similar; Atypon the online publishing platform provider for multiple publishers. One shinning benchmark star.  Publisher Platforms (3)- One active vendor in accessibility scored low;One scientific organization platform has little errors- met the benchmark standard.  Non-Traditional Databases (5)- OER platform had a lot of issues and one self-created book was totally non-compliant. Smaller companies more issues.One large vendor has major issues, even according to Big-Ten. Multimedia & image databases were less compliant.
  16. 16. ■ MostVPAT’s were older, not the latest version.VPATS should be updated every two years at minimum. ■ Cannot just rely onVPAT statements only but need ‘some’ user testing, at least for new products, and some functional testing, by a purchasing librarian. ■ Issues in the future are, the changeability of platforms and new emerging technologies will make this an ongoing and hopefully non-laborious, permanent, workflow process. ■ Make contact with your vendor’s product developers. Most want to work with libraries on accessibility in most cases with open communication and suggestions. ■ Level AA accessibility is the goal most vendors are striving to meet but in most cases, remediation still needs to be done. ■ Timing constraints such as budget cuts andVPAT changes, beyond our control, meant this grant project to date has lacked application to our annual renewal cycle for the e-resources librarian. Time will tell if this becomes a regular part of the workflow after conclusion of this grant and financial stability has been reestablished. Workflow might need readjustments since two librarians involved. Accessibility Project…Conclusions
  17. 17. Accessibility Project… Future Recommendations ■ Need to access not only the platform navigation but spend more time in documentation content for multimedia, images and electronic documents (PDF’s, E-Pubs, Daisy books). ■ Vendors need to updateVPATs at least every two years and provide to libraries annually with renewals. A dedicated accessibility email for issues. ■ There will be more consortia initiatives where individual libraries or library systems are collecting data on the finite amount of academic library databases so less duplication of effort. ■ Accessibility plugins should be built into Library System Platforms (LSP) for immediate evaluation and testing. ■ Libraries need to think of ‘access’ in other ways- DRM free content and other equally accessible or reasonable accommodations. Remember, accommodations are not meant to create a major change that will affect the function of a program or service or place undue financial or administrative burden to the college regarding concerns yet remediation does need to be made. ■ Benchmark future database evaluations against similar platforms that comply with AA. ….Next, Faye will talk aboutWichita’s procurement workflow on a larger, real-time workflow scale.
  18. 18. PRIORITIZINGACCESSIBILITY INTHE E- RESOURCES PROCUREMENT LIFECYCLE…THE END ThankYou! Kerry A. Falloon CUNY- College of Staten Island Library Kerry.Falloon@csi.cuny.edu Faye O'Reilly Wichita State University Libraries Faye.Oreilly@wichita.edu

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