Accessibility of Bibliography Software


Presented at 11:15am in Waverly on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.



  • Alisa Louther, Assistive Technology Specialist, American University
  • Kara Zirkle, Accessible Technology Specialist, University of Miami Ohio

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


We all have students who use bibliography software whether in classes, research, etc. Have you thought about the accessibility of these products? What do the students using assistive technology do? We’ll cover 3-4 bibliography software tools and the pros and cons of each.


Bibliography software can be purchases by students or by the University. How does the software get reviewed for accessibility? What if it isn’t standardized and multiple products can be used? How do you know if the bibliography software you’re using is going to be accessible to your students using assistive technology? Do you have alternative options for these students if an inaccessible product is being used? The presentation is going to cover the pros and cons of 3-4 bibliography tools. We’ll use a real case study situation to discuss use of bibliography software in a University setting. We’ll discuss the level of accessibility of these tools including the screen reader that works best with them. We’ll also discuss ideas for alternatives and work around options. This is also meant to be an open learning session and discussion of best practices and lessons learned is encouraged.


  1. Learn about the accessibility of various bibliography tools
  2. Discuss alternative options from using inaccessible tools
  3. Lessons learned, pros and cons and next steps around bibliography tools

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Other, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Alisa Louther

Alisa Louther has been working in the field of Assistive Technology for over 8 years. Alisa has a B.S in Vocational Rehabilitation with a concentration in Rehab technology and a M.Ed. in Assistive Technology. She has applied her education in multiple facets from work place accommodations, independent living to higher education. Her career has consisted working for the Computer Electronic Accommodations Program (CAPTEC) in the Department of Defense where she provided computer assessments and research/use of assistive technology. Virginia Assistive Technology System (VATS) providing technical assistance, outreach training and assessment for individuals in the Northern part of Virginia. The last 2 years she’s been working at American University as the Assistive Technology specialist working with students with disabilities.

Kara Zirkle

Ms. Zirkle has over 15 years experience working with individuals with disabilities. Kara has worked in Government and Higher Education. She is currently working at Miami University building accessibility procurement and policy. She worked at George Mason University prior for 9 years working closely with Enterprise Architecture reviewing accessibility. She works to ensure that Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 compliance of electronic and information technology (E&IT) is accessible to faculty, staff, students and public both with and without disabilities.