Authorship and Accessibility in the Digital Age
Authors Alliance, Silicon Flatirons, and Berkeley Center for Law & Technology Roundtable Report, 2018
20 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2018
Date Written: September 11, 2018
The roundtable brought together content creators, technologists, attorneys, academics, and advocates to discuss some of the opportunities for and barriers to the creation of accessible digital content. The roundtable was organized into a three-part discussion:
1. Authorship and Accessibility. Participants reflected on the relationship between authors and accessibility, discussing authors’, educators’, and technologists’ interests - both ethical and legal - in making works accessible. During this session, participants further discussed the consequences of inaccessibility for authors, technologists, educators, and people with disabilities. 2. Accessibility in Authoring Tools. Participants discussed the technologies that can enable authors to create and distribute their works in accessible formats. During this session, participants focused on the critical role that technologists have in developing and marketing authoring tools that facilitate accessibility; the tools that are currently available to authors and educational intuitions to make works accessible; and the gaps that exist in authoring tools that technologists have the opportunity to fill. 3. Looking Ahead. Participants reflected on the conversations from the day, identifying and synthesizing the issues that most inhibit authorship and accessibility.
This report compiles insights from that roundtable, identifying some of the issues that encumber authorship and accessibility in the digital age and opportunities to address those issues. As a threshold matter, this report recognizes that these barriers exist in a certain social context. One of the main inhibitors to authorship and accessibility is the lack of awareness among many authors of the need to make their works accessible at the outset of creation. Against that backdrop, the aim of this report is modest. Although it contemplates solutions to improve the accessibility of content, its broader purpose is to spur more conversations among content creators, technologists, academics, and lawmakers to consider ways to cultivate an environment where accessibility is intrinsic to the content creation process.
Keywords: Silicon Flatiron, Silicon Flatirons
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