Guidelines for Accessible Information Resources

Information resources provided by USM institutions must be accessible to individuals with disabilities, including those who use assistive technology such as screen readers. This includes information resources created, purchased or licensed, or otherwise provided by all institutional units, such as libraries, academic schools and departments, and service centers. Examples of information resources covered by these guidelines include printed materials, websites, databases, online library catalogs, electronic books, indexes to literature and other materials, full-text journal articles, and course materials made available through electronic reserve services or course management systems. Equal access for individuals with disabilities must include remote electronic access to information resources.

USM institutions and institutional departments that provide these various types of information resources should designate sufficient representatives to coordinate services for users with disabilities, ensure the availability and adequacy of assistive technologies in the libraries and/or other campus locations, and respond to requests for accessible information resources. These representatives should serve on each institution’s Accessible Technology and Information Committee.

Staff within USM libraries and other institutional units that provide information resources should be prepared to assist users with inaccessible print or electronic materials by providing consultations, by providing readers or research assistants for users with vision impairments, or by timely provision of these information resources in alternate formats such as large print, electronic text and Braille. Staff assistance should be provided when needed to retrieve materials for individuals with disabilities.

USM institutions should ensure that assistive technologies are available for use in campus libraries or other institutional departments, such as CCTVs or screen magnification software, screen reading software, and writing software for users with vision impairments or learning disabilities.