Be Bold: Connect with Customers

Apr. 17th, 2014 07:01 pm
[syndicated profile] aotus_feed

Posted by David Ferriero

Connect with Customers
State Fair, 10/1972. National Archives Identifier 545457

The second of our new strategic goals is to “Connect with Customers.”

Having spent most of my career working with the public, customer service is a passion of mine. In my personal life I am always looking for exemplars—places where I am dazzled by attention to service, places which learn from their customers, places which put their customers at the center of the service equation.

At the National Archives, we connect with customers in a multitude of ways: nationwide, face-to-face, over the phone, across the desk, in our research rooms, in the classroom and of course, online.  We have a wide-variety of customer communities, including educators, historians, genealogists, researchers, veterans and now groups such as civic hackers, Wikipedians and many more. We need to become more agile, more creative in connecting with them – whoever they are, wherever they are, to deliver what they want when they want it.

But connection is not just about delivery, it is about engaging with the public in ways we have not done in the past. Much of the work we have been doing with Open Government has been about connecting with customers in new ways.  In speaking about Open Government, President Obama said, “Our commitment to openness means more than simply informing the American people about how decisions are made.  It means … [ Read all ]

A few iOS freebies

Apr. 17th, 2014 02:12 pm
[personal profile] yendi
1. Hearthstone! Hearthstone! Yay! I'm amazed at how well this plays on the iPad, frankly. If you're already a player, even if you prefer your PC, you should play one match on the iPad to win a free pack of cards. If you haven't played HS at all, it's about as close to perfect as an FTP game can get, a great, fun collectible trading card game.

2. Horn. A hack-and-slash in the Infinity Blade style that's gotten some solid reviews.

3. Knights of Pen and Paper. A witty self-referential game that doesn't fall too far down its own rabbit hole, and is also fun so far.

4. Help Me Fly. A fun line-drawing puzzle game. I've had this one for a while, and it's pretty tough under the goofy-looking theme.

5. Warhammer Quest. Yes, there's a ton of IAP expansions, but at least you get the base game here for free. And that's got plenty to play.

6. Ascension. I'm assuming this one's staying free, now, but definitely worth grabbing. And add me in Gamecenter if you do! I'm always up for more games of this. It's probably my single favorite iOS app.

7. Hunter Island. The closest thing I've seen to a truly successful Pokemon game on the iOS, and well worth it for Pokemon or JRPG people.
[personal profile] yendi
I had my first jury duty experience in MA, after having been called twice in GA. Those first two experiences ended without my being impaneled at all (one, in fact, ended with a bomb threat). But yesterday's was a bit more interesting.

Things I learned from the video they showed us:

1. Massachusetts pioneered the one day/one juror system (instead of the ludicrous thirty-day system).

2. MA was one of the first to allow black people to sit on juries.

3. And one of the last to allow women.

That sounds educational, but seeing as it was a twenty-minute video, I'm not sure there was a lot of real meat there.

Other things I learned:

5. I could have gotten switched to a courthouse that was closer than the one in Lowell, had I known.

6. Being impaneled is interesting, and not quite like it usually is on TV. At least in this case (a civic one), the only people who were around when I was being questioned were the judge and the attorneys; the case participants, other jurors, etc, were too far away to hear anything.

7. Now that I've served (even being dismissed is considered serving; showing up the key thing here), I've got a three-year respite from being called again.

Red Alert: Avens Publishing Group

Apr. 17th, 2014 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] scholarlyoa_feed

Posted by Jeffrey Beall

Avens Publishing Group

A complete impostor.

 

The purpose of this blog post is to warn scholars to avoid having any association with Avens Publishing Group. By this I mean: don’t serve on their editorial boards, don’t submit papers to the firm’s journals, and don’t agree to review any papers for them.

When this publisher first appeared, it listed this contact address:

Avens Publishing Group
877 W 23rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90007 USA

Now it uses this address, which is a house:

Avens Publishing Group
47 Hemlock Dr.
Northborough, MA 01532
USA

The actual address is this:

Avens Publishing Group
Flat No. 502
Jyothiraditya Apartments,
Srinagar Colony,
Hyderabad, India

Avens Publishing Group headquarters

Headquarters for 46 medical journals? 47 Hemlock Drive, Northborough, Massachusetts

Avens Publishing Group’s portfolio now includes 46 journals (see list below), chiefly in the area of biomedical sciences.

In its early spam emails, the publisher claimed to be non-profit:

“We are glad to invite you as an eminent editor for the Journal of Cancer Sciences. Journal of Cancer Sciences, nonprofit, open access, peer reviewed journal that is being recently launched by Avens Publishing Group with a commitment to serve the scientific community.” [emphasis added. Source: Avens Publishing Group spam email message]

There is no evidence to indicate that the firm is truly non-profit. When it first began operations, Avens Publishing Group sent spam emails to editors listing these enticements:

Editorial Board benefits:

  1. We will provide 20% of Journal’s yearly revenue to individual editor, for their valuable service and on fulfilling their responsibilities.
  2. Articles suggested (or) submitted by Editors will be provided a 50% discount.
  3. We will be conducting conferences yearly; relating to happenings, advancements and breakthroughs in our Journal and editors will be playing a key role in suggesting titles, educating the young scientific community and also promoting our Journal.
  4. The article’s fate i.e., both the acceptance or rejection of article is purely dependent on the Editor’s decision and the peer reviewing process will be confidential.
  5. We will be providing scientific credits to all the Editorial board members based on their active participation towards our journal.

[Source: Avens Publishing Group spam email message]

The publisher has the annoying habit of saying its spam is not spam.

“Note: This is not a spam message, and has been sent to you because of your eminence in the field. If, however, you do not want to receive any email in future from Avens Publishing Group, then please reply with your request.” [Source: Avens Publishing Group spam email message]

Avens Publishing Group is a shrewd and dishonest publisher that all researchers should avoid. If you are currently serving on one of its editorial boards, I recommend that you resign. Above all, do not submit your work to this publisher’s journals. There are many better options.

Appedix: List of Avens Publishing Group journals as of 2014-04-13

  1.  International Journal of Nutrition
  2. International Journal of Otorhinolaryngology
  3. Journal of Addiction & Prevention
  4. Journal of Analytical & Molecular Techniques
  5. Journal of Andrology & Gynaecology
  6. Journal of Antimicrobial Drug Design and Therapy
  7. Journal of Bioanalysis & Biostatistics
  8. Journal of Bioelectronics and Nanotechnology
  9. Journal of Biowar & Defence
  10. Journal of Cancer Sciences
  11. Journal of Cardiobiology
  12. Journal of Chemistry and Applications
  13. Journal of Clinical & Medical Case Reports
  14. Journal of Clinical and Investigative Dermatology
  15. Journal of Clinical Trials & Patenting
  16. Journal of Cytology & Molecular Biology
  17. Journal of Emergency Medicine & Critical Care
  18. Journal of Environmental Studies
  19. Journal of Epidemiology & Drug Research
  20. Journal of Food Processing & Beverages
  21. Journal of Forensic Investigation
  22. Journal of Gene Therapy
  23. Journal of Geriatrics and Palliative Care
  24. Journal of Glycemic Disorders
  25. Journal of Hematology & Thrombosis
  26. Journal of Human Anatomy & Physiology
  27. Journal of Integrative Medicine & Therapy
  28. Journal of Metabolomics & Systems Biology
  29. Journal of Neurology and Psychology
  30. Journal of Obesity and Bariatrics
  31. Journal of Ocular Biology
  32. Journal of Oncobiomarkers
  33. Journal of Oral Biology
  34. Journal of Orthopedics & Rheumatology
  35. Journal of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease
  36. Journal of Pediatrics & Child Care
  37. Journal of Pharmaceutics & Pharmacology
  38. Journal of Plant Biology & Soil Health
  39. Journal of Proteomics & Computational Biology
  40. Journal of Surgery
  41. Journal of Syndromes
  42. Journal of Toxins
  43. Journal of Transplantation & Stem Cell Biology
  44. Journal of Urology & Nephrology
  45. Journal of Vaccine & Immunotechnology
  46. Journal of Veterinary Science & Medicine

[syndicated profile] alaskanlibrarian_feed

Posted by Daniel Cornwall

Aside from providing meeting space for community groups to meet, the Juneau Public Libraries (JPL) offer quite a bit of specialty programming. Some of it is based around books, but not all of it is. While there may be a TV channel or website for everything, the advantage of a library event is that it gets community people talking to each other about shared interests.

Here’s a sampling of events from April 2014:

  • Cuentacuentos Infantil
  • Second Friday Author Tea (Lois McMaster Bujold)
  • Kim Heacox Author presentation
  • Fourth Thursday TEDx
  • John Straley Author presentation

For more information, visit the JPL calendar.

If you liked this post or have a library event story of your own, share on your favorite social media using #nlw14.


Filed under: alaska, libraries Tagged: nlw14

Recovering....

Apr. 16th, 2014 05:33 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Did ok on my trip, but just ok. I also got through work today. And I wrote a blog post because it seemed like it had to be done. But now I'm totally done touching a keyboard. Exhausted, in pain, a bit fevery feeling all over. I have not managed to unpack yet. Moomin helped me put away clean laundry. Zond7 ordered us groceries and cleaned up and we have a helpful house cleaner coming tomorrow. I need serious rest.

Read The Goblin Emperor, which I highly recommend! OMG... more like this!

Also, Pen Pal by Francesca Forrest.

Both excellent!!!
[syndicated profile] paciello_a11y_feed

Posted by David Sloan

TPG’s Accessible User Experience team recently did some work for a client exploring legislation and standards on digital accessibility in selected countries around the world, and their impact on defining an organizational accessibility policy for globally-active organizations.  In particular, since we didn’t have time to conduct an exhaustive review, we were interested in discovering how easy it was to find authoritative national digital accessibility policy information that organizations could act on.

We wrote about our findings in a paper that we presented at the Web For All (W4A) 2014 conference in Seoul.  Here’s the text of our paper, amended slightly from the original to include additional hyperlinks for ease of online reading.

Abstract

Awareness of the nature and implication of legislation and policy regarding web accessibility in different countries is important in guiding organizational web accessibility policy. Our review of published legislation and supporting documentation relating to disability rights and digital accessibility in five countries—Australia, Brazil, China, India and South Africa—reveals diversity in the nature and extent of legislation and policy, but offers some indication of trends that could inform a global web accessibility policy.

Introduction

Widespread recognition of the contribution of ICT, and the web in particular, towards promoting social inclusion and reducing discrimination of people with disabilities is reflected in legislation and policy across the world. For organizations authoring or providing web content and applications intended for international use, there is a complex challenge in defining an accessibility policy and strategy that is sensitive to the diversity of cultural, technical and legislative situations that may exist in different target markets [4]. This challenge is exacerbated when one considers the efforts required to create and maintain high-quality translated versions of content—and its accessible equivalents.

To help define a pragmatic and locally-sensitive global accessibility strategy, we argue that an essential first step is to understand the nature and diversity of the legislative situation with regard to digital accessibility, for example the extent to which guidelines such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) feature in national policy. In this paper, we describe observations of a short study of the legislative environment for digital accessibility in five selected countries, and identify some trends and implications on developing and implementing a global digital accessibility strategy.

A Global View

Before considering each territory in turn, we give an overview of key global treaties that have influenced, or are likely to influence, territory policy and legislation.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD)

For many countries, particularly those in the developing world, disability legislation and policy has been driven by the commitments made when the country ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) [8], which was adopted in 2006 and entered into force on 2008. The terms of the treaty are likely to form the basis of any new legislation and policy or changes to existing legislation relating to the rights of people with disabilities to participate in public life, including access to education, access to technology and digital content, and to copyrighted content.

Of relevance to digital accessibility in the UN CRPD is a recurring theme of a commitment to Universal Design, with further emphasis of the contribution that ICT can make in improving accessibility of information, services and experiences to people with disabilities. Article 9 (Accessibility) obliges signatories to promote access for people with disabilities to new information and communications technologies and systems, including the Internet, and to promote accessibility early and throughout the technology development lifecycle. Articles 21, 24 and 30 deal with access to web-based services, education and cultural life respectively.

UN records show 158 ratifications of the UN CRPD, as at January 2014, though notably this does not include the US. Additionally, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) provide summary data on adoption with relevance to ICT accessibility, which indicates that, amongst countries surveyed, web sites and television are most common ICTs addressed [2].

The WIPO Marrakesh Treaty

A significant concern of global digital accessibility is the difficulty in access to copyrighted content by people who, for reasons of disability, are unable to access the content in its original printed format. The unavailability of accessible format content is often due to copyright limitations that make it prohibitively expensive or time-consuming—or unlawful—to create and distribute accessible formats. To address this challenge, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) published The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled on June 27, 2013 [9].

The Treaty specifically addresses the need for copyright legislation to provide necessary exceptions to facilitate creation and distribution of accessible format copies of published works. The Treaty focuses on people with print disabilities as beneficiaries, and defines this as including:

  • people who are blind;
  • people who have a visual or reading disability (including dyslexia) that prevents them from having equivalent access to printed published content;
  • people with physical impairments that make it difficult or impossible to hold a book.

The provisions of the Treaty acknowledge the advances in technology that facilitate easier creation and distribution of accessible formats. They set out a framework for enabling access to these alternative formats, while also recognizing the rights of copyright holders over distribution of their content. So, from a web accessibility perspective, the Treaty can be considered another motivating factor for preparing digital content in a manner such that it can successfully be used by people with print disabilities, including:

  • Ensuring text can be effectively presented by screen readers and other text-to-speech software, for people who are blind and for people who have difficulty reading.
  • Ensuring that the appearance of text can be customized to enhance readability, for example by changing text and background colors, text size, font, line spacing or justification.
  • Ensuring digital content is navigable when accessed using diverse alternative input devices.

Legislation and Policy Review

We considered five territories in conducting this review:  Australia, Brazil, China, India and South Africa. The latter four countries were selected for study as each is an emerging economy where economic growth is globally significant, but the legislative framework for disability equality and digital accessibility can be considered to be still evolving. We note that coverage of the situation in the US and the EU is comprehensive, so, for contrast, we chose Australia as a country with a mature and stable disability rights legal situation, including web accessibility case law, and a prominent and active digital accessibility movement.

We conducted a review of publicly available legislation and policy documentation regarding disability rights and digital accessibility, including of copyrighted content, for each of the selected territories during December 2013. Some information gathered was based on third party accounts and automated translations of content not provided in English. Some potentially useful material that is not provided in English may exist but was not found during this research. Nevertheless, the conclusions that follow are based on a principle of diminishing returns—if, after a period of searching, only relatively limited information on digital accessibility and disability equality in a territory, it was concluded that:

  1. There is no such information available, or;
  2. There is information available, but it is sufficiently difficult to find by affected organizations that it is at present of relatively limited real-world impact.

Patterns and Trends

Based on our findings, we can make some observations on patterns and trends emerging from the policy and legislative situation in the territories reviewed.

Disability rights legislation and web accessibility

Existence of disability rights legislation: All territories have legislation intended to protect the rights of people with disabilities. However, despite each territory’s ratification of the UN CRPD, there is significant diversity in the extent, detail and maturity of disability legislation across the territories studied. Definitions of disability and the legal rights of people with disabilities vary across the territories reviewed, but generally focuses on rights to access basic public information and services.

Status and evolution of disability rights legislation and supporting documentation: Through its Human Rights Commission (HRC), Australia provides details supporting guidance documentation to help organizations meet their obligations under the relevant legislation, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1992. Brazil has enacted a number of laws and decrees to gradually extend and provide more detail to the rights expressed in its original piece of legislation, Law No. 7853 (1989), protecting the rights of people with disabilities. These include Decree 6949 (2009), which adopts the full terms of the UN CRPD.

China modified its disability rights legislation, the Law on Protection of Disabled People, in 2008, after signing of the UN CRPD. The terms of this legislation appear to be aspirational rather than providing details of rights and obligations. India’s disability rights legislation is the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Right and Full Participation) Act 1995, which predates the UN CRPD. There is no clear detail of plans exist to update it to better reflect the terms of the UN CRPD.

South Africa does not have a specific item of legislation protecting the rights of people with disabilities; these rights are bound in a more general equality act, the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 2000. However, the government indicated in 2011 that it plans to draft a disability-specific law, although progress towards fuller adoption of the terms of the UN CRPD is unclear.

Reference to technology in disability rights: Each territory formally recognizes the value of technology in reducing inequality for people with disabilities, in legislation or supporting documentation. However, territories differ in the level of definition of the rights of people with disabilities to be able to successfully access and use digital content, products and services; with no obvious mention made in China’s disability rights legislation or in South Africa’s equality legislation.

Reference to minimum standards for web accessibility: No territory provides direct reference to technical requirements in legislation for digital accessibility. However, Australia, Brazil and India do provide guidance on a recommended standard for accessibility either by direct reference to WCAG 2.0 or by publication of national web accessibility guidelines. The nature and scope of these standards varies—all cover government web sites, but only Australia provides details of a required standard to be met by non-government web sites. In Brazil, eMAG 3.0 deviates from WCAG 2.0 Level AA by requiring an accessibility toolbar and specific skip navigation to be present on each page, and by omitting some Level AA Success Criteria [5].

Table 1: Web accessibility standards in selected territories
Territory Standard Scope Notes
Australia WCAG 2.0 Level AA Government and non-government web sites Specified in guidance provided by the Human Rights Commission on meeting DDA obligations.
Brazil eMAG 3.0 Government web sites eMAG 3.0 closely follows WCAG 2.0 Level AA, but with some differences.
China None n/a No evidence found of a national standard for web accessibility (but see Note at the end of the paper for an update).
India Guidelines for Indian Government Web sites Government web sites Guideline conformance ensures meeting WCAG 2.0 Level A, but also extend beyond accessibility requirements.
South Africa None n/a No evidence found of a national standard for web accessibility.

In addition to the Guidelines for Indian Government Web sites, the Indian Government approved the National Policy on Electronic Accessibility (PDF) in October 2013 [6]. The Policy sets out objectives for improving accessibility of public and private web sites, and proposes that accessibility standards will be “formulated or adapted from” existing standards, with specific reference is made to W3C accessibility guidelines, including WCAG 2.0, along with the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) and the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG).

Treatment of non-HTML digital formats: Web accessibility standards and guidance of Australia, Brazil and India all make reference to a preference to providing web content in accessible HTML over other formats. Additionally, there are signs that choosing to rely on PDF as a digital content format will be problematic in some territories. Australia warns against relying on PDF as a document format, while Brazil requires downloadable documents to be available in ODF. This may be evidence of a trend to avoid recommending reliance on proprietary file formats in favor of open formats; there are also known accessibility limitations of PDF in terms of supporting people with some print disabilities in customizing the appearance of text [3].

Advocacy and outreach: Australia has a mature and active community, including private enterprises, academia and the non-profit sector. Elsewhere, the presence of a digital accessibility community is less visible, but there are examples of progress. W3C is active in promoting web accessibility and adoption of W3C standards though regional offices in Australia, Brazil, India and South Africa, and through a Community Group on Accessibility in China. The Techshare India conference, and Brazil’s All@Web, a web accessibility “recognition program” coordinated by the W3C and the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, are examples of awareness-raising initiatives that may help to raise the profile of web accessibility.

Rights to Accessible Copyrighted Content

Marrakesh Treaty: Australia, Brazil and China have signed the Marrakesh Treaty.

Status and evolution of copyright legislation supporting access to alternative formats: All territories had some form of copyright law, but legal definition of the rights of people with disabilities to receive copyrighted content in accessible format varied across different territories. Australia’s Copyright Amendment Act 2006 updated prior legislation to include provisions for the rights of people with disabilities to receive copyrighted content in alternative formats; the Australian Government has indicated that only minor revisions would be necessary to enable Australia to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty. However, information was scarce on plans to revise existing legislation in Brazil, China, India and South Africa to enable ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty.

Brazil’s Copyright Law of 1998 provides some rights for people with visual impairments to reproduce copyrighted content in accessible format.  The Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China (amended 2010) grants no specific rights for people with disabilities to receive or produce copyrighted content in accessible format. China’s Law on Protection of Disabled People (2008) grants basic rights of people with disabilities to access books, but does not give more specific detail on rights to alternative formats. India’s Copyright Amendment Act (2012) amended the Copyright Act (1957) to give some basic provisions for people with disabilities to access copyrighted content in alternative formats. South Africa has a Copyright Act of 1978, but gives no specific rights for people with disabilities to access copyrighted content in alternative formats [7]. However, in representations made to the process of finalizing the Marrakesh Treaty, South Africa indicated that it is reviewing its copyright legislation in advance of signing the Marrakesh Treaty.

Implications for an Organizational Global Accessibility Policy

Based on the findings of this study, we present some implications on organizations wishing to define and implement a global digital accessibility policy.

Slow convergence: Disability equality legislation and policy, particularly with respect to digital content and services and access to copyrighted content, may evolve slowly in individual territories, but is likely to converge over time as territories recognize and formalize their obligations as adopters of the UN CRPD and the Marrakesh Treaty.

Focus on print disability: Legal definitions of disability may vary across different territories, but the definition of print disability defined in the Marrakesh Treaty may cause legal definitions of disability to be revised as part of the process of ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty, and this definition should be accommodated in global policy. Organizational policy should extend digital accessibility obligations beyond accommodating visual impairment through ensuring logical and comprehensible audio output of content to include reading difficulties relating to cognitive and motor impairment. This should include a focus on supporting flexibility of text customization, compatibility with different reading and input devices, and minimizing physical effort in interaction.

Prominence of WCAG 2.0: Whilst not ubiquitous in national legislation or standards, signs are that providing web content that meets WCAG 2.0 Level AA will ensure the content also meets standards for web accessibility across different territories. Therefore, organizational policy that references WCAG 2.0 as its measure of web content accessibility is likely to be more globally relevant.

Limitations of PDF accessibility: The review identified instances where reliance on the provision of content in proprietary data formats, particularly PDF, is likely to be problematic from a standards or legal compliance perspective. This is, of course, a small sample, but should be considered a sign of a relationship between global digital accessibility standards and access to open source formats, particularly in territories where economic conditions may encourage adoption of open source solutions. Organizations that use PDF should develop a policy for acquiring, generating and publishing accessible PDF content, and also ensuring accessible alternatives are available. Looking forward, it would be prudent to reduce reliance on PDF by establishing a policy that all new content in presented in an open source format, such as accessible HTML.

Capacity for monitoring global developments: Disability rights legislation and policy around the world is dynamic; and the connections between disability rights and the role technology can play in reducing (or exacerbating) inequality can sometimes be misunderstood or underestimated. Organizations should develop internal capacity through dedicated staff to scope, document and monitor the legislative and policy situation in other key territories, and share this knowledge strategically in order to anticipate and meet relevant obligations it is likely to be placed under; and take advantage of market opportunities in terms of the provision of accessible digital content, services and experiences that such a situation may offer.

Conclusion

In this study of the situation in key global markets we have presented a perspective from an accessibility consultancy rather than a forensic examination by a corporate legal team. Nevertheless we offer a viewpoint that we believe will help a multi-nationally active organization looking to understand and act on the global digital accessibility legal landscape. As expected, the situation in Australia is the most detailed in terms of publicly available requirements for delivering digital accessibility; though there is significant activity in Brazil and India.

Our findings indicate that, for organizations looking to define a global digital accessibility policy, there are some signs of convergence of legal and technical requirements, particularly in regard to definition of the rights of people with disabilities, and in terms of WCAG 2.0 conformance. However, progress towards a mature and consistent global definition and recognition of web accessibility—and, even, disability itself—still appears to be some way off; and further detail of progress in these and other territories is needed in order to provide a more detailed understanding of the situation. That said, restricting digital accessibility strategy to achieving technical compliance within a specific country is unlikely to lead to a sufficiently positive experience for people with disabilities, given the focus of legislation on equal access to information and basic services. Balancing designing for accessibility out-of-the-box with flexibility of customization is a key underpinning requirement of a forward looking organizational accessibility strategy.

Acknowledgement

We thank Pearson Global for their support in funding this research study.

Note

During the question and answer session following the presentation at W4A, we learned of work in China to develop a national web accessibility standard, which is based on WCAG 2.0; but material in English on this standard is at the time of writing seems to be scarce. If and when we find any, we’ll provide a link to it.

References

  1. Australian Human Rights Commission 2010. World Wide Web Access: DDA Guidance Notes Version 4.0.
  2. G3ict 2013. CRPD 2013 ICT Accessibility Progress Report.
  3. Henry, S. 2012. Developing Text Customisation Functionality Requirements of PDF Reader and Other User Agents. Proceedings of Computers Helping People with Special Needs. Vol. Part I. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, 602–609.
  4. Kelly, B., Lewthwaite, S. and Sloan, D. 2010. Developing Countries, Developing Experiences: Approaches to Accessibility for the Real World. Proceedings of 2010 International Cross Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility (Raleigh, USA, 26-27 April 2010). ACM, New York, NY.
  5. Modelo de Accessibilidade em Governo Eletrônico (e-MAG) version 3.0.
  6. National Policy on Digital Accessibility (India) (PDF).
  7. Nicholson, D. 2012. Accommodating persons with sensory disabilities in South African copyright law. Master of Laws. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand.
  8. United Nations 2007. UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
  9. World Intellectual Property Organization 2013. Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

 

 

The post Global Considerations in Creating an Organizational Web Accessibility Policy appeared first on The Paciello Group Blog.

[syndicated profile] philipnel_feed

Posted by Philip Nel

Kansas Board of RegentsBased on Lawrence Journal-World reporter Scott Rothschild’s tweets (see below), the Kansas Board of Regents are rejecting the social media work group’s thoughtful revisions to the Board of Regents’ failed social media policy.  If I understand Mr. Rothschild correctly, they’re going to tack on some language affirming academic freedom to a policy that eviscerates academic freedom.  In sum, the Kansas Board of Regents appear to be treating the workgroup’s recommendations as a kind of garnish for the Board of Regents’ original turd sandwich.

So, here are 3 things you can do:

  1. If you teach at a Regents university, please join us for Five on the Hour (April 21 and 22), when — at the top of each hour, in our classes — we’ll talk about freedom of speech and how it’s integral to our work.
  2. You might also contact the Kansas Board of Regents, and let them know your views.  Contacting Governor Brownback is also a fine idea.
  3. Come to “Academic Freedom and Responsibility in the Age of Social Media,” at the University of Kanas, 27 April 2014. Free and open to the public.

I have to dash off to teach now, but wanted to get this info. out as soon as I could.

UPDATE #1 (16 April, 11:30am): Full report

UPDATE #2 (16 April, 2:30 pm): Regents now say they will adopt “nearly all” recommendations of social media workgroup.

(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2014 10:48 am
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
The point I'm at with my Chinese learning is a tough part -- if I want to read things, the volume of unknown vocabulary isn't overwhelming; but reading things is ridiculously, painfully slow. It's a problem of integrating and making automatic the knowledge I already have, more than a problem of learning new things.

I know how I got through this when I was learning Japanese. It was by reading tons of manga, and tons of Fujimi Orchestra novels.

But the kind of things that I want to read in Chinese -- manga, and cheesy romance novels, and fantasy novels -- are mostly in traditional characters, which are even more painfully slow for me to read than simplified characters. (And I suspect there are some mainland vs. Taiwan dialect differences that are causing me problems too.) And the materials aimed at Chinese learners are mostly too easy for me by this point.

I suspect this will probably work out for me similarly to how it worked out in Japanese, where I buy a lot of books I don't end up reading in the quest for something both interesting enough and easy enough, and eventually things get easier, bit by bit.

But I sure wish that the nearest really good Chinese bookstore wasn't all the way in Flushing. (The ones in Chinatown keep closing!)
[syndicated profile] alaskanlibrarian_feed

Posted by Daniel Cornwall

The benefits of the Juneau Public Libraries go beyond their collections both physical and virtual. It goes beyond providing internet access. All three of their branches provide meeting rooms for community groups to meet:

The library offers the use of its meeting rooms for public meetings and programs of a non-commercial nature. Meetings must be free of charge and open to the public. Meeting rooms are available at all three facilities. All meeting rooms except the Small Meeting Room Downtown have a 60″ wall mounted video monitor to use for in-room presentations and are also video conference enabled.  Call 586-0442 or see our Technology Services page for more information about video conferencing.

Please call to reserve and to discuss guidelines for use.

These rooms are offered free of charge to the community. Who meets here? A partial list from April:

  • Alaska Virtual Academy
  • Daughters of the American Revolution
  • Glacierview Condo Assoc.
  • Juneau Adult Hockey Association
  • Monday Night Writers Group

Want to see more, check out the library’s calendar. It includes community meetings and library events, the focus of my next post.

 

If you’ve liked this post or have a library story of your own, share it to your favorite social media site with #nlw14.


Filed under: alaska, libraries Tagged: nlw14

Be Bold: Make Access Happen

Apr. 15th, 2014 06:38 pm
[syndicated profile] aotus_feed

Posted by David Ferriero

Women Working at a Switchboard
Photograph of Women Working at a Bell System Telephone Switchboard. National Archives Identifier 1633445.

 

The first of our new strategic goals is to “Make Access Happen.”  Increasingly, access means digital, online access. Our first goal has one objective, to make our records available to the public in digital form to ensure that anyone can explore, discover and learn from our records.

Here are a few of the initiatives listed under this goal:

  • First, we want to complete the long journey of describing our holdings in our online catalog. We launched our first agency-wide online catalog in 2003, and now we are within just a few years of being able to say that over 95% of our records are described at the series level. Currently we are at 83% and going strong. Archivists across the agency continue to provide basic archival metadata to the catalog so that people around the world can know what we have.
  • We will also accelerate the processing of analog and digital records to quickly make our records available to the public. Foundational technology for that effort will be the development of a digital processing environment that will allow archival, digitization and description staff to work in an environment that supports and enhances accelerated processing of the records.
  • We want to digitize our records and to make them available online.
  • [ Read all ]
[syndicated profile] scholarlyoa_feed

Posted by Jeffrey Beall

Turan Senguder

Best at fooling people.

There is a new class of scholarly journal. These journals are not open-access. You can’t purchase their articles individually. Individuals cannot subscribe to them. The only way to access their content is through a very small number of academic libraries.

I call these Super Closed Access Journals. Their purpose is clearly not scholarly communication, for there is very little distribution of their content. Their purpose is academic credit for the authors and profit for the owner.

Here’s is an example, the publisher called Academic Journals and Conferences. It’s a one-man operation based in Florida (though it pretends to be based in New York).

This publisher has these journals:

Except for the article titles and their abstracts, one cannot access the content through the publisher’s website. You have to have privileges at a subscribing library, and there are very few libraries that have licensed journal packages that include this publisher’s journals.

I consider this a phony publisher, and I am sure you will agree with me after you have a look at its website. Here are the reasons I find it phony:

  • The journals have nothing to do with Cambridge, yet they use the term in their titles.
  • The main page proclaims, “CHAMBER of COMMERCE, Beverly Hills, California” (impressive, no?).
  • There are numerous pictures of the owner, Turan Senguder, with young women all over the website.
  • The firm’s secretary is listed as Dr. Charles Hilton, but this is a fictitious persona.
  • The journals have a box that says, “BEST Scholarly Journals 2014″ but this is just something the owner made up.
  • It is very easy to find plagiarism among the journal articles.
  • The publisher presents itself as a business academy when it’s really just a sole proprietor who organizes phony conference and journals.

The publisher does not really “publish” the three journals. They are really only published by the company called ProQuest. That is to say, the only way to access these journals is through a subscription to one of the ProQuest packages that are marketed to libraries.

Why does ProQuest include such low quality titles in its packages? The reason is ProQuest competes for libraries’ business with other journal aggregators. A good way to compete is to tell potential customers you aggregate and provide exclusive access to more journals than the competition. So ProQuest contracts with as many publishers as possible to be the exclusive distributor of their journals’ content.

Regretablly, ProQuest includes junk journals in its portfolio like the three published by this phony publisher, just to increase its numbers and convince libraries to buy its journal packages. I call on ProQuest to stop this practice and introduce better quality control in its journal packages.


[syndicated profile] alaskanlibrarian_feed

Posted by Daniel Cornwall

For Day 3 of National Library Week, I’d like to highlight the physical collections of the Juneau Public Libraries, not only what they own, but what they can physically get their hands on for you. Let’s start off with their somewhat brief collections page:

 

Library Collections

MISSION AND CLIENTELE
The primary mission of the Juneau Public Libraries is to develop, maintain, and facilitate the use of a collection of books and other materials responsive to the diverse and constantly changing informational needs of those to whom it has a service obligation. The library strives to offer the most complete and balanced collection possible within existing fiscal and physical limitations. Providing free access to materials which satisfy educational, cultural, informational, and recreational needs of constituents of all ages, backgrounds, and occupations is a central concern, which must be met both from within and from beyond the library’s own collection.

 

SIZE AND EXTENT OF COLLECTIONS
The collection of the Juneau Public Libraries includes approximately 124,000 items located in three facilities.

The materials collected include books, ebooks, books on tape/cd, audiobook downloads, videos and DVD’s, music on compact disc and for download, periodicals, microfiche, microfilm and online electronic databases.

 

ONLINE CATALOG

The catalog of the CAPITAL CITY LIBRARIES may be reached online at:http://jlc-web.uaa.alaska.edu/client/jpl or by using the “Search Library Catalog” searchbox located at the top of the menu on the left. The catalog is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

 

I’d like to elaborate on the “periodicals” above. Periodicals is slang for newspapers, magazines and journals. Each of the branches of the Juneau Public Libraries has a nice size collection of magazines and newspapers. All of the branches will have major Alaskan newspapers. Each branch has a slightly different collection of magazines and journals. Some of the titles you’ll find in paper (sometimes online too) in our system are:

Honestly, if you live in Juneau, you should just walk into a library and start browsing around the magazine and newspaper collections.

If you’re interested in new books, audio books or DVDs, JPL has these constantly updated lists to make it easy:

If you have an RSS reader like Netvibes, you can subscribe to these feeds.

But what you can get at the library isn’t limited to what is held at the three branches. Juneau Public Libraries is a member of the Joint Library Catalog, a consortium that ranges from Juneau through Anchorage, Valdez and Kodiak and includes two university collections – University of Alaska, Southeast and University of Alaska Anchorage. You can use JPL’s Catalog to get many of the system’s more than one million items delivered to your nearest library.

There’s a world of material at your feet. Why not go look at it?

 

Like this post or have your own library story? Go to your favorite social media and share it with #nlw14.


Filed under: alaska, libraries Tagged: books, movies, music, nlw14
erika: Text with picture of Neil Patrick Harris: When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead.  True story. (words: start being awesome)
[personal profile] erika
Scenes over the last few weeks:

Thank god for spring.



Content warning: not giving a fuck about suicidality. )



A few days ago:
My head hurts. It's the steady ache of my days, separating dream from reality. Lucid dreaming's a snap when you have chronic pain; if I'm in reality, then I'm in pain. The ache in my head is unrelenting, though modest, a steady drumming thrum of plucked strings and high wires.

My heart hurts: it aches so deeply that I experience "heartbreak" as so much more than a word. Maybe it's impossible to convey, that searing agony that forces me to my knees and desperate tears to my face, denial already on my lips, like a punch from a cannon into my sternum. But—but—it passes. It dwells within me and then escapes, only to come back at the oddest times to remind me of the pain, to make me think "Oh god, I will die. I'm dying right now."

You say hername went with you on that hike, and I wonder what else you're keeping from me. I remember how you said, "I think it's for the best." I don't know what's for the best anymore.




The last section speaks to the fact that while under unimaginable emotional stress, Josh broke up with me for a few days.

I told him, fine, move out, but I'm keeping the lease. I rallied my support system, and played "So What" by P!nk a lot, but I was okay, fundamentally. That surprised me more than anything else. Afterwards, he said he was proud of me for telling him to get out and asserting myself like that.





"What would it look like if it weren't that", my social worker asks me.

She nearly interrupted me when I started talking, a pre-emptive apology for phrasing it badly—that's how I know she was either embarrassed or I make fun of people too much for weird phrasing, but I interrupted her right back and said "No, no, it stuck in my head."

I'd been rambling about how I worry, like usual, that i'm not helping anyone at work and that i'm a major burden, but she had said that and it felt ... like a splinter, like the tip of an iceberg that would drench me in cold water once I'd worked it out.

So I thought about it, pondered in my mind what that meant to me, her words, because I can never resist a challenge.

What would the opposite of your fear look like, perhaps. And I had this feeling, concurrent with a stumbling inability to put emotions to words that I've recently discovered as a barrier to discussing the most important parts of me—a decent yellow flag if you think of it that way—
I felt like "the opposite of my fear is what's in reality."

As in, if I fear that I'm a burden at work, the opposite of that would be a valued contributor who pays attention to the moment and plans for the future, is rooted in reality.

In reality.

Yes, I am a valued contributor at work, says the evidence. But I'm not looking for the shadow of the mountain of evidence, I'm not listening to the appreciative thanks that land in my ears, I'm not running my fingers over the embroidered deeds and words and support I've given happily at work, so I don't know it.

I fear that Josh is tired of me and sickened by me, and the opposite of that is that he loves me and wants to be around me more often than he wants to be around anyone else. Again, I think that has evidence for it.

But how can I know what being a valued contributor would look like, or being really appreciated as a partner, because I've never had those experiences before or if I did, they came along too fleetingly for me to understand them, underscored by the long uncomfortable punctuations of being hurt instead of heard?

(Hurt instead of heard: a small flippancy to the dreadful experiences that I hope you'll forgive me.)

This has the flavor of the uncomfortable perspective shift that always accompanies epiphanies for the first few days.

If I don't know what it is, if I haven't defined it for myself, then I won't ever know it even if I do encounter it.

If I don't know what it is, I wouldn't recognize it were it right in front of me. Yet being with Josh, and working this last month, I've had the very strong feeling that these experiences are distinctly different from others.

However, when it was only with Josh, and me not seeing this effect in other areas of my life, perforce unique, entirely, to recognize that he values me. Adding to that when I got this job and they value me too, it wasn't as shocking and it also meant——hey, this isn't just a fluke.

Somehow I find this revelation comforting, even affirming. It says to me "yes, Virginia, there is hope. These things do exist, and may even be in your life right now, but you haven't learned to recognize them. Now I know I haven't learned to recognize them.

As Archimedes said, give me a lever and a place to stand.




The opposite of my fear is what's in reality also has another meaning to me. I think sometimes I... react to my fears like they are reality. Even often, I do that, perhaps. Certainly more than I want to.

The epiphany of these last few paragraphs serves to move my world view a few degrees, and here I am, rotated into seeing my life differently with that arc of space.

Many times I fear things that may not or probably won't happen and act as though they must BECOME reality at some point. For whatever reason: a fertile imagination, past bad experiences, playing too many video games——that last was a joke.

I don't want to waste my energy like that anymore. I have better things to do.
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Posted by Philip Nel

University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Wichita State University, University of Kansas Medical Center

15 April 2014

Dear Kansas Board of Regents,

We write to offer strong support for the joint working group’s revision of the Kansas Board of Regents’ social media policy.  The revised policy is laudable in several ways.

First, it recognizes the unique and fundamental duty of public universities to contribute to the discovery, creation, and testing of new knowledge, as well as the educational necessity to encourage critical thinking and ensure breadth of knowledge for students.  These are primary responsibilities of public universities; they differentiate college classrooms, university lecture halls, and campus libraries from nearly every other sort of work environment.  Any policy regarding the sharing of thoughts and language in an academic environment must support this critical role for university employees.

Second, the process of its development models scholarly inquiry.  The group formed for this task includes individuals (faculty and staff) with multiple areas of expertise and experience.  They analyzed existing policies across the Regents’ campuses, searched nationally for parallel policies, debated the goals and language among themselves, and released their draft for further scrutiny and debate within the academic communities where it will be implemented.  This process exemplifies the very practices of scholarship that are so fundamental to academic work.

Third, it offers true guidance for the proper development of campus-specific policies, relying on the specific procedures already mandated for policy development on the individual Regents campuses, each of which has an individual mission in which academic freedom and discourse must function.  This draft is neither chilling nor punitive; to the contrary, it encourages thoughtful, informed examination of how the new technologies of social media complicate as well as facilitate public discourse.

“The proper role of public intellectuals is to question accepted dogmas, conceive of new methods of analysis, and expand the terms of public debate,” John Cassidy observes in a recent review of a Harvard University Press publication (“Forces of Divergence,” The New Yorker, 31 March 2014: 73).

As University Distinguished Professors at Kansas State University and the University of Kansas Medical Center, and Distinguished Professors at the University of Kansas and Wichita State University, we find this draft meets, supports, and exemplifies the role of scholarship for public intellectuals in a democracy.  We endorse it with enthusiasm.

Sincerely yours,

Christer Aakeroy, Chemistry, KSU
Kenneth B. Armitage, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, KU
Victor Bailey, History, KU
Deborah Ballard-Reisch, Strategic Communication, WSU
William A. Barnett, Economics, KU
Raj Bhala, Law, KU
John Blair, Biology, KSU
Frank Blecha, Veterinary Medicine, KSU
Susan J. Brown, Biology, KSU
Yolanda Broyles-Gonzalez, American Ethnic Studies, KSU
Edgar Chambers IV, Human Nutrition, KSU
Gaylen Chandler, Management, WSU
M. M. Chengappa, Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology, KSU
C. Lewis Cocke, Physics, KSU
Gary Conrad, Biology, KSU
Ann Cudd, Philosophy, KU
David Darwin, Engineering, KU
Lynn Davidman, Sociology & Jewish Studies, KU
Richard DeGeorge, Philosophy, KU
Rob Denell, Biology, KSU
Elizabeth Dodd, English, KSU
Walter Dodds, Biology, KSU
Michael Dryden, Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology, KSU
James H. Edgar, Chemical Engineering, KSU
Charles C. Eldredge, Art History, KU
Paul Enos, Geology, KU
Joseph B. Evans, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, KU
Steven Farmer, Management, WSU
Stephen B. Fawcett, Applied Behavioral Science, KU
Victor S. Frost, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, KU
Prasad Gogineni, Engineering, KU
Robert Goldstein, Geology, KU
David Hartnett, Biology, KSU
Jonathan Holden, English, KSU
Joan S. Hunt, Anatomy & Cell Biology, KUMC
Ryszard Jankowiak, Chemistry, KSU
Anthony Joern, Biology, KSU
Michael Kanost, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, KSU
Susan Kemper, Psychology, KU
Barbara Alane Kerr, Psychology, KU
Kenneth J. Klabunde, Chemistry, KSU
John Leslie, Plant Pathology, KSU
Robert Linder, History, KSU
David Littrell, Music, KSU
Daniel C. Marcus, Anatomy & Physiology KSU
Richard Marston, Geography, KSU
Charles Russell Middaugh, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, KU
Subbaratnam Muthukrishnan, Biochemsistry & Molecular Biophysics, KSU
T. G. Nagaraja, Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology, KSU
Joane Nagel, Sociology, KU
Philip Nel, English, KSU
David Nualart, Mathematics, KU
Berl Oakley, Molecular Biosciences, KU
Rosemary O’Leary, Public Affairs & Administration, KU
Harald E. L. Prins, Anthropology, KSU
Jeffrey J. Quirin, Accountancy, WSU
Teresa Radebaugh, Aging, WSU
Charles W. Rice, Agronomy, KSU
Mabel L. Rice, Speech, Language & Hearing, KU
Juergen A. Richt, Diagnostic Medicine & Pathobiology, KSU
Jim Riviere, Veterinary Medicine, KSU
Thomas E. Roche, Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, KSU
Dan Rockhill, Architecture, KU
Jan Roskam, Aerospace Engineering, KU
Edmund Russell, History, KU
Paul Selden, Geology, KU
James Shanteau, Psychological Sciences, KSU
Prakash P. Shenoy, Business, KU
Christopher Sorensen, Physics, KSU
Brian Spooner, Biology, KSU
Valentino Stella, Chemistry, KU
Barbara Timmerman, Chemistry, KU
Mike Tokach, Animal Sciences Industry, KSU
Ann Turnbull, Education, KU
H. Rutherford Turnbull III, Education, KU
David B. Volkin, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, KU
Philine Wangemann, Anatomy & Physiology, KSU
Ruth Welti, Biology, KSU
G. Paul Willhite, Engineering, KU
George S. Wilson, Chemistry, KU
Dean Zollman, Physics, KSU

cc: Social Media Policy Workgroup (Kevin Johnson, Max McCoy, Kristin Rupp, Melissa J. Hunsicker Walburn, Julia Keen, Jeff Morris, Browyn Conrad, Dacia Clark, Charles Epp, Easan Selvan, Mark Fisher, Victoria Mosack, Richard Muma), Governor Sam Brownback, KSU President Kirk Schulz, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, WSU President John W. Bardo, KSU Provost April Mason, KU Provost Jeff Vitter, WSU Provost Tony Vizzini, KSU Faculty Senate President Julia Keen, KU Faculty Senate President Chris Steadham, KSU Director of Government Relations Sue Peterson


UPDATE, 15 Apr. 2014, 1:00 pm: Philine Wangemann’s name was omitted from the original version of this letter. It has now been added. Apologies for the omission. Tom Roche’s name was added, but without the final “e.” Apologies for the misspelling.

Review: Tilting the Balance

Apr. 15th, 2014 03:46 am
[syndicated profile] alaskanlibrarian_feed

Posted by Daniel Cornwall

Tilting the Balance
Tilting the Balance by Harry Turtledove
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was better than Tilting the Balance, the first book in the WorldWar series that answers the question “What if aliens invaded in World War II?” It had all “what if” strengths of the first book and fewer gratuitous yet unerotic sex scenes. The named historical characters remained plausible. I particularly like the characterizations of Stalin and Molotov. The depiction of the various powers and ethic groups struggling to set aside their differences long enough to drive the aliens from our world are also done well.

Two things keep me from giving this book four stars. One is a supposedly rational scientist reacting very disproportionately to difficulties in their life. I kept saying, “Really? You’d do that? Because of __?” The second thing was the repetition of certain facts every couple of chapters. The same facts that were repeated every couple of chapters in book one. For example, it’s not too much of a spoiler to learn that U2 soviet biplanes were less likely to get shot down because their canvas bodies were harder to detect by radar. Or that it was important to stay near tree level because the aliens typically shot down anything that few higher. I hope I don’t have to be reminded of these facts every time the pilot character is introduced in book three.

But I was intrigued and entertained enough that I will indeed read the third book, “Upsetting the Balance.” In fact, I’ll be popping off to Listen Alaska Plus to borrow the e-book.

View all my reviews


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Review: In the Balance

Apr. 15th, 2014 03:34 am
[syndicated profile] alaskanlibrarian_feed

Posted by Daniel Cornwall

In the Balance
In the Balance by Harry Turtledove
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you wondered what might have happened if aliens had invade Earth during World War II, this book might be for you.

Entertaining. Historical characters are plausible. Invaders are multidimensional and guilty of their special brand of anthromorphism. Only three stars due to number of unerotic sex scenes. Willing to try next book.

View all my reviews


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