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Accessibility

Lesley University Library strives to provide a diverse array of resources in order to support the research and educational needs of the Lesley community. As information professionals, we believe in providing a collection that reflects the information-seeking behaviors of our users, and our collections have grown to reflect an information environment where users increasingly look for digital content. In contrast to a collection of books, where different titles from different publishers can sit on the shelf side-by-side, creating a multi-format digital collection that encompasses the many diverse areas of study at Lesley requires incorporating content from many different vendors and platforms. When you start a search from the library website, you're using @LL Search, a discovery layer that integrates those different pieces into one place. This discovery layer returns results from databases, journals, streaming media platforms, eBooks, print books and more, collecting a wide array of resources in one place.

The majority of these vendors target or conform to guidelines and standards such as the Section 508 Amendment of the US Rehabilitation Act and the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines; others have similar accessibility guidelines. In addition to this, some vendors provide additional documentation for navigating their platforms. These guidelines and standards refer to the website used to host content and resources, which may be considered public-facing and thus subject to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

However, works contained in those databases and journals, many of which are delivered in PDF format, are governed by a different set of laws. Each work contained in a journal or database is subject to its own copyright agreement between the work's author and the publisher. Therefore, those works are covered by the U.S. Copyright Act, which, by default, prohibits the creation of reproductions by anyone but the rights holder. Allowing for the creation of accessible formats is at the discretion of the rights holder, which can differ from article to article. The exception to this law for accessibility is the Chafee Amendment, which permits the creation of accessible formats exclusively for an eligible user by an authorized entity.

This guide is designed to compile documentation from the platforms that provide library content, in order to act as a reference for users with questions about the accessibility of different library materials. For questions about copyright or library resources, email asklib@lesley.edu. For users who require alternative formats for copyrighted material, contact Disability Services.

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