Accessibility and Open Access

I have experienced many times that people avoid implementation of accessibility guidelines.  Some governments and individuals dedicated a lot of time and effort to develop legal, technological and educational regulations and incentives for implementation of accessibility guidelines.

Software packages such as OJS and ATutor implement accessibility guidelines.  But, accessibility is not just another set of technical specifications that we have to learn on top of all our duties. It is continuous process because social interaction is ever evolving and inherent to the humans.  Dedicating effort to accessibility is sign of your willingness to respect other participants in the learning process having easier access to open access publications. Thus, OA is not something that should be narrowly understood as a practice that is focused only on helping researchers to gain more citations and increase scores for professional and career advancement.

Ask your students, colleagues, NGOs of persons with disabilities to assist you in testing and adjusting your content so the persons with disabilities can easier access and use the content you publish on line.  By doing so, you will attract a number of individuals who will support your effort and give you precious suggestions how to attract more readers. There are numerous resources on the web that can help you to understand that disability is not exclusively linked to clinical and traumatic experience. Commitment to disability issues is profoundly important for all of us. Disability can affect anyone in various contexts. So, Open Access should be ready for use and interaction with as much as possible users.

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