The equal accessibility of e-resources is an important consideration for both students and faculty. CUNY's Office of Information Technology has given faculty guidelines to create digitally native accessible course material while CUNY's Office of Library Services has given guidance to librarians in their database purchasing practices. Please also see the CSI Library's LibGuide on accessibility and library compliance.
There are many resources are out there to assist students and faculty during the COVID-19 crisis, which can be viewed below. Be careful when using platforms outside of Blackboard/ make sure videos have transcripts with closed captioning. Please contact the Center for Student Accessibility at firstname.lastname@example.org for specific instructional/ curricular guidance.
Try Highlighting Text to Copy and Paste
If the PDF document contains text, try selecting or highlighting some text in the file. If you are not able to select parts of the text, then it means that the text is actually an image, and therefore, not accessible. If you can select some text in the document, this does not yet imply that the PDF is fully accessible. There are still a few things that need to be checked, like document tagging.
Check to See is the PDF is Tagged
Another quick way to check whether a PDF is accessible is to verify whether that PDF is ‘tagged.’ However, keep in mind that just because a PDF has tags doesn’t mean it’s 100% accessible either according to current accessibility guidelines. But it is a good starting point. To check for tags, do the below.
Open the PDF document in Adobe Acrobat Pro or Acrobat DC and then open the Tags panel on the Navigation pane on the left. If the PDF document is not tagged, you’ll notice no tags (or just one tag) available in the Tags panel.
The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) enables academic libraries, as a starting point, to compare how vendor’s electronic databases conform to Section 508, to support accessibility. Many vendors also provide accessibility guidelines to their products on their websites. ProQuest is started an initiative with its Accessibility Repository for its e-resources and EBSCOhost provides comprehensive accessibility guidelines for the EBSCOHost platform and EBSCO ebooks. Please see the upcoming sub-page for an A to Z listing of CSI Library’s database vendors that have listed their ADA requirements.