Global Digital Library Beta

GDL principles of universal design and accessibility

The GDL adheres to principles of universal design and accessibility and has a strong focus on making all content generally accessible, including for those with print disabilities, i.e. blindness or low vision, severe dyslexia, or mobility impairment.

Web accessibility refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed, and edited, all users have equal access to information and functionality.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 covers a wide range of recommendations for making web content more accessible. The GDL places high priority on following these guidelines to ensure that content is accessible for all users. By following these guidelines one will also often make the web content more usable in general.

The GDL platform is compliant with all WCAG 2.0 AA requirements and more than 15 of the AAA requirements.

Some of the titles on the GDL are, however, not  WCAG 2.0 AA compliant, mostly because they lack alt-text for the pictures and illustrations.

User testing for accessibility

Successful digital initiatives are rooted in an understanding of user characteristics, needs, and challenges. User-centered design — also referred to as design thinking or human-centered design — starts with getting to know the people you are designing for through conversation, observation, and co-creation. User-testing with end-users is therefore a priority for the GDL. As part of ensuring that the Library is accessible for all, such testing has also included – and will continue to include –  users that have vision impairments and other disabilities.

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