Making Your Work Accessible Online

What is Web Accessibility? Web Accessibility is the ability for individuals with vision, hearing, cognitive, and mobility disabilities to access web content online via their preferred methods. WCAG defines web content as: Natural information such as text, images, and sounds Code or markup that defines structure, presentation, etc. The essential components of web accessibility include: […]

Big Ten Academic Alliance Open Access Developments

Last month, the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) made a series of announcements regarding its support of Open Access (OA) initiatives across its member libraries. Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use those articles fully in the digital environment. Put plainly, Open Access ensures that […]

Comparison: Human vs. Computer Transcription of an “It Takes a Campus” Episode

Providing transcripts of audio or video content is critical for making these experiences accessible to a wide variety of audiences, especially those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Even those with perfect hearing might prefer to skim over a transcript of text rather than listen to audio sometimes. However, often times the slowest part […]

Automated Live Captions for Virtual and In-Person Meetings

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, we are starting to think about what life will look like with a return of in-person services, meetings, and events. Many of us are considering what lessons we want to keep from our time conducting these activities online to make the return to in-person as inclusive as possible. […]

Free, Open Source Optical Character Recognition with gImageReader

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a powerful tool to transform scanned, static images of text into machine-readable data, making it possible to search, edit, and analyze text. If you’re using OCR, chances are you’re working with either ABBYY FineReader or Adobe Acrobat Pro. However, both ABBYY and Acrobat are propriety software with a steep price […]

Library e-Book Usability

Since the onset of the pandemic in March, e-Books have occupied a position of higher importance in library collections. They allow for the easy circulation of library resources without patrons ever needing to enter the library building thus possibly infecting our staff or vice versa. This shift to e-Books was swift and now the library […]

Creating Accessible Slides for Presentations and Online Posting

Making presentations accessible is important, whether in a classroom, in a meeting, or any situation you find yourself delivering information to an audience. Now, more learning than ever is taking place online where inaccessible content can create unequal learning opportunities. Do you want to learn what it takes to make an accessible presentation? Read on […]

Blogs for All: Making Accessible Posts in WordPress

As blogs continue to provide a low barrier to entry for authors to distribute content in all avenues from academia to entertainment, it is important to make sure that blog posts are just as easy to access for readers. Here at Illinois, our blogs are run through publish.illinois.edu, a WordPress-based publishing service. As we try […]

Choosing an OCR Software: ABBYY FineReader vs. Adobe Acrobat Pro

What is OCR? OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. This is the electronic identification and digital encoding of typed or printed text by means of an optical scanner or a specialized software. Performing OCR allows computers to read static images of text to convert them to readable, editable, and searchable data on a page. There […]