Friday, March 04, 2005


A review project on the topic of information access for the disabled. Specifically I will focus on the visually impaired in relation to internet use, perhaps touching upon other information sources only for comparison. I will describe how they use the internet, what it means for a website to be accessible to the visually impaired and how wide spread adherence to the protocols of accessibility are.
Some resources that I have found pertaining to this topic are:

Shepherd, Ritchenya A. 1999. Net rights for the disabled? National Law Journal. pg B8.

Loiacono, Eleanor T. 2004. Cyberspace: Web accessibility and corporate America. Communications of the ACM. Vol 47 (12).

Coonin, Bryna. 2002. Establishing accessibility for e-journals: a suggested approach. Library Hi Tech. Vol. 20 (2), pg. 207.

McCord, Sarah K., Linda Frederiksen, and Nicole Campbell. An accessibility assessment of selected Web-based health information resources. 2002. Library Hi Tech. Vol. 20 (2), p 188.

Information access for people with disabilities. 2004. Library Technology Reports. Vol. 40 (3), p 10.

Who aren’t you serving digitally? 2004. Library Technology Reports. Vol. 40 (3), pg 6.

Loiacono, Eleanor and Scott McCoy. Web site accessibility: an online sector analysis. 2004. Information Technology & People. Vol. 17 (1), p 87-101.

Schneider, Staci. An ethical minefield. 2003. Training. Vol, 40 (9), p 62.

Fry, Alex. Equality for the disabled. 2002. Intermedia. Vol. 30 (5), p. 43.

Zeldman, Jeffrey. 2002. Design accessible sites. Macworld. Vol. 19 (8), p. 86.

Marsan, Carolyn Duffy. 2002. Macromedia opens ‘Net accessibility.’ Network World. Vol. 19 (10). p. 35.

Byerley, Suzanne L. and Mary Beth Chambers. Accessibility of web-based library databases: the vendors’ perspectives. 2003. Library Hi Tech. Vol. 21 (3), p. 347.

Davis, Joel J. The accessibility divide: the visually-impaired and access to online news. 2003. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. Vol. 47 (3), p. 474.

Another paper topic is that of medical information accessibility. I will focus my review (perhaps it will turn into a policy project) on scholarly research and communication which is funded by government agencies and then are not made available to the public. This paper will describe grant funding, research, and publication procedures that go on in the medical field. I will then explore who has access to these articles, who doesn’t and why access is limited and to whom. I will hopefully also examine the information seeking behaviors of those doing medical research without full access to these scholarly works. The policy project component might evolve from the growing movement in open-access scholarly publishing through mediums such as PLoS—Medicine. Perhaps all government funded research should be made available to the public through such a publication medium? Should the policies of large universities such as this one change the policy of publication to encourage open-access publishing?

Some papers that may be of use on this paper follow:

Kleinke, J.D. 2002. the failed promise of the health care internet. Health Affairs Chevy Chase. Vol. 19 (6), p. 57-71.

1 comment:

  1. I like them both. I think the second topic on medical information accessibility might be the more challenging one, but there's also a good person in the Department of Journalism & Mass Communication you could talk to: Prof. Hawkins (tell him I sent you). The other thing about doing the medical project is that it really lets you dig into a whole social process -- sickness and wellness industries in the US -- that might be increasingly "digitalized" to the benefit of some and the detriment of others (which is your definition of "digital divide," right there).