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Guidelines: Software Accessibility for Open Source Digital Preservation Applications

Recognizing the importance of meeting the Library of Congress’s goals and mission related to accessibility, starting in 2023, FADGI partnered with AVP 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.

Project Scope and Goals

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:

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:

Report of findings and recommendations

Final Report:

Accessibility Evaluation Report: Research and Improvements for FADGI Open-Source Software Applications. Report includes in depth explanation of recommendations.


  • Make use of keyboard control and navigation
  • Describe and label interactive elements
  • Check for color contrast, and avoid relying on color to convey meaning
  • Structure content and create semantic relationships
  • Consider digital preservation use cases
    • Popup windows
    • Tables
    • Access local environment
    • Digital preservation users

Accessibility Remediation Actions:

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.

Outreach and Publicity

Blog post on The Signal: New FADGI Project: Researching Accessibility in Open-Source Digital Preservation Applications May 30, 2023 by Kate Murray and Chris Lacinak

Presentation at No Time to Wait 7: Researching Accessibility in Open-Source Digital Preservation Applications, Kate Murray (LC), Joan Hua (AVP) and Chris Lacinak (AVP)

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Working Groups

Still Image Working Group
This group is involved in a cooperative effort to develop common digitization guidelines for still image materials.

Audio-Visual Working Group
This group works collaboratively on common and sustainable technical guidelines, methods, and practices for digitized and born digital sound recordings and moving images.

Last Updated: 11/16/2023