Will People with Disabilities Have Access to NDIIPP Data?
However, while the Library of Congress is leading the NDIIPP effort, it will not be making all the decisions regarding it. In fact, NDIIPP is a distributed effort among many players dedicated to preserving digital content. Some of the players include Congress and government agencies. A call to 12 members of Congress's offices, six each to both parties, to learn if they are making their digital data accessible to people with disabilities resulted in zero responses.
The questions asked on accessibility included: Are you part of the NDIIPP program to preserve your digital data? If you are, are you going to make the material accessible? How will it be accessible? Will it be accessible to blind people, deaf people and people with learning disabilities?
You would think that someone on the Hill could define NDIIPP and know about section 508?
The Library of Congress was more definite in its answer on providing accessibility on the NDIIIPP. Again Lamolinara responded,” We will be working on issues and approaches to access as part of this national preservation program, but our initial focus is on collecting and preserving at risk material.”
Presently, the Library of Congress has not asked an individual or a company to work with it on making materials coming under NDIIPP accessible and nor does it know how much accessibility will cost.
There are companies who could work with them on accessibility, and the General Services Administration can supply names.
While I know the people at the Library of Congress are sensitive to disability issues, they may need a little nudge to ensure the NDIIPP becomes 508 compliant.
Still, just as no child should be left behind in education, no person with a disability should be left out of knowing about our country's history as the information is digitized. People with disabilities should be clamoring to ensure that information preserved under the NDIIPP must be accessible to them and to future generations. If lack of money is an issue, Congress should appropriate the money to ensure accessibility is accomplished and also cover itself under Section 508.
And as private funds are raised to assist with NDIIPP, accessibility costs must be considered as part of the total.