E-book accessibility

We provide access to a large number of e-books from a range of providers. E-books offer features that increase accessibility over print materials. These features and functionality vary between providers. Free, open source software, such as magnification or coloured screen filters, can improve accessibility beyond inbuilt features.

E-books can be found by searching the library QuickSearch for books, e-books and multimedia, or through individual providers on our E-book resources webpage.

If you use screen reading software use Adobe Digital Editions Preview 1.8 which has increased accessibility and works with screen readers such as JAWS to read Digital Right Management protected e-books. There are keyboard shortcuts in the Getting Started guide.

Accessibility of our four main e-book providers


Dawsonera e-books can be downloaded for 24 hours and opened using Adobe Reader for enlargement or Adobe Reader read aloud functions. Screen readers, including JAWS are compatible.

For JAWS users, Dawson have provided instructions for searching the Dawsonera e-book platform and for accessing saved Dawsonera PDFs. These were tested with JAWS and are linked to and adapted with permission from Dawson.


EBL recommends Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) as the ebook reader used for reading EBL downloaded titles. Adobe Digital Editions 2.0 can be now be read with JAWS, NVDA (open source) and Apple VoiceOver.


When accessing Ebrary e-books you will be asked to type the organisation that you would like to sign in with. Type Anglia Ruskin University into the search box and continue.

Inbuilt magnification can go up to 200%. There are different coloured highlighters that can be used to change the background colour to improve readability.

Ebrary accessibility support http://support.ebrary.com/kb/category/en/accessibility/ gives details of Ebrary accessibility mode and read aloud options including JAWS tips.


There are built in options for large print (up to 400% screen resolution). Difficulties with navigation have been experienced when using the Read Online function with JAWS software. Coutts, the provider of MyiLibrary, report that they are looking into this.

Other e-book services

Kindle eBooks (Kindle for PC)

Kindle eBooks can be read using Kindle for PC with accessibility plugin software in combination with screen readers, including NVDA and JAWS. Kindle for PC works in conjunction with the screen reader software, with Kindle for PC providing the text to speech and the screen reader reading the menus and navigation. Kindle for PC also offers good magnification options.

You may find the voices provided by Amazon less easy to understand in comparison to their own screen reader voice. Amazon offers a large number of free e-books, so users may want to download these to play with the software and test its accessibility before making a purchase. Amazon also provides a list of Kindle for PC accessibility shortcuts.


eBooks in the EPUB format should work with any screen reader.

Apple iBooks

iPad, iPhone and iPod touch all have a built in screen reader called VoiceOver which works with Apple's iBooks eBook app. The AppleVis website contains information on accessible apps, as well as guides and a discussion forum for those with a visual impairment who are using Apple products.

Further advice

The Royal National Institute of Blind People offer advice on accessible e-books and also provide the largest library in the UK for readers with a visual impairment. Adobe guide: Accessing PDF Documents with Assistive Technology A Screen Reader User's Guide http://www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/accessibility/pdfs/accessing-pdf-sr.pdf

EBSCO guide to ebook accessibility

Last updated September 2016.