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Library

Tips and tools to help with reading online

There are tools and adjustments which everyone can make use of to help you read online. We’ve put together a guide to things you can do to help your transition to online reading.

In order to maintain a COVID-secure site and minimise the risk to staff and students, the Library aims to provide resources electronically where they are available.

You are still able to borrow printed items if this is more appropriate for you, in line with the library's current borrowing policy.

If you are a student or staff member with a visual impairment, learning disability or physical disability which prevents you from using an electronic version, please register with the Accessibility Support Service.

Making e-books accessible

Library e-books are available through different online platforms. These platforms offer a range of features to make e-books more accessible for users. Availability of features and how you use them can differ between platforms.

  • Common accessibility features offered by e-book platforms include:
  • Magnification – zoom in without the text spilling off the screen
  • Navigation – navigate platforms using your keyboard
  • Keyboard alternatives – keyboard shortcuts, using a keyboard instead of a mouse
  • Background/contrast choices – changing the background and font colour, adjusting the contrast levels
  • Searching – keyword or phrase searching
  • Notes – add comments and annotations whilst reading
  • Bookmarking – bookmark specific pages and chapters
  • Highlighting – highlight paragraphs or sections.

If you are struggling to access an e-book, please email support@yorksj.ac.uk.

Ability.net has advice on how to make your device easier to use.

UK Migraine Trust also advise of IT adjustments such as colour contrast, text display and screen refresh.

Text-to-Speech Software

Text-to-speech software reads digital texts aloud. The software is available on most devices and works with all kinds of online webpages and text files including Word and PDF documents.

Read&Write makes the web, documents and files more accessible - any time, any place, and on any platform or device.

  • Text-to-speech - it will read the content of web pages and documents aloud
  • Screen Masking - change the colour of the whole screen to make it easier to see and read
  • Highlighters - highlight useful text and then collect these into a new document, which is useful for taking notes.

Our Assistive Technology Advisers offer training and support for using Read&Write. For further information please contact assistivetech@yorksj.ac.uk

Note: For Windows PC, Read&Write is available via AppsAnywhere. For Mac PCs, download and install from Read&Write.

Other text-to-speech/screen reader software:

  • Narrator (for Windows 10 PCs)
  • VoiceOver (for Mac PCs)
  • Adobe Reader Read Out Loud
  • Microsoft Word Read Aloud

Guides

For further information and guidance:

Getting Support

If you need further support, please contact our Academic Services Team:

  • Assistive Technology – Our Assistive Technology Advisers can help and advice you on the use of assistive software and technology.
  • Digital Training – Our Digital Trainers can help develop your IT skills.
  • Academic Liaison Librarians – Each subject area has an Academic Liaison Librarian. Your librarian can provide expert assistance to help you get the most from the Library. 
  • Study Development – Book a tutorial with a Study Development Tutor for help with your academic work.
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