Digital accessibility refers to the design and development of digital products and services in a way that ensures equal access and usability for individuals with disabilities. It aims to remove barriers that can prevent people with disabilities from fully engaging with digital content. 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Countless organizations still create content that is incompatible for many of their target audiences, because they use outdated design practices or have a total lack of awareness of the importance of digital best practices. Many are aware of the need to create more accessible content but continue to fall behind. Often-encountered barriers are not knowing where to start or hesitation at the time and money required to make their work more 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 widen a gulf of inequality that persists against disabled individuals in many respects. It’s no different for academic publishing. By following digital accessibility principles and guidelines, organizations can create more inclusive digital environments, promoting equal access to information, services, and opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
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.