Small grants are another potential avenue for encouraging authors to explore and utilize accessibility practices. This method should be familiar to scholarly communication librarians, who have met with success in establishing small grants programs to incentivize creation of open educational resources. The following case study looks at an initiative that is using this method to support accessibility work.
Teach Access is a collaboration that aims to increase knowledge of accessibility practices in part by incentivizing faculty members to make shifts in their instruction. Teach Access Curriculum Development Awards are provided to higher education faculty members who are willing to rework existing courses to introduce accessibility concepts and skills to students. Resulting course materials are placed in a UC Boulder archive called “Promoting the Integration of Universal Design into University Curriculum (UDUC).” Other presentations and papers by faculty participants are also presented on the Teach Access website.
The Teach Access faculty grants program suggests a few options for libraries that may wish to advance accessibility work. Here are a some suggestions:
- Incentivize faculty to incorporate accessibility into their instruction and publishing practices. Look for ways to encourage faculty engagement with accessibility work by offering an award, public recognition, or small grants.
- Use grants/awards to support students with disabilities. Use library funds to encourage students with disabilities to engage with library publishing, accessibility remediation in the library, or creation of accessible curricular materials. See the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) program at the University of Washington for ideas on mentoring, employing, and supporting students with disabilities.
- Look for opportunities to support learning communities that center accessibility practices.
- Use open education and open access programs to circulate curriculum and research materials that demonstrate engagement with accessibility.