About this Toolkit

This toolkit is here to:

PROMOTE the principles of accessibility, universal design, and digital inclusion.

HELP research libraries achieve digital accessibility.

CONNECT research libraries with the tools, people, and examples they need to provide accessible digital content.

About 20% of Americans have some kind of disability. But one year after high-school graduation, only 10% of students with disabilities are enrolled in two-year colleges and 5% are enrolled in four-year colleges.

Research libraries have an important opportunity to meet the urgent need to make  information resources accessible to all of their patrons, regardless of ability or disability. In so doing, libraries can fulfill their mission to be content leaders in higher education and enhance information access to their users. The path forward requires planning and collaboration across the research institution, particularly with academic leadership, disability services offices, and information technology units. This toolkit is here to help. Accessibility is not only an ethical imperative; it is a legal requirement.

Read more about the background of ARL’s accessibility initiative in our 2012  Report of the ARL Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disability.

You can download an accessible PDF reader at Adobe.com.


This toolkit was developed by Molly Schwartz, a 2013 National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) fellow. The NDSR program was created by the Library of Congress in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services.