IT Accessibility Guidelines
This document guides individuals employed by the Kenosha Public Library (KPL) and vendors partnered with the library that provide patron resources and content to fulfill KPL's commitment to equal access to information technology (IT). Following the guidelines helps to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the same services and content that are available to people without disabilities, including services and content made available through the use of information technology. IT procured, developed, maintained, and used by KPL should provide substantially similar functionality, experience, and information access to individuals with disabilities as it provides to others.
The underlying foundation for the KPL's IT Accessibility Guidelines are Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Amendments Act of 2008, and the Inclusive Services Assessment & Guide for Wisconsin Public Libraries.
The Kenosha Public Library IT Accessibility Guidelines have adopted the definition of "accessible" used by the U.S. Department of Education in resolutions with postsecondary institutions. These are regarding civil rights complaints about the inaccessibility of their IT.
"Accessible" means a person with a disability is "afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally, and independently as a person without a disability" (source: Resolution Agreement: South Carolina Technical College System, OCR Compliance Review No. 11-11-6002).
These guidelines support public and staff applications, including the following examples:
- Video and audio content
- Electronic documents
- Desktop, mobile, and cloud-based applications
- Content and digital archive management systems
- Email and calendars
- Library resources
- Computers and peripherals
Technologies and standards evolve at a rapid pace. KPL looks to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA, developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), for guidance in meeting IT accessibility commitments. WCAG 2.1 provides success criteria for measuring web accessibility and valuable metrics for products and services not explicitly web-based. When an IT product cannot comply, the library should consult community members with visual, hearing, and physical disabilities to evaluate access.
The following resources can assist the KPL community in understanding and meeting its accessibility goals. These resources can also be a reference for vendors and contractors providing IT products and services to the Kenosha Public Library.