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Database Accessibility

EBSCO's Accessible Product Features

EBSCO provides the following built-in ADA accessibility features:

  • Text-to-speech for HTML articles
  • Transcripts for videos and audiobooks
  • Alternative text (Alt text is a textual substitute for non-text content on a web page. Provide al text for an image so that it can be read by a screen reader.)
  • ARIA landmarks to assist with screen readers (ARIA landmarks define page sections that allow users to jump to sections of a page with assistive technology.)
  • Keyboard-only navigation

Visit EBSCO's Accessibility page for more information.

Available File Formats


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. 

Text to Speech in a PDF Without a Screen Reader
  1. Download the EBSCO article's PDF.
  2. Open the article in Acrobat Reader DC.
  3. From the View menu, click Read Out Loud, then select Activate Read Out Loud.
  4. From the View menu, click Read Out Loud again, then select either Read This Page Only or Read to End of Document.
  5. To stop Read Out Loud, from the View menu, click Read Out Loud, then select Deactivate Read Out Loud.


EBSCO provides a text-to-speech option for HTML full text articles.

  1. When you find an article, click on HTML Full Text.
  2. Click Listen at the top of the article.
  3. Click the Hamburger menu to select other text to speech features like reading language, font size, and save the mp3 file, and to access the Settings menu to change text highlighting, word color, font style, and more.
  4. Click the Speaker icon to adjust the volume. Click the Timer icon to adjust the reading speed.
  5. To pause the reading, click on the pause button.

Take a look at this sample article from Academic Search Complete in an HTML file format.

Using a Screen Reader in EBSCO Databases

The instructions mainly relate to screen readers with some information for keyboard-only users. Resources were tested using Firefox but hopefully they will be useful for other screen readers and browsers.

For Screen Reader and Keyboard Users

Visit EBSCO's Accessibility - Navigation Guide for complete information on searching EBSCO databases with JAWS 8.0, NVDA, and VoiceOver. They provide:

  • Specific keystrokes for the different readers
  • Tips on basic and advanced searching
  • Links to documentation on using the different readers

We will continue to add information to this page. If you have accessibility problems with any online resources, please let us know by contacting the Library.