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This Web Accessibility Group is a JH group--it includes members from the various JH Libraries. The Sheridan Libraries Web Advisory Council is hosting the page for now.


  • Assure that content delivered through JHU libraries' websites is compliant with ADA and other federal regulations.

  • Provide a briefing to the University Libraries Council in October 2007.

Working Group Members

  • Ashley Conaway (APL)
  • Paul Dennis (Peabody)
  • Ted Glazer (Welch)
  • Sean Hannan (Sheridan Libraries, Library Systems)
  • Sonny Singh (SAIS)
  • Elizabeth Uzelac (Sheridan Libraries, RSC)
  • Alex Valente (Sheridan Libraries, Reserves)
  • Sue Woodson (Sheridan Libraries, RSC & WAC chair)
  • Cynthia York (Sheridan Libraries, Library Digital Programs, Chair)

Applicable Federal Regulations

  • Americans With Disabilities Act - The ADA prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and the ADA text here
  • Section 508 - Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Section 508 also requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal agency, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the about Section 508 here
  • Section 504 - No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 7(20), shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Program or activity refers to all the operations of a college, university, or other postsecondary institution. read about Section 504 here

How People with Disabilities Use the Web

A good introduction to and summary of disability types and people with disabilities using the web with assistive technology can be found here.

Standards for Web Accessibility

  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines - general principles of accessible web design with explanatory checkpoints, published by the international standards entity, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Each checkpoint is further detailed by priority level (1, 2, or 3) based on their impact on web accessibility. Read the current WCAG standard here
  • Section 508 Standards - guidelines published by the federal government for web-based intranet and internet information and applications as part of the regulation.

Evaluation Methods

  • Automated - Evaluation tools can assist with checking for compliance. They should not be relied on as the sole means to determine the accessibility of web content.
  • Manual - A skilled human evaluator may identify accessibility issues that an automated process might not, or incorrectly assess. There are pros and cons of manual evaluation

The JHU Libraries Web Interfaces


Web Environment

Assistive Technology Use

Web Accessibility Policy Page

Sheridan Libraries

Content Management: Site Executive

  • In Use
    • ZoomText v.9.0 in selected areas
  • Planned/In Process
    • ZoomText v. 9.1 on all public PCs
    • Windows XP accessibility tools enabled
    • Book scanning space in GPML







Content Management: Site Executive

  • In Use
    • None
  • Planned/In Process
    • Unknown, but will evaluate options based on web accessibility discussions
  • In the past, we have adjusted to users' needs on a case by case basis



General info, policies etc part of main Peabody website.
Catalog is main Hopkins library

  • In Use
    • None
  • Planned/In Process
    • Nothing at present. Upcoming Peabody website redesign (sometime in '08) will incorporate Hopkins guidelines



  • Internal (for APL staff; maintained by library)
    • Website backed by an MS Access database
  • External (for public; maintained by external website team)
  • Internal ("Gibson Web")
    • In Use - None
    • Planned - unknown
  • External
    • In Use - follow W3C guidelines and web accessibility initiative
    • Planned - unknown


*APL has an internal site that is maintained by library staff. The skeleton (page layout, design, etc.) cannot be changed by library staff, and has not been changed in around 5 years. The content is maintained in an MS Access database that library staff edits, changes, adds to, etc. Therefore, until the site is redesigned entirely, the library cannot make changes to the site to increase accessibility. The external site is maintained by an entirely different department.

Proposed Plan for Developing Recommendations

  • Document (external) web environment at each library
  • Identify common elements
  • List accommodations in place and/or proposed
  • Educate concerning user population
  • Educate concerning compliance tools and mechanisms
  • Determine compliance threshold
  • Prioritize features, content, elements of site(s) for compliance
  • Draft update/findings for ULC

Meeting Notes

August 27, 2007
Sept 4, 2007
Sept 10, 2007


Further Reading

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