[community] Canadian Blind Scholars Share their Experiences of Journal and other Digital Content

Mark Weiler mweiler at alumni.sfu.ca
Sun Dec 18 01:04:58 UTC 2022


In the recording that follows, five blind Canadian scholars, at various stages in their academic careers, address Canadian university libraries at the conference of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network. 

The title of the panel is: Ensuring that the “World’s Knowledge is Accessible By All”: Canadian Blind Scholars Share their Experiences of Journal and other Digital Content 

Abstract and presenter list follows recording link.

Recording, vimeo, 30 minutes (with uncorrected captions)
Abstract
The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and its members are critical partners in the work of ensuring access to the world’s knowledge for a diversity of students and faculty with print disabilities. The 2016 CRKN model license was a step in the right direction. However, unless principles of accessibility are intentionally centred at all stages of CRKN’s activities - from procurement of academic journal subscriptions and eBooks, to negotiation with vendors, and the digitization of existing and often historic print resources - CRKN members may actually create and sustain accessibility barriers for disabled readers. In this round table presentation, blind scholars from diverse academic fields of study at Canadian universities and at various stages of our academic careers will highlight why strong and reciprocal community collaboration and deliberate relationship building are essential for CRKN to ensure its activities support digital accessibility. The panel will demonstrate how blind scholars access journal articles and eBooks with screen readers and braille displays. We will describe the everyday access barriers we face when we try to engage with the journal articles and other digital materials we require to complete and teach courses and undertake a diversity of research projects. We will also describe the significant personal impacts of encountering inaccessible library materials. Finally, we will offer our perspectives on practical solutions that are grounded in an assertion that accessibility is necessarily facilitated by a collective commitment across CRKN members and a collaborative relationship that centres diverse disabled expertise in all aspects of this work.
PresentersCynthia Bruce, Concordia UniversityChristopher Schiafone, recently graduated from University of Guelph-HumberNatalie Martiniello, Concordia UniversityMelanie Marsden, Laurier UniversityAshley Shaw, Laurier University
FacilitatorMark Weiler, Laurier University 




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