Accessibility of distance library services for deaf and hard of hearing users
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Purpose: This paper aims to review existing literature on distance library services for individuals with disabilities with a specific focus on deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) users and provide strategies for creating an online library that is accessible to this community. Design/methodology/approach: The authors reviewed articles covering distance library services for D/HH users and then identified specific parts of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 that are applicable to the D/HH community. By using the literature, strategies for developing and purchasing accessible electronic library resources are presented. Findings: While there is a breadth of literature focused on creating accessible resources for online libraries, there is a gap when it comes to D/HH users. Libraries can cater to this community by providing text-based alternatives for all library instructional materials and working closely with vendors to ensure that library databases are accessible. Practical implications: The authors present strategies for creating and converting electronic resources and services that are accessible to D/HH users. Originality/value: This paper fills a gap in literature by addressing fully online library services for users with disabilities with a particular focus on meeting the needs of D/HH users in a distance-learning environment.