28 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 302 2021 Adobe to improve Adobe’s tools to make it much easier for content creators to remediate PDF documents for accessibility. And researchers at the Allen Institute for AI are working on AI-based approaches for remediation.27 Both of these efforts work on the current problems related to remediation, but future tools may offer functionality where content creators can ensure accessibility when the PDF file is created, rather than an after-the-fact remediation (which, as already discussed, is not the most efficient way to do it). Aside from technical developments, it’s also important to be aware of legal and policy developments.28 Many in the digital accessibility realm have been watching the two ongoing legal cases related to web accessibility and public accommodations, Robles v. Domino’s Pizza (in the Ninth Circuit) and Gil v. Winn-Dixie (in the Eleventh Circuit). Both of these cases, involving blind individuals challenging inaccessible websites and apps, are primarily about web accessibility for public accommodations under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and both deal with issues of the nexus between a physical location and a website. Both of these cases have had major court decisions during 2021, yet do not directly impact the existing accessibility requirements for research libraries, which, as recipients of federal funding, are also covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as potentially other statutes, regulations, and agency interpretations relating to education. It is important to note that after a four-year absence (since Maria Town last served in this role in 2016), the White House again has a lead policy person on disability policy, Kimberly Knackstedt. While the Biden-Harris administration has already signaled stronger support for disability-related issues, it is not known at this time whether that will result in any administrative actions related to digital accessibility. 8. Summary The first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic were challenging for all organizations, including research libraries. Yet the surges in demand for accessibility services are likely to occur again in the next
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