January 19, 2022

Report from SPARC: “OER and Accessibility: Working Toward Inclusive Learning”

From a Guest Post on the SPARC Blog by Camille Thomas, Scholarly Publishing Librarian at Texas Tech University:

During Open Access Week 2017, our team at Texas Tech University Library tabled in front of the library building. One student who stopped by the table was interested in Open Access and asked if those who, like him, use a screen reader were included in “open.” I let the student know considerations were being made to ensure open materials were accessible, but the truth is there’s still a lot for work to be done before inclusive design is normalized into our work—and that goes not just for OER, but for all digital materials.


Oanizations in the open movement are making strides to make OER more inclusive and equitable and help advocates take actionable steps.The Floe Project which has created a set of open technical tools that allow users to create and explore personalized digital interfaces. The project also offers an Inclusive Learning Design Handbook that includes guidance not just on text resources, but also tests, games, and simulations. The Library Publishing Coalition membership identified accessibility as a key issue in library publishing ethics in 2017 and included it in the 2018 Ethical Framework. The LPC Ethical framework refers to many formats and types of publications, which may include OER. Accessibility is also emphasized in the 2018 Open Access Week theme, Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge. These are just a few examples of the important resources and ongoing conversations.

Learn More, Read the Complete Post (Including “How OER Can Enhance Accessibility”)


About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.