Associate University Librarian for Digital Strategies and Innovation
Associate Director for Digital Strategies and Innovation
In June of 2019, Harvard University announced that it would be adopting a campus-wide digital accessibility policy as of December 1, 2019. With a host of systems and digital offerings, the Library needed a comprehensive way to audit our user-facing products and create actionable deliverables for remediation, both by developers and content authors with varying levels of technical expertise. Having had much success working in the agile framework for development projects in the Digital Strategies and Innovation group, we proposed running the review work as a set of Digital Accessibility sprints from July to November. We quickly put together a 12-person, cross-functional team of librarians, UX experts, designers, and developers to review systems, identify issues, and set priorities. The end result will be actionable deliverables to facilitate remediation of library digital products and serve as a framework for ongoing accessibility compliance. This approach reflects our commitment to iterative, innovative work and we hope it will be a model for other institutions adopting similar policies and prioritizing universal accessibility.