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Collection Management@Emory Libraries

Forms, Data, Policies, and Best Practices

Accessibility for Sight-Impaired Patrons

General Notes

  • Subject Librarians and the Reserves Team will work closely with the student and faculty member to create a shared document (e.g., Google doc) to be shared between the instructor, student, Course Reserves, and the SL. Preferably, the SL should be designated as a proxy for the course, both in Canvas and Course Reserves. The SL and Reserves should annotate the reading list for accessible texts.
  • Course instructors should submit requests through Course Reserves with a note regarding accessibility so that supplemental processing can take place to ensure accessible texts.

Are there recommend versions for e-books?

Most, but not all, ebooks held by the Emory Libraries accessible will have both PDF and HTML options for reading and meet accessibility requirements for screen-reading (e.g., EBSCO, JSTOR), The HTML options are better for screen readers, although most new PDFs (e.g., see JSTOR for a good example) are now JAWS accessible, and are tagged for readers. EPubs are also good possibilities. See this example for the Venture of Islam available via ACLS. However, for EBSCO and PQ titles it is best to also have a backup copy from the publisher.

What if the Library does not hold an e-version?

  • Many of the e-books and journal articles accessible at Emory Libraries will have both PDF and HTML options for reading and meet accessibility requirements for screen-reading (e.g., EBSCO, JSTOR). If not accessible, or only in print or cannot purchase (or otherwise inaccessible), we may be able to acquire a copy from the publisher.

    • Publisher/Aggregator OptionsWe can try for accessible copies via aggregate sources such as Internet Archive, Bibliovault, BookshareAccess Text Network.
      • For the Internet Archive option, please contact Chris Palazzolo.
      • We may also be able to acquire direct from the publisher or vendor (e.g., see this page from JSTOR and the University of British Columbia Press). Note that these strategies require some lead time.
      • Accessible copies of titles from publishers should only be shared with the student.
        • The Head of Collection Management will need to make these requests and work with DAS.

What about HathiTrust materials under copyright?

Another option is to acquire a copy through HathiTrust's accessibility service, of which Emory is a member.

What if the e-version is old and/or does not meet accessibility requirements?

We can either re-scan locally if the library owns a print copy and utilize Adobe Acrobat Pro to create a more accessible copy. Another option is to reach out to the publisher for a custom scan. We can get a clean copy from the publisher (see above).

Are audio versions available?

Overdrive may be an option for some texts, but are limited only one user. Please make a request through Chris Palazzolo or David Smith. Some aggregators do allow for audio options for e-books (see ProQuest and EBSCO). Also, Internet Archive does provide an option for audio versions of texts in their Open Library. Note that for the latter, titles may already be in use, so may not be a reliable long-term source. HathiTrust may also be an option--see above.