Welcome! This guide is designed to provide an overview of information and resources related to accessibility, disability, and the Accessibility and Disability Studies collection at the MSU Libraries.
Neither "accessibility" nor "disability" have a single definition; instead, both embody complex ideas that vary in different contexts. Below are a few ways that these terms are defined:
Library Accessibility Alliance: Library Accessibility Toolkit
Accessibility means that “a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in a equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. The person with a disability must be able to obtain the information as fully, equally and independently as a person without a disability.”
Note: This toolkit provides extensive resources on making physical and digital library spaces more accessible.
The a11y project
“a11y” stands for “accessibility.” It is a numeronym, with 11 representing the count of letters between the letter "a" and the letter "y". On the internet, the use of the term a11y helps to identify content related specifically to digital accessibility.
World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C WAI): Introduction to Web Accessibility
Web accessibility means that people can perceive, understand, navigate, interact with, and contribute to websites, tools, and other technologies. Web accessibility also benefits people without disabilities, and there is a strong business case for accessibility because it improves overall user experience and satisfaction.
Disability: A Reference Handbook (2019)
"Disability is not only or even necessarily a medical problem or concern but rather is a social and political category that is deeply affected by material relations (e.g., the build environment, income, class, access to resources, and the overall economy) and dominant social attitudes. This means that disability is neither static nor ahistorical. It changes from one situation to the next, from one culture to the next, and it is experienced differently at different points throughout history."
ADA.gov | Introduction to the Americans with Disabilities Act
A person with a disability is someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a history or record of such an impairment (such as cancer that is in remission), or is perceived by others as having such an impairment (such as a person who has scars from a severe burn).
The MSU Libraries are committed to providing equal access to library collections, services, and facilities for all library users. It is a priority for the MSU Libraries to select and acquire, whenever possible, resources and technologies that are accessible to all and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For library collections that aren’t accessible, we are committed to providing reasonable accommodations and timely access to users with disabilities.
Information about accessibility at the MSU Libraries including services, remediation requests, assistive technology, and accessibility plans.
Assistive Technology Center
Houses assistive software & equipment for library users. Located in the Main Library, Room W124 (across from Circulation).
The MSU Libraries has multidisciplinary collections of print and electronic resources that explore disability through social, creative, cultural, historical, legal, political, and intersectional perspectives. We seek to collect materials that amplify the voices and experiences of persons in the disabled community. However, we acknowledge that some items in our collection reflect outdated notions of and terminology for disability.
MSU Libraries | Policy on Challenges to Materials in the Collection
A statement regarding problematic materials in the MSU Libraries.
Accessibility Professionals at MSU
Fosters students' interest in the field of accessibility by encouraging professional connections and learning more about the industry. Meetings are centered on potential job opportunities in the field, upcoming conferences and resources for learning more about accessibility, and hosting guest speakers.
MSU Web Accessibility
Policy and guidelines, tutorials, templates, resources, and a web form for reporting accessibility problems.
Office of the ADA Coordinator
This office facilitates the MSU's compliance with laws and regulations prohibiting disability discrimination and harassment.
President’s Advisory Council on Disability Issues (PACDI)
Responsible for advising the MSU president on university policies, programs, and procedures affecting persons with disabilities in the university community.
Recreation Sports and Fitness Services: Adaptive Recreation
MSU Recreation Sports and Fitness Services offers a variety of free recreation opportunities for adaptive recreation.
Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD)
Information on accommodations at MSU.