This is a guest post from Chris Lacinak, Founder and CEO of AVP, and Kate Murray, Digital Projects Coordinator in Digital Collections Management and Services at the Library of Congress.
Recognizing the importance of meeting the Library of Congress’s goals and mission related to accessibility, the Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative (FADGI) has embarked on a project aimed at enhancing accessibility in open-source desktop applications for the digital preservation community. FADGI has produced free open-source desktop tools for years and is committed to being a responsible steward with regard to accessibility. In this blog post, we, Chris Lacinak from AVP and Kate Murray from the Library of Congress, are excited to share an update on this ongoing project that kicked off in April 2023 and is expected to be completed by November 2023.
The primary objective of this project is to provide broadly applicable recommendations on accessibility best practices for open-source software and showcase these practices using FADGI’s embARC as an example. To achieve this objective, the project involves several activities:
Literature review and research: Our team is conducting a review of the relevant literature and research.
Accessibility testing and analysis: Our accessibility partner, Tech for All, with over 20 years of experience on accessibility testing, will conduct detailed analysis and reporting on the accessibility of three open-source applications related to digital preservation:
- embARC (‘metadata embedded for archival content’): enables users to manage (i.e., audit, validate and correct) embedded metadata in Digital Picture Exchange (DPX) files as individual files or an entire DPX sequence as well as SMPTE RDD 48-compliant Material Exchange Format (MXF) files including FFV1 in MXF files;
- BWF MetaEdit: supports embedding, validating, and exporting of metadata in Broadcast WAVE Format (BWF) It supports the FADGI Broadcast WAVE Metadata Embedding Guidelines. Initially funded by the Library of Congress and FADGI; designed and led by AVP; developed by MediaArea.
- Handbrake: supports multi-platform video transcoding from one format or codec to another.
These applications were selected based on criteria such as being open-source, free, GUI-based, under active development, and widely used by the digital preservation community.
Report of findings and recommendations: AVP will use Tech for All’s reporting as the basis for analysis and reporting on a variety of fronts. This will include preparing a report that includes a gap analysis of accessibility features in embARC, recommendations for improving accessibility in embARC, identification of accessibility issues and themes discovered through analysis, and guidelines for improved accessibility in free open-source, GUI-based applications supporting digital preservation efforts.
Publicity: The project’s findings and insights will be shared through conference presentations, blog posts (including this one), and webinars to raise awareness and encourage the adoption of accessibility best practices in the digital preservation community.
AVP looks forward to partnering with Tech for All on this project to leverage their extensive experience in accessibility and their expertise in relevant standards and regulations. Tech for All employs a combination of automated and manual analysis methods and has a team of subject matter experts living with disabilities, ensuring a thorough and accurate assessment of the applications being tested.
This project parallels work undertaken by the FADGI Audiovisual Accessibility subgroup. By collaborating on this project, FADGI, AVP, and Tech for All aim to contribute to the development and implementation of accessibility best practices in the digital preservation community. By creating an inclusive environment, we can ensure that digital preservation tools and resources are accessible to everyone, promoting a more equitable and diverse field.