Accessibility and the Map/Data Library

Leanne Trimble, Ontario Council of University Libraries

The majority of academic libraries express their commitment to providing services equitably to all students, faculty and staff. In Ontario, this commitment is now legislated in the form of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The act is broad in scope and covers everything from the built environment, to customer service, to information and communications. When it comes to geographic information services and collections in our academic libraries, how accessible are we? How accessible could we be? This presentation will take a hard look at our assumptions about how a disabled person would use the services of a map or data library, with a focus on our websites and discovery tools, particularly those involving web maps. We will review the work that has been done at Scholars Portal to assess and improve the accessibility of our Scholars GeoPortal service. Finally, we will provide some concrete recommendations for improving the accessibility of map and data libraries to all of our users.