When a person in a wheelchair cannot enter the library because of the stairs – most recognize the obvious discrimination. But what about a reader who is visually impaired and cannot order a book from the library’s online catalogue because it is not adapted for screen reading software? Online, just like in the physical environment, there can be digital stairs, too-narrow doors, and other barriers that leave persons with print disabilities behind.

Modern society is digital and everyday life is unimaginable without information and communication technologies supporting it. Information about public institutions and activities has moved to the digital space, and depending on the country’s level of digitization, a wide variety of services are available online.

The digital space has enormous potential to facilitate access to information and services, but if it is not adapted to all users, exclusion is built in and the consequences will be felt by the whole society.

LPD Standing Committee Working Group now is working on “Guidelines for Inclusive Library Services for Persons with Print Disabilities“.  These guidelines aim to offer guidance to IFLA professional units, its members and library staff worldwide in developing and implementing library services for persons with print disabilities. – including digital accessibility.

We believe that these Guidelines will help to make practical use of the advice and references provided in them, so that every user of a library feels is included. Because what is accessible to persons with print disabilities is accessible for all. We all win!

Dalia Balčytytė, IFLA LPD Information Coordinator