Putting the “A” in DEIA: Accessibility as a Necessity in the Scholarly Communications Workflow

Sponsored by Elsevier
Recorded on 12/01/2022

Posted in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility (DEIA)

How can stakeholders ensure accessibility and equity across scholarly communications workflows?

Read Elsevier’s Accessibility Checklist here.


Accessibility is a topic of increasing prominence within the scholarly communications industry. This is a result both of the increased focus on equity, diversity and inclusion within the information sector, and also of lawsuits arising from legislation – like the Americans with Disabilities Act and European Accessibility Act – to compel digital content providers to make their content accessible. Where previously accessibility was ‘nice to have’, providing accessible materials is now a core part of every provider’s mission across the scholarly supply chain in order to reach the maximum possible audience and to make sure that students and researchers have access to the information they need to perform to their full potential.

This roundtable will focus on the entire scholarly communications workflow, considering the tools a researcher with a disability might use, from publisher, library, university, supplier and end-user perspectives.

This webinar will explore the following topics:

  • What can publishers do to ensure accessibility and equity from submission to production?
  • What kinds of disabilities do publishers and libraries need to consider?
  • How and in what way do individuals with accessibility needs access content? What should information providers do to ensure accessibility for end users?
  • How can a library ensure their collection development policies take accessibility issues into account?
  • What are the business incentives of conforming to accessibility standards in our published materials, and what are the legal implications of not doing so?
  • What are the differing challenges faced by small publishers or information providers compared with their larger counterparts?

Attendees will take away insights on why accessibility is necessary, what efforts the publishing industry is making to ensure scholarly communications are more accessible across the workflow, and how they can start to think about accessibility in organizations of all sizes.


  • Image of Sile O’Modhrain

    Sile O’Modhrain

    Associate Professor, School of InformationUniversity of Michigan

    Sile O’Modhrain is an associate professor at the University of Michigan where she holds a joint appointment in the Performing Arts Technology (PAT) program in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, and in the school of information. Her research focuses on human-computer interaction, especially interfaces incorporating haptic and auditory feedback. She earned her master’s degree in music technology from the University of York and her PhD from Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). She has also worked as a sound engineer and producer for BBC Network Radio. In 1994, she received a Fulbright scholarship, and went to Stanford to develop a prototype haptic interface augmenting graphical user interfaces for blind computer users. For the past eight years, she has been working with Brent Gillespie and Alex Russamanno to design and build a full-page tactile array to support the display of braille and tactile graphics.

  • Image of Elizabeth Henry

    Elizabeth Henry

    Instruction & Reference/E-Resources LibrarianGallaudet University

    Being deaf since birth, she was born and raised in Colorado using Cued American English (Also known as Cued Speech), learning American Sign Language (ASL) later on in life. Elizabeth attended Simmons University, where she received MLIS. Her official title at Gallaudet University is Electronic Resources Librarian but in truth, she wears multiple hats, ranging from reference to instruction to acquisitions. Being responsible for Gallaudet University Library’s online resources, she is responsible for ensuring that the resources are accessible not only for Deaf people, but for DeafBlind as well. When she has free time, she enjoys traveling, being a foodie, creating art, and reading (naturally!).

  • Image of Stacy Scott

    Stacy Scott

    Accessibility ManagerTaylor & Francis

    Stacy Scott is Accessibility Manager at Taylor & Francis and is Chair of the UK Publishers Association’s Accessibility Action Group. She previously worked at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) as Bookshare and Publisher Relationship Manager. As a blind Mathematics graduate, Stacy has both a personal and professional vantage point to accessibility, equality and inclusion matters.

  • Image of Simon Holt

    Simon Holt

    Disability Confidence Manager and Senior PublisherElsevier

    Simon Holt is Disability Confidence Manager and Senior Publisher at Elsevier. He has lived experience of disability and is an advocate for disability inclusion throughout the scholarly communications industry. He lives in Oxford, UK.

  • Image of Gwen Evans

    Gwen Evans

    Vice President, Global Library RelationsElsevier

    Gwen Evans joined Elsevier in 2020 as the Vice President of Global Library Relations. Prior to her current role, Gwen spent seven years as the Executive Director of the state agency and library consortium OhioLINK. From 2006 to 2012, she held the position of Associate Professor and the Coordinator of Library Information and Emerging Technologies at Bowling Green State University.

    Gwen has extensive experience with all types of academic libraries and institutions: academic content contract negotiations on the consortial level; statewide affordable textbook initiatives including OER; and leading, maintaining and creating shared collaborative services in a technology-driven environment. She was also active in the International Coalition of Library Consortia, serving as Chair of the Coordinating Committee. Her recent publications include an Ithaka S+R issue brief co-authored with Roger Schonfeld, titled “It’s Not What Libraries Hold; It’s Who Libraries Serve. Seeking a User-Centered Future for Academic Libraries” and “Creating Diversity in Libraries: Management Perspectives” in Library Leadership & Management with co-authors Mihoko Hosoi and Nancy S. Kirkpatrick.

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