Skip to Main Content

Accessibility and NSCC Libraries: eBooks: Accessibility Features

This guide provides an overview of how NSCC Libraries provide accessible library services and resources to NSCC students and employees.

What is an eBook?

An eBook is an electronic version of a traditional print book that can be read online on a desktop computer or on a device. NSCC eBooks can also be downloaded and transferred to an eBook reader. At NSCC, we have three main eBook Collections are ProQuest eBook Central, EBSCO Academic eBook Collection and Gale Virtual Reference Library which is a collection of electronic encyclopedias, manuals and handbooks.

EPUB vs PDF eBook Format

NSCC eBooks are available in EPUB or HTML formats, or both. Here is the difference between the two.

  • EPUBS function better with screen reading software.
  • EPUB is an HTML-based format, so it may contain links within the text, either to other sections of the book, from the index to relevant pages, and out to the open web.
  • EPUB eBooks text will re-size and change shape to fit the size and shape of the screen, like a webpage. This is called Reflowable Text.
  • Reflowable text impacts pagination. Publishers handle this differently; some embed pages to match the print or PDF version, some leave them out entirely. When publishers do not provide EPUB page numbers, you can navigate using the Table of Contents sections or using embedded links.
  • The zoom in/out tools have been removed from the EPUB viewer because the text resizes automatically.

Proquest eBook Central

Proquest's eBook Central is designed for patrons with accessibility needs, particularly the blind and visually impaired.  Accessibility Mode is supported on laptops and desktops (not tablets and phones).

ProQuest eBook Central Accessibility Customer FAQ's is a PDF that covers:

  • How does ProQuest eBook Central demonstrate compliance with WCAG 2.0 and Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act
  • Which Kinds of accessibility features are available in the Ebook Central interface
  • Which screen readers work with eBook Central
  • How screen readers / text-to speech programs deal with images and charts in eBook Central
  • How Ebook Central meets the needs of patrons who are visually impaired but not are not blind
  • How Ebook Central meets the needs of patrons with dyslexia and other learning disabilities

EBSCO's Accessibility Policy

EBSCO eBooks strives to make content accessible to all users. EBSCO is currently targeting WGAC (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 level AA.

EBSCO eBook Accessibility User Guide and FAQs includes information for:

  • Blind Users
  • Low Vision Users
  • Colour Vision-Impaired Users
  • Users with vision who rely on the keyboard
  • Users with Dyslexia
  • Deaf Users
  • Screen reader and browser combinations
  • Instructions on Navigating eBooks with screen readers

Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)

Gale is committed to making its products accessible to users of all abilities and strives to make products universally accessible and user-friendly in conformance with Section 508 standards of the Rehabilitation Act and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 from the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).

GVRL provides the following accessibility features:

  • ReadSpeaker technology (text-to-speech) allowing text to be read aloud to users and downloaded in MP3 format
  • Ability to print, e-mail and download articles
  • On-demand content translation into 11 languages