Current options to have ebrary book read aloud

Currently we have several options to having ebrary books read aloud:

  • We can set your personal instance of ebrary to a screen-readable text format.  Once that is turned on, it will display simple screen-readable text that can be read by programs such as NVDA or JAWS.  We find that many users who require online reading of text are already familiar with these products.  Note, we are currently improving our screen-readable mode to be easier to use with screen readers; the new version should be available late 2014 or early 2015.
  • Another option is to do a full download of the book, if it is available for the book in question.  Then as long as you are using Adobe Digital Editions version 2 or 3 or later, that text is screen readable.  This option requires no special setting on the ebrary side.
  • A third option is to do a print to PDF of a particular page range of the book, then try using it with Kurzweil 3000, a popular “read aloud” program. While we do not yet certify nor guarantee that it will work with Kurzweil 3000, we know it works on many of our PDFs, depending on how the PDF file was delivered to us from the publisher.  Free trials of Kurzweil 3000 are available for download off the web.

Eventually we plan to offer epub format which will provide flowable text and will make more read-aloud options available.


Accessibility Options for Visually-impaired Users

To assist visually-impaired users, ebrary can be displayed in a screen-readable, text-only mode that works with a user’s own text-to-speech program, such as JAWS.  This is the most popular option because typically visually-impaired users already have their own text-to-speech program.

To request this mode:

Step 1 – Librarian contacts and requests the screen-readable, text-only option for an individual user.  We will need the user’s personal ebrary account username.

Step 2 – The user can then activate the text-only mode as follows:

a) Go to your ebrary site and log in to your personal ebrary account

b) Click on the “My Settings” button at the top right of the ebrary page

c) Click “Edit Settings”, then under “Additional Settings” click “Enable Accessibility Mode”

d) Click “Save Changes”

e) Once those changes are made, anytime the user is signed in to their bookshelf account, all documents opened in QuickView will be viewed in the special screen-readable, text-only mode

f) The user can then use QuickView in conjunction with JAWS or another text-to-speech program

For tips on using Jaws with ebrary Accessibility Mode, see:


With Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) 2.0 or more recent, full-document downloads can be read by screen readers

For more info, see Adobe Digital Editions FAQs at:

Click on “How do I use it with screen reading technology?

To upgrade to the newest version of Adobe Digital Editions, proceed as if to install Adobe Digital Editions, and it will detect that you’re upgrading:

  1. From your computer, go to
  2. Scroll down and click: “Download Adobe Digital Editions ›
  3. Follow the steps as prompted


Tips for using JAWS software with ebrary Accessibility Mode

The following are “best practices” from advanced users of JAWS with ebrary’s accessibilty mode:

Begin searches as follows:

  • Select CTRL HOME
  • Arrow down
  • Go to “Skip Navigation”
  • Then use either arrows or CTRL F to reach the desired link.

To get to the Links list view:

  • Select INS F7

Note, once you successfully select a page number, and the page loads, you need to press ESC (escape key) to get to the text on that page.