News & Blog

illustration of the world and many people with different disabilities

Celebrating Accessibility in the Libraries

In recognition of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on May 16th, the UCF Libraries is highlighting its commitment to providing an inclusive environment with services and resources for all users, including those with disabilities. 

The purpose of GAAD is to raise awareness about digital access and inclusion for the over one billion people worldwide with disabilities and impairments. Digital accessibility enables those with disabilities to independently access and interact with digital applications and content. 

The UCF Libraries offer a range of accessibility services: 

  • Document Delivery Assistance: Patrons with sensory or physical disabilities can request assistance in retrieving materials from our shelves. 
  • Access to Digital Books via HathiTrust: For those unable to use printed materials, digital versions of books are available through HathiTrust. 
  • Service Animal Accommodations: We adhere to policies regarding service animals and emotional support animals. 
  • Assistive Technology Workstations: Specialized software and equipment are available on many of our workstations. 
  • Support for STARS (Libraries’ Institutional Repository): Assistance when submitting digital scholarship and more. 
  • Wheelchair Accessible Study Rooms: Providing accessible study spaces. 
  • WCAG-Compliant Website: Our website adheres to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA. standards. 

Our commitment extends beyond the library walls. We continue to work closely with campus partners like Student Accessibility Services and the Office of Institutional Equity to meet the latest accessibility guidelines, including the new Department of Justice rules requiring WCAG 2.1 AA compliance which applies to all web content and mobile applications. 

Rachel Vacek, Associate Dean for Technology and Digital Strategies, has experience working with and advocating for accessibility at previous institutions. She has been a driving force in changing the culture since arriving at the UCF Libraries in August 2023. 

“We need a more holistic and focused effort on accessibility and universal design within the Libraries, taking an accessibility-first approach looking across both physical and virtual needs. This reflects our dedication to continue making the Libraries the most inclusive and welcoming space for everyone on campus,” said Vacek. 

Other efforts in the Libraries include having employees on the UCF Council on Accessibility, providing accessible instruction and workplace accommodations, and advocating for vendor products to be accessible. The Libraries are also active in the Library Accessibility Alliance. 

In April 2022, an accessibility task force was created in response to the University’s Digital Accessibility Policy. Vacek has since transitioned the task force to a committee signifying the Libraries’ long-term commitment to accessibility and universal design, underscoring that accessibility is a continuous journey rather than a finite task. 

The UCF Libraries strive to support all users and we welcome your questions in-person at one of the service desks or by email at Review our full list of accessibility services on our website for more detailed information. 

Comments are closed.

Back to Top