Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Diverse learners' library guide: E-book and article accessibility

Listen to e-books and articles, make reading easier

A lot of e-books can be listened to and read with different kinds of aids. Accessibility of e-books varies. E-books are produced in different file formats (EPUB, PDF), which means that an e-book service can contain e-books that function in different ways. Your device and the reading program provided by the e-book service also affect usability.

Academic articles in databases are usually in either HTML or PDF format or both. Articles in HTML format are usually easy to listen to.

Browser-based features

Net browsers provide an option to listen to websites. You can also listen to materials that open in browser. More information on the listening functions in different browsers is available on Celianet's website. 

Listening with a PDF reader

If an e-book or article is in a PDF format, you can read it with Adobe Reader's Text-to-Speech tool. It reads aloud the text,  the text in comments and alternate text descriptions for images and fillable fields. In the top menu choose View > Read Out Loud.

Older PDF files might be missing the Read Out Loud function.

Adobe's website contains more information on Adobe Reader's Read Out Loud function .

Listening with mobile devices

When using mobile devices you can try your device's built-in listening mode. You can get more information on mobile device listening features on Celianet's website.

Screen readers for computers

Sometimes a separate screen reader program is needed to read an e-book. A screen reader reads any text on a computer or smart device screen. In many e-book services it is possible to download the book to Adobe Digital reader software, which usually works with screen readers. Celianet has further information on the most common screen readers .

An e-book can have DRM (digital rights management) protection, which prevents using screen readers.

Optimize your screen

Many e-books allow you to modify the screen to fit your preferences. Try

  • Changing the font. For example Arial and Times New Roman are easy to read.
  • Making text size bigger.
  • Adjusting colours.
  • Adjusting contrast.
  • Making letter and line spacing bigger.

Accessibility in e-book services

Celia has tested the accessibility of the most common e-book services with four Universities of Applied Sciences (DIAK, HAMK, Laurea and Metropolia) and the results are available on Celia website (in Finnish) . The test covered the following e-book services: Alma Talent Verkkokirjahylly, Ellibs, Ebook Central and Ebsco eBooks.

We advise you to try listening to e-books and using reading aids also in other e-book services.

Key e-book services in Haaga-Helia

If an e-book service has its own accessibility instructions, they are linked on the A-Z Databases list behind an accessibility icon Saavutettavuusikoni..

Accessibility in article databases

Some of the Haaga-Helia library databases have an in-built listening function. These databases are marked on the A-Z Databases list with a speaker icon Kaiuttimen kuva.. When you click the speaker icon, you will be taken to the database's own listening instructions. You can listen to articles that are in HTML format. Articles in PDF format don't always have an option to listen to them.

If a database has its own accessibility instructions, they are linked on the A-Z Databases list behind an accessibility icon Saavutettavuusikoni..

Saavutettavuusseloste / Accessibility Statement