Technology, Diversity, Web Accessibility, and ALA Accreditation Standards in MLIS

Adina Mulliken

Abstract


This paper discusses an interconnection between diversity and technology: web accessibility for all, including people with disabilities. Qualitative interviews were conducted with eight MLIS professors and two students or recent alumni.  Findings showed attitudes regarding teaching web accessibility and recruitment of a diverse student body varied between professors who were familiar with web accessibility and those who were not.  Participants who were familiar with web accessibility often thought it should be included within ALA Standards for Accreditation.  Findings suggested that, in one school, incorporating diversity in their curriculum, including web accessibility, allowed recruitment of a more diverse student body and was furthering diversity-related curriculum content. At another school, a professor expressed concern about recruiting a diverse student body, particularly students with disabilities.  The research suggests that stronger practices for teaching technology, teaching diversity, and recruiting diverse students could assist the field of LIS to further realize its inclusive goals.


Keywords


diversity; web accessibility; disabilities; LIS curricula; accreditation standardsdiversity, web accessibility, disabilities; LIS curricula; accreditation standards

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