Library E-Resource Accessibility - Standardized License Language

Standardized Accessibility License Language

The Big Ten Academic Alliance Libraries are committed to equitable service and access and are concerned about the inaccessibility of many library electronic resources. Purchasing and subscribing to inaccessible library e-resources not only goes against Big Ten Libraries’ commitment to provide equal access to information for all library users, but also potentially puts member institutions at risk for accessibility lawsuits and complaints that could result in costly accessibility testing and remediation efforts. Therefore, in an effort to encourage library e-resource vendors to improve their compliance with accessibility, the Big Ten Academic Alliance has adopted the following accessibility license language:

Licensor shall comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), by supporting assistive software or devices such as large print interfaces, text-to-speech output, voice-activated input, refreshable braille displays, and alternate keyboard or pointer interfaces, in a manner consistent with the Web Accessibility Initiative Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 AA (http://www.w3.org/WAI/guid-tech.html). Licensor shall ensure that product maintenance and upgrades are implemented in a manner that does not compromise product accessibility. Licensor shall provide to Licensee a current, accurate completed Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) to demonstrate compliance with the federal Section 508 standards (http://www.state.gov/m/irm/impact/126343.htm). If the product does not comply, the Licensor shall adapt the Licensed Materials in a timely manner and at no cost to the Licensee in order to comply with applicable law.

The Big Ten Academic Alliance will attempt to insert this language into consortial licenses and its member libraries may ask vendors to accept this language for their institutions’ individual agreements. The intent is to urge vendors to make improvements in their products to ensure that persons with disabilities can access their valuable material, not only to avoid risk, but also to promote access to information and education for all.