Introduction to Accessibility and Universal Design in Libraries
Instructor: Carli Spina
Dates: Not currently scheduled
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
Approximately 15% of the population worldwide live with some type of disability, making individuals with disabilities an important and often underserved constituency for libraries. Despite this, many libraries overlook simple and affordable measures that could improve their accessibility. In this course, you will learn concrete techniques for improving your library’s accessibility for individuals with a wide range of disabilities. You will learn the meaning of accessibility and universal design and how these apply in a library setting through a combination of readings, hands-on exercises, online discussions, and demonstration videos.
Students who complete the assignments will have concrete ideas for integrating accessibility and universal design principles into library workflows. This four-week course will cover techniques and tools for testing website accessibility, improving the accessibility of online media content, and making your library more inviting and inclusive for individuals with disabilities, with a particular focus on free tools. The class will primarily cover online accessibility, but will also devote time to how these principles can be applied to physical spaces within your library. Participants who are currently working in libraries will leave the course with documents and resources that they can take back to their workplace.
At the end of this course, students will be able to:
- Define accessibility and universal design
- Integrate accessibility and universal design into workflows at their libraries
- Evaluate and improve online accessibility
- Identify tools that can be used for testing website accessibility
- Write an accessibility policy
Carli Spina is the Head Librarian, Assessment and Outreach at the Boston College Libraries. Carli holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, an MLIS from Simmons GSLIS, and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has extensive experience working on web design and technology projects as well as serving as a coordinator for services to patrons with disabilities. She is the current chair of LITA's Diversity and Inclusion Committee and has also served as the leader of the ASCLA Library Services to People with Visual or Physical Disabilities that Prevent Them from Reading Standard Print Interest Group. She has taught many classes and workshops for librarians, academic staff, and students on a range of topics, including accessibility and web design. Twitter, Website
This is an online class that is taught asynchronously, meaning that participants do the work on their own time as their schedules allow. The class does not meet together at any particular times, although the instructor may set up optional sychronous chat sessions. Instruction includes readings and assignments in one-week segments. Class participation is in an online forum environment.
Please contact us to arrange a special session of this class for a group of seven or more, with a negotiable discount, or to be notified when it is next scheduled.