Digital accessibility refers to the usability of a website, app, or other digital experience for all possible users, regardless of their economic status, ability, or disability. Your digital accessibility means ensuring all of your online properties are available to everyone and optimized for people with disabilities and/or impairments. It has never been more important. The Scholarly Kitchen brought this interesting information to our attention in their article, “Guest Post — Advancing Accessibility in Scholarly Publishing: Recommendations for Digital Accessibility Best Practices.”
Countless organizations still create content that is incompatible for many of their target audiences, because of outdated design practices or a lack of awareness of digital best practices. Many are aware of the need to create more accessible content yet continue to fall behind. Often-encountered barriers include not knowing where to start and hesitance at spending the time and money required to make digital assets accessible to everyone.
The topic of digital accessibility has often been misunderstood as a niche topic, but it is now a principle. If our organizations remain obscured behind the digital divide and do not make accessibility a business priority, they will effectively add to inequality and unequal treatment. This applies to academic publishers the same way it applies to any organization. Scholarly publishing is about quality and impact — quality of content and impact of research.
Metadata makes digital content findable. Findability, however, works only when a proper taxonomy is in place. Proper indexing against a strong standards-based taxonomy increases the findability of data. Access Innovations is one of a very small number of companies able to help its clients generate ANSI/ISO/W3C-compliant taxonomies.
Melody K. Smith
Sponsored by Access Innovations, changing search to found.