44 Survey Results: Survey Questions and Responses The Libraries and our disability services are HathiTrust proxies, which means we can get in-copyright materials from HathiTrust to university users with print disabilities in a format that’s accessible to them. The role of coordinating accessibility services was tacked onto the position of Head of the Media Centre several years back. However, the head position has morphed into more of an outreach and engagement position, so accessibility services don’t get their full due. After the library’s reorganization is complete, there will hopefully be an Accessibility and Inclusion Librarian and so further work can be done within the university community in terms of promoting accessible services and products within the library. There are multiple branches at the NYPL that all cater to accessibility needs of the patrons to various degrees. For example, we have a whole branch, the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, devoted exclusively to the accessibility needs of the blind or otherwise visually-impaired. The librarians at this particular branch receive more accessibility training, for example, than those of the other branches. There are several unanswered questions because I have not found the answers. I am new to the position of ADA coordinator. I had a librarian who worked with ADA and disabled students but she left for another job last fall. The HR person who oversaw most of our ADA issues retired last summer. There is currently a university-wide initiative underway involving a third party to address all digital assets, assess accessibility, and create a prioritized remediation plan along with tools to accomplish this. We are undergoing a restructuring of our organization. As part of this process we hope to identify key staff positions that allow us to provide better coordination in supporting accessibility services. We have a very active Libraries Accessibility Committee charged by the Head of Access Services and Head of the Department for IT to explore new technologies and services, educate our colleagues about accessibility-related ideas and trends, advocate for physical and online accessibility in the Libraries, and develop programming and resources to raise awareness about all aspects of library services for people with disabilities. The Libraries also has a Facilities Access committee to review physical access issues and has representation on the university-wide Accessible Technology and Information Committee. As well, we have a half-time Accessibility Graduate Assistant (PhD candidate) who is working on online resource accessibility and integrating accessibility into the acquisition process, assessing learning spaces in the Libraries and coordinating a Libraries Accessibility Student Advisory Group to provide the libraries with student feedback regarding the accessibility of library resources. We have a Libraries Accessibility Working Group that provides recommendations to the leadership team related to these issues. We also have a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee that will also be providing support in this area. We are currently in the process of redesigning our website and both of these committees have been pulled into the process to provide recommendations and support. Although we did not organize the events, we have hosted workshops on inclusive pedagogy including one about teaching students with disabilities and other special needs. The various staff members that contributed responses to this survey commented that this is an area we need to work on. The questions on the survey were very helpful for us to identify areas for improvement. We have around 40 libraries on campus, some one room in a department and some are very large. We attempted to answer representing as many libraries as possible. Our libraries have their own IT and development staff that are not librarians, but are considered library staff, so answered the questions that way. We have several staff members who address accessibility issues as we become aware of them, but we do not have a committee or funding that would allow us to be pro-active. We make every attempt to make our services accessible to library users with disabilities, whether they register with our Center or if they “self-identify” only to library staff members. Our Services Coordinator has been in the field for decades and is universally known as the “go-to” person for any requests.
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