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Accessibility Tips for Library Resources

This guide offers publishers' policies and tips for using accessibility features of major UA Libraries online resources such as ebooks and databases.

ACM Digital Library

ACM Digital Library specific instructions for screen reader users:

Before entering the database it is necessary to accept the terms and conditions. JAWS does read these automatically. Once heard you can press tab to highlight "I accept the above terms" then enter. The default is to search The ACM Digital Library rather than The Guide,  which is correct, but the search box on the homepage is labelled as The Guide Edit. If your links list your search results, the article title appears first, followed by the full text in PDF and sometimes HTML format.

View the HTML version if available as the PDF files are often without headings and therefore hard to navigate. Before you can download any full text item you will need to disable your pop up blocker as full text opens in a new window.  Use Adobe Reader to convert the PDF, although it still may not read in a linear way. Articles can also be converted to a more accessible format using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) equipment.


EBSCO Databases Accessibility Features

All EBSCOhost databases provide a text to speech option for HTML Full Text articles. However, many articles are not available in HTML. When you have located an article, click on HTML Full Text and there will be an option to listen.

You can also download these audio files in MP3 format. 

Newer PDFs in EBSCO are ADA compliant. EBSCO Publishing began providing its scanned PDFs with an Optical Character Reader (OCR) text layer in September 2004. PDFs uploaded prior to September 2004 may not be readable by a screen reader.

For more information:

Some full-text articles are available in HTML. When HTML is available, EBSCO provides text-to-speech functionality. New and recent PDFs in Ebsco Databases are ADA compliant.If you experience difficulty using an EBSCO PDF and a screenreader, please contact Disability Resource Center for assistance.

Information about EBSCO ebooks and accessibility can be found at EBSCO's FAQ's.

All of the EBSCO platform databases (see list below) have a read-aloud feature for HTML articles that may be manually activated.

  • choose the HTML Full-Text option, the Listen icon appears on the Tools list just under the title of the article. Read aloud is not available for the PDF format.
  • you may select three different accents and reading speeds
  • to pause the reading, click on the pause button
  • For more information on searching EBSCO databases with JAWS 8.0, visit:

The instructions mainly relate to screen readers with some information for keyboard-only users.  


Elsevier is committed to providing accessible information. Our approach extends our RELX accessibility commitment and contributes to Elsevier Corporate Responsibility activity, which supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #10 - reduced inequalities.

Accessibility features of include

  • Pages are uniquely and descriptively titled
  • Keyboard friendly links and buttons
  • Obvious visible focus ring
  • Logical focus order of interactive elements
  • Visible Skip to Main content link
  • Use of proper semantic structure including landmarks, headings, and lists
  • Responsive design can be used in small screen devices and magnified in the browser to 400%
  • High contrast text on background
  • Comprehensive site map
  • Breadcrumb trail provides information about the user's location within a set of Web pages



Gale Databases Listen feature instructions

Gale Databases provide a Listen function for full-text articles. This can be found on the detailed display screen, which can be accessed by clicking on the title of the article from the search results.   Articles may also be downloaded as an audio file in MP3. Not all Gale PDFs are ADA compliant. Articles

Further detail can be found at:


JSTOR instructions for screen reader users:

Search results appear in the order:

  • Check Box
  • Reference Number
  • Article Title (which is a link)
  • Author
  • Eeference Details
  • Article Information
  • Page of First Match
  • PDF 

To access the full text of articles either choose PDF from the results list, or click on the article title and then choose PDF.  If a PDF is not sufficiently tagged, JSTOR can manually tag PDFs. For more information see the JSTOR accessibility pages.

Nexis Uni

Nexis Uni Instructions for screen reader and keyboard only users:

This database is complex and uses frames.  For keyboard users it is recommended that you use F6 and SHIFT+F6 to move between the frames.  There are a few drop down boxes that refresh the screen as soon as you use the arrow key to move to the next option when using Internet Explorer.  To open the drop down box and then select the option you want ,press ALT+ DOWN ARROW, select  your preferred option using UP and DOWN ARROW and then press ENTER to activate it.   The search results pages have five frames.  Listed below are the headings of each frame with a brief explanation of what they cover:

  • Global Navigation Frame enables you to go back to the LexisLibrary start page
  • Results Navigation Frame allows you to manipulate your references by changing the sort order, email and save them etc
  • Results Classification Frame separates and groups the results under type of publication
  • Right Side Frame can be ignored
  • Results Content Frame lists your results

Project Muse

Project MUSE instructions for screen reader users:

To search from initial page list the links and select Search.  Search results are displayed in the order of check box, result number, reference details and then View HTML and View PDF to read the full text.  Select View HTML, which includes heading levels to aid navigation.


ProQuest Platform instructions for screen reader users:

Internet Explorer users who want to specify date ranges in Advanced Search must use ALT + DOWN ARROW to open the Date Range combo box and use the up and down arrows to move through the options.  Press enter to choose the appropriate date range, which may then open another box for you to enter the date details.  If you don't access the combo box this way JAWS is confused when the additional date range boxes are automatically generated as you move through the options and stops reading. Choose Full Text, rather than Full Text - PDF, where available.  Once you are in Full Text, select level heading 2, to move straight to the full text.  This is not a known issue with FireFox.

Accessibility reports for individual ProQuest databases -


PubMed for screen reader users:

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) converts and stores submitted articles to the ANSI/NISO Z39.96-2015 JATS eXtensible Markup Language (XML) format, which enables long-term preservation and supports accessibility.  NLM displays articles in PMC in structured HTML that is responsive to different screen sizes and devices and compatible with assistive technologies to enable broad accessibility.  Pubmed has recently been amended so that article titles now appear as links to further information, rather than the authors, so the database is easier to navigate.

NLM makes every effort to ensure that the information available on our websites is accessible to all.  If you use assistive technology to access the web and experience problems using our site, please let us know by contacting NLM Customer Service at or through the NLM Support Center or by phone at (888) FIND-NLM (346-3656) or (301) 594-5983. Please have available the URL, PMCID, or journal and article title with which you need assistance, along with a description of the problem. We will work with you to provide the information to you in an alternate format.  


SpringerLink instructions for screen reader users:

Search results are listed in order of relevance rather than date.  If you list the links on the page you will hear In the last week, In the last two weeks etc.  These will take you to the references added within these time periods and after each link there will be a number telling you how many references are available.  The article title provides a link to the abstract and full text options, which is usually PDF only.  If you list the links on the page the PDF link reads as Entire Document and HTML, if available as Open Full Text.  The PDF is untagged and needs to be converted using Adobe Reader.  Sometimes when HTML full text appears to be available only a link to the abstract is provided.  We are querying this with the supplier


Text Resizing

The site text can be resized to help readability for individual users. In order to resize the text please follow the instructions below:

PC / all browsers:

  • Increase text size: Hold down the CTRL key and press +
  • Decrease text size: Hold down the CTRL key and press 

Mac / all browsers:

  • Increase text size: Hold down the Command key and press +
  • Decrease text size: Hold down the Command key and press 

Browser Support

Wiley Online Library has been built using code compliant with W3C standards for HTML and CSS. The site displays correctly in the latest stable versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Opera. For older browsers, visual design may be slightly compromised but all content will be readable, and features will function as intended. The site can also be accessed on tablet and mobile devices, and a selection of pages are optimized for those devices.

Wiley Screen Reader

Before using Wiley screen reader, users need to ensure they have done the following to be able to read the full text.  In Adobe Reader 8, open the Document menu and select Accessibility Setup Assistant.  Click on Next until the fifth screen and ensure that the last option "Display PDF documents in the web browser" is not checked. 

Access the basic search box on the home page by listing the Form Fields on the page and then "Enter words or phrases edit".  A link to Advanced Search enables you to narrow a search by product type (journal or book).  You can also browse by subject or product type.  Search results are displayed in the format article title, journal title, reference details, author name then links to Abstract, References and PDF (full text).  The article title is not provided as a link and not all articles are available in full text.  Full text is not provided on Wiley if you are taken to a page with the heading Access article, Options for accessing this content.  If you have conducted a search you can read the article or chapter titles by listing the Form Fields on the page.  If you browse you will not have this option and will need to read the page linearly.

If you right click on a PDF link and Save target as, it will be saved as HTML, but open in Adobe Reader.