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NYPL Design Toolkit

Version: 0.1.36


Accessibility Working Group

The digital department’s accessibility working group is open to all members of the digital department. It convenes monthly to foster knowledge exchange and collaboration.

Andrew Heiskell

The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library is a branch library which provides talking books and magazines and braille for people who are blind, visually impaired, or are otherwise physically unable to read standard print. The library serves residents who live in New York City and Long Island and is regional library for the NLS.

For more information on the history of the Andrew Heiskell branch and the services offered there, visit the About Page.


ARIA labels are used to create Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA). For example, if you have a search page where search results change dynamically, the aria-live and aria-relevant labels can alert the user of a screen reader that content on the page has changed. Visit the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.1 documentation for clear applications of these tags in widgets, landmark regions, and more.


Braille and Audio Download service for active Talking Book patrons registered with an NLS network library. For more FAQs.


National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)

NLS. provides braille and audio materials to eligible borrowers across the United States. Material is distributed through the mail from network libraries. NYPL’s Andrew Heiskell branch is a network library serving NYC, Long Island, and greater New York.


A portion of the Andrew Heiskell collection is served through a separate discovery layer called Klas.

Section 508


Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATS) document a product’s conformance and interpretation of accessibility standards; in the case of NYPL, these standards are WCAG 2.0 AA and Section 508 standards. They can be used as a rubric for evaluating products during development, generating issues to resolve compliance conflicts, and documenting any subjective decisions made. For example, see Standard 3.1.2 in the Maps by Decade VPAT. Product teams are responsible for maintaining VPATs.

WCAG 2.0

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines is a global standard for web accessibility created by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of W3C.

Twelve guidelines are arranged by the standard’s four principles: Perceivable, Operable, Operable, Robust. Three levels of conformance are judged by success criteria. The library strives for compliance with level AA.