Poster Open Access

Embedded accessibility in repository and open journal services

Cooper, Helen; Caplehorne, Josie

We are the Research Support and Scholarly Communications team at the University of Kent.  Our role is to provide help and guidance to staff and students engaged in research and to manage the systems that support the research.   These include the Kent Academic Repository, the Kent Data Repository, and our Open Journal System. Our poster will describe how we are improving accessibility across these systems and the services that support them.
We had been aware for some time that the open access repository platforms and the content were not conforming to basic accessibility requirements, but the legislative deadline added urgency to our plans for change. The need for an accessibility statement for all our web-based systems encouraged us to look closely at, and find solutions for, the issues users of assistive technology encountered when accessing our systems and their content. In an open access environment – access needs to be open for all our users.
We will describe our process and how we worked with colleagues in IT systems development and student services to create new methodologies and embed inclusive practices. Solutions included technical fixes, procedural changes and training and advocacy. We explore the challenges, what went well and what we have learnt, how we shared news about this work, and how we are committing to future digital content accessibility developments in research and scholarly communication support at the University of Kent.  

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