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BiblioCommons Commitment to Accessibility
Last updated: Sep 28, 2020
Public Libraries have long served their communities as welcoming, open, and inclusive built environments. As a digital service provider to Public Libraries, we know that the online experience we create needs to be welcoming and inclusive to people with a wide range of abilities. This includes those who rely on assistive technology to access online services, in addition to individuals with cognitive and digital-literacy challenges.
An important part of our commitment to those using assistive technology includes the implementation of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 level AA, which we’ll just call the “Guidelines” for the rest of this document. Beyond these Guidelines, we have also set the goal of meeting the more broadly defined usability needs of users of assistive technology.
How Are We Doing This
The Guidelines serve as an internationally accepted measure of success for websites and online applications, and so we are using them to evaluate our current services and make changes and adjustments to better serve people with disabilities. We are committed to providing online services that not only meet but exceed the criteria set out by the Guidelines.
As part of our design and development process, we have worked with third-party experts to review our websites, identify accessibility goals based on the Guidelines and have created a plan to meet these goals as we update and improve our websites overall. Our team has been trained in how to implement the Guidelines in the design, development and testing of the websites and has made a number of significant changes to the services over the last year, and is working steadily to align all of the services with the Guidelines, and the regulations that use the Guidelines as their measure.
Steps We've Taken So Far
How We Make It Sustainable
We have taken a few steps to ensure that accessibility is not a one-time project, but becomes an ongoing process of improvement.
In addition, our teams have developed internal standards and processes to ensure that both new and current employees have the knowledge and tools they need to make the right choices for accessibility and usability throughout the product development process.
Are We There Yet?
We have covered a lot of ground, but we know we have more work to do. Over the course of 2019, we queued a number of remaining workflows for improvement, and continued to scrutinize and improve our services. We have planned additional work for 2020. As of this update we have a few significant undertakings in flight including: the BiblioCore item details page, which is the last high-traffic page to be made fully accessible; continued improvements to the BiblioWeb library website page builder modules, as well as our whole newly redesigned iOS native app and forthcoming Android app. We appreciate your patience as we continue to take steps to make our services accessible and usable for all.
About Third Party Content and Features
Our online products may include content and utilities from third party sites and products. We cannot control or correct any issues with this content or its accessibility, but it’s important for us to be able to pass on any accessibility issues to the creators of those sites.
Feedback or Questions?
If you experience an accessibility issue with BiblioCommons websites or you have any questions or accessibility concerns, please contact your library.
The library can be contacted at webmaster@bpl.org.
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