ALA Council calls on libraries to follow accessibility standards in purchasing

Contact: Steve Zalusky

Manager of Communications,

ALA Public Information Office

(312) 280-1546

For Immediate Release,

August 4, 2009

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Council is recommending that all libraries purchasing, procuring, and contracting for electronic resources and services require vendors to guarantee that they comply with widely accepted accessibility standards.

These standards include federal regulations based on Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 endorsed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

The W3C guidelines state that libraries will make Web content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities and photosensitivity.

In the council’s resolution, passed July 15 at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, the council recommends that libraries ensure that electronic products and services have been fully tested for compliance. It also recommends that federal, state and local governments provide adequate funding to ensure compliance.

The ALA Council is the governing body of ALA, which is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 65,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.