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Fluid Choices
Sustainable Accessible
Reference for a Diverse
Community
Jennifer Arnott : March 2016
Topics
1. Introduction and context
2. Barriers to access
3. As a reference librarian…
(structures for answering)
4. Access...
An introduction
Me, Perkins, why I’m interested in this.
Me
Research Librarian, Perkins School for the Blind
Previous lives:
o Independent High School librarian.
o Information Tec...
Who?
1%
50%
8%
41%
Alumni
Blindness org
Perkins staff
Researcher
All other
Where?
Inside the United States
Canada
Worldwide
(Perkins works in 67 countries)
What? (Topic)
4%
22%
24%
4%
15%
31% Alumni
Practitioner
History
K-12
Reference
Resources
How? (Method)
47%
32%
16%
5%
Email
In person
Phone
Mail
Social media
Barriers to Access
Can people get to our information?
Devices : Ownership
In the United States…
75% have a desktop or laptop
68% have a smartphone
45% have a tablet
(from http:...
Devices : Access
(Still in the United States)
67% have broadband at home
13% have a smartphone but no
broadband at home.
(...
Devices : Implication
Screen size
File management
Large file sizes
Some formats
Devices : Outside US
Smartphones common.
Often limits on bandwidth,
content, or content sources.
Search options often limi...
Vocabulary
Unusual terminology
Multiple spellings
(i.e. deafblind or deaf-blind?)
Preferred terms change over time.
Language
English may be 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.
language for the person asking.
Need to keep answers useful.
Visual Impairment
Sites not designed for accessibility.
Screen reader complications.
Color / design choices.
Image-based P...
Other accessibility
Migraines.
Mobility and dexterity.
Autoplay sound/video (don’t!)
Cognitive overload.
Colorblindness.
M...
As a reference librarian
Quick evaluation, personas,
structure, long-term attention.
Quick Read
First glance
Indication, not final action
Trust my experience, but inform it
Envelope
Method of contact
Signature
Who did they contact?
Direct Evidence
Trust what they tell me.
Phrasing they use.
(terms in the field vs. common use)
Visual indicators.
(large ...
Personas
Archetypal user of a system.
Take time to develop, but can help
guide decisions.
Renee Researcher
• MA degree or higher.
• Familiar with complex research.
• Access to multiple devices.
• Access to other ...
Patty Practitioner
• MA and/or other training.
• Focus on practice, not research.
• Limited time/access to materials.
• Li...
Iris International
• Often MA or higher degree.
• English not their first language.
• Research or practice focus.
• Limite...
George Grandparent
• Unknown level of education.
• New to field, won’t know vocab.
• Significant emotional piece.
• Likely...
Abe Alumnus
• Some degree of visual impairment (or
they wouldn’t be an alum).
• Unknown level of education.
• May need alt...
Parts of an Answer
Greeting,
I am Jennifer Arnott, the Research Librarian here at
Perkins.
Here is a brief answer.
More de...
Greeting
Mirror their format.
Names can be complicated.
Introduce myself
Did they contact me directly?
If not, let them know me / my role.
Some academic cultures, more formal
tha...
Brief Information
2-3 sentence summary.
Screen reader users do not want to
hear all the details to get to ‘which
message w...
More Details
Additional details can be longer.
Explain attachments.
Use meaningful links.
Mention alternate formats if ava...
Accessibility Habits
Help people use your awesome content.
Meaningful Links
Link text that describes the link.
“Click here” = meaningless
URL = hard to decipher/browse
See the Perki...
Fewest Clicks
More clicks to get
to an answer
=
more frustrating.
Multiple routes
Avoid single sense labels
(‘below’, ‘items in red are required’, etc.)
Instead: multiple senses
(“See the ...
Alt-Text
Images should have it.
(unless they are purely decorative)
Describe the content in context of the
image: why that...
PDF Accessibility
… is very complicated.
Is text accessible?
(save from Word/etc. not print)
Reading Order
Image scans are...
PDF structure : unedited
Unedited order
5 minutes later…
Close up of the order
About your job…
Do you need to read braille?
No, but I’m learning, because it’s sometimes helpful. I’m
very very slow, tho...
Resources
Denise Paolucci :
Web accessibility for the 21st Century.
presentation (100 slides) : resources
(http://denise.d...
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Fluid choices

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Discussion of accessibile library reference approaches for a diverse audience of researchers and library users.

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Fluid choices

  1. 1. Fluid Choices Sustainable Accessible Reference for a Diverse Community Jennifer Arnott : March 2016
  2. 2. Topics 1. Introduction and context 2. Barriers to access 3. As a reference librarian… (structures for answering) 4. Accessibility habits
  3. 3. An introduction Me, Perkins, why I’m interested in this.
  4. 4. Me Research Librarian, Perkins School for the Blind Previous lives: o Independent High School librarian. o Information Technology Librarian in University of Maine system. o Interested in technology and accessibility, but no previous content experience beyond that. Staff: Me, an archivist, a shared assistant. o Several other people answering questions on specific websites or related projects. (National Center for the Deafblind, Scout, elearning sites)
  5. 5. Who? 1% 50% 8% 41% Alumni Blindness org Perkins staff Researcher All other
  6. 6. Where? Inside the United States Canada Worldwide (Perkins works in 67 countries)
  7. 7. What? (Topic) 4% 22% 24% 4% 15% 31% Alumni Practitioner History K-12 Reference Resources
  8. 8. How? (Method) 47% 32% 16% 5% Email In person Phone Mail Social media
  9. 9. Barriers to Access Can people get to our information?
  10. 10. Devices : Ownership In the United States… 75% have a desktop or laptop 68% have a smartphone 45% have a tablet (from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/29/technology-device-ownership- 2015/)
  11. 11. Devices : Access (Still in the United States) 67% have broadband at home 13% have a smartphone but no broadband at home. (from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/12/21/home-broadband-2015/)
  12. 12. Devices : Implication Screen size File management Large file sizes Some formats
  13. 13. Devices : Outside US Smartphones common. Often limits on bandwidth, content, or content sources. Search options often limited.
  14. 14. Vocabulary Unusual terminology Multiple spellings (i.e. deafblind or deaf-blind?) Preferred terms change over time.
  15. 15. Language English may be 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. language for the person asking. Need to keep answers useful.
  16. 16. Visual Impairment Sites not designed for accessibility. Screen reader complications. Color / design choices. Image-based PDFs are inaccessible. Text-based need attention.
  17. 17. Other accessibility Migraines. Mobility and dexterity. Autoplay sound/video (don’t!) Cognitive overload. Colorblindness. Many others.
  18. 18. As a reference librarian Quick evaluation, personas, structure, long-term attention.
  19. 19. Quick Read First glance Indication, not final action Trust my experience, but inform it
  20. 20. Envelope Method of contact Signature Who did they contact?
  21. 21. Direct Evidence Trust what they tell me. Phrasing they use. (terms in the field vs. common use) Visual indicators. (large font, spelling, structure)
  22. 22. Personas Archetypal user of a system. Take time to develop, but can help guide decisions.
  23. 23. Renee Researcher • MA degree or higher. • Familiar with complex research. • Access to multiple devices. • Access to other libraries. • If they have access needs, will usually mention when relevant.
  24. 24. Patty Practitioner • MA and/or other training. • Focus on practice, not research. • Limited time/access to materials. • Likely wants best sources with minimum searching. • May be visually impaired.
  25. 25. Iris International • Often MA or higher degree. • English not their first language. • Research or practice focus. • Limited access to materials. • May have limited bandwidth. • May be using smartphone. • May be visually impaired.
  26. 26. George Grandparent • Unknown level of education. • New to field, won’t know vocab. • Significant emotional piece. • Likely wants experiences / practical material. • May have unspecified access needs or limited technology skill.
  27. 27. Abe Alumnus • Some degree of visual impairment (or they wouldn’t be an alum). • Unknown level of education. • May need alternate format assistance but which format may not be obvious.
  28. 28. Parts of an Answer Greeting, I am Jennifer Arnott, the Research Librarian here at Perkins. Here is a brief answer. More details are down here. Please let me know if you need an alternate format. Signature
  29. 29. Greeting Mirror their format. Names can be complicated.
  30. 30. Introduce myself Did they contact me directly? If not, let them know me / my role. Some academic cultures, more formal than we normally are.
  31. 31. Brief Information 2-3 sentence summary. Screen reader users do not want to hear all the details to get to ‘which message was this’?
  32. 32. More Details Additional details can be longer. Explain attachments. Use meaningful links. Mention alternate formats if available.
  33. 33. Accessibility Habits Help people use your awesome content.
  34. 34. Meaningful Links Link text that describes the link. “Click here” = meaningless URL = hard to decipher/browse See the Perkins Archive site for..
  35. 35. Fewest Clicks More clicks to get to an answer = more frustrating.
  36. 36. Multiple routes Avoid single sense labels (‘below’, ‘items in red are required’, etc.) Instead: multiple senses (“See the ‘Get more help’ section in the right sidebar” or “Required items are indicated in red with a *”)
  37. 37. Alt-Text Images should have it. (unless they are purely decorative) Describe the content in context of the image: why that image?
  38. 38. PDF Accessibility … is very complicated. Is text accessible? (save from Word/etc. not print) Reading Order Image scans are not accessible.
  39. 39. PDF structure : unedited
  40. 40. Unedited order
  41. 41. 5 minutes later…
  42. 42. Close up of the order
  43. 43. About your job… Do you need to read braille? No, but I’m learning, because it’s sometimes helpful. I’m very very slow, though. Could someone who is VI do your job? Probably not, since a lot of it involves working with materials that aren’t digitized or are hard to read even if you have good vision.
  44. 44. Resources Denise Paolucci : Web accessibility for the 21st Century. presentation (100 slides) : resources (http://denise.dreamwidth.org/tag/a11y those are # 1s in a11y, not the letter l.) Perkins Solutions (http://perkinssolutions.org) offers accessibility assessment and remediation for websites and organizations.

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