This email invitation to participate in a survey is being sent out to those responsible for managing and providing XR technologies in academic libraries. This survey is part of a study titled "Institutional Factors Shaping XR Technology Accessibility Policy & Practice in Academic Libraries." The principal investigator (PI) is Dr. Zack Lischer-Katz, PhD (Assistant Professor, School of Information, University of Arizona) and the co-principal investigator (Co-PI) is Jasmine Clark (Digital Scholarship Librarian, Temple University).
An Institutional Review Board (IRB) responsible for human subjects research at The University of Arizona reviewed this research project and found it to be acceptable, according to applicable state and federal regulations and University policies designed to protect the rights and welfare of participants in research
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Over the past five years, many academic libraries have begun systematically integrating innovative technologies, including virtual reality (VR) and other "XR" technologies, into their spaces and services. Even though schools, libraries, and the library profession all stress equitable access to information and technology for all community members, accessibility - understood in terms of the design of spaces, services, and technologies to support users with disabilities - is rarely given sufficient consideration when it comes to the design, implementation, and administration of XR technology programs. Because XR technologies engage the body and multiple senses they show great potential for providing enhanced means for disabled users to access information resources; however, without accessibility policies in place, the embodied aspects of XR technologies can create new barriers (e.g., chairs and other furniture that cannot be adapted, controllers that cannot be adjusted for different degrees of dexterity, etc.)
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study is to develop new understanding about the current landscape of accessibility policies and practices for XR technology programs and to understand the barriers to adoption of XR accessibility policies and practices.
The main research objective is to understand what policies and practices are currently in place in academic libraries and their level of development, the existing beliefs and knowledge of library staff and administrators involved with XR technology programs and spaces, and the institutional factors that shape the adoption of accessibility policies for XR technology programs.
The survey will be open from February 1, 2021 to [extended to May 15, 2021]. More information regarding confidentiality and consent can be found at the beginning of the survey.
Please access the survey here:
Thank you in advance for your interest and participation.
Zack Lischer-Katz, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Information, University of Arizona; email: [log in to unmask]Jasmine Clark, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Temple University; email: [log in to unmask]
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