"Accessibility in an Online Environment and the Impacts on Records and Archives"

May 15, 2024

OVERVIEW: In an era where digital transformation is imperative, the accessibility of records and archives in an online environment is becoming increasingly crucial. This presentation, co-led by industry experts Phyllis Elin and Michael Thomas, delves into the challenges and opportunities associated with digitizing and transforming physical media into accessible digital formats.

Key Presentation Themes:
  • Inherent Inaccessibility of Physical Media: We start by addressing the limitation of content locked up in physical formats such as paper, microfilm, microfiche, books, blueprints, and aperture cards. This content remains inaccessible, not only physically but also in terms of data analysis and sharing capabilities.
  • Digitization as a Precursor to Digital Transformation: Emphasizing that digitization is the first step towards achieving digital transformation. This process unlocks the potential for content to be accessed, shared, and analyzed digitally.
  • The Critical Role of Digital Experiences: With over 50% of all digital experiences occurring on mobile devices, the presentation underscores the importance of creating accessible digital formats. We highlight that PDFs, especially scanned images, do not naturally support accessibility, posing challenges for users relying on assistive technologies.
  • Challenges with Fragmented Systems: Discussing how fragmented digital systems can lead to inconsistent user experiences and accessibility levels. This fragmentation hinders the uniform accessibility of records and archives across platforms.

Defining Excellence in Accessibility:
  • Beyond Widgets: Simply adding accessibility widgets to websites or digital archives is insufficient. True accessibility requires a foundational approach that integrates accessibility into the content creation and digitization processes.
  • ADA Accessibility Lawsuits: The presentation reviews the current state of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility lawsuits, highlighting the legal imperatives for organizations to ensure their digital content is accessible.

Proactive Measures for Enhancing Accessibility:
  • Strategies and Solutions: We outline actionable strategies and solutions for organizations to proactively address the challenges of making records and archives accessible. This includes adopting best practices in digital content creation, ensuring compliance with accessibility standards, and leveraging technology to enhance the accessibility of digitized content.

This Sponsor Solution Series Presentation aims to equip attendees with the knowledge and tools to navigate the complexities of accessibility in the digital age. By understanding the challenges and embracing proactive strategies, organizations can ensure their digital transformations make records and archives accessible to all, thereby fostering inclusivity and compliance with legal standards.

DURATION: 45-60 Minutes

PRESENTERS: Phyllis Elin, CEO, Knowledge Preservation | Michael Thomas, Director - State & Local Government, Konica Minolta

Phyllis Elin
  Michael Thomas
Phyllis Elin is a highly experienced leader in senior information governance with over three decades of expertise. She has successfully managed and consulted on various projects for clients in diverse industries such as higher education, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and public sector services. With a comprehensive skill set, Phyllis excels in areas such as file management integration, records retention schedule development, policy creation and amendment, technology consulting, and more. She has also shared her knowledge through instructional sessions at esteemed academic institutions and professional organizations, and has recently published three books in the field of Information Governance. Phyllis holds a Master's Degree from Seton Hall University and completed her undergraduate studies at NYU.

Michael Thomas is an IIM Sales Director at Konica Minolta, where he focuses on the State and Local Government as well as Education (SLED) sector. With over 22 years of experience in the information management and process automation industry, Michael is focused on the intersection of Content Management, Intelligent Automation, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for customers in the public sector.  When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife Jennifer, and their four children.