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Database Help: Accessibility

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Thigpen Library is committed to providing online resources which meet accessibility standards. Our subscription resources are regularly reviewed to ensure that current standards are being met. This guide page highlights certain features from select databases that might be of interest to our users.

Text to Speech

Text-to-Speech is NOT a substitute for a screen reader. This feature, when available, converts text to audio. In other words, the article is read to you. This feature makes the content more accessible to people with dyslexia, learning disabilities, low literacy levels, impaired vision, or those who like to listen. Anyone with English as their second language may find this feature helpful.

Resources with the Text-to-Speech feature

In EBSCOhost databases an article available in the HTML format may have a Listen button. Listen online or use the Download button for an MP3 audio file. This feature is not available with eBooks or articles only available as a PDF.

Screen capture for Listen button and controls for HTML articles in EBSCOhost databases

Credo Reference provides the option to "listen to this page using ReadSpeaker." Clicking the button retrieves the toolbar which allows you to listen online or download a MP3 file.

Screen capture of controls for listen to this article using Readspeaker in Credo Reference

Gale databases use the ReadSpeaker (read-aloud) feature. Use the Listen button to listen online or download an audio file with the Download MP3 tool.

Screen capture for Listen button for ReadSpeaker from Gale Cengage Learning databases

Screen capture of tools available with Gale Cengage Learning database. Highlighted Download MP3 tool

Help with Resources using Text to Speech

Select Help from the More menu of the Gale database. Find the list of topics under Help Contents and select "Listen to Documents."

When using an EBSCO database select Help and a  pop-up support box appears. Select "Using Text-To-Speech" from the list of topics under Viewing Results.

Accessibilty Features in Streaming Video Collections

Accessibility features are highlighted for our major streaming video collections.

Academic Video Online (Alexander Street Press)

  • Closed-captioned
  • Fullscreen mode available
  • The transcript is synchronized with the video, highlights the text spoken as the video plays, and scrolls along with the video. Clicking a section within the transcript skips forward or back within the corresponding video.

BBC Shakespeare (Ambrose)

  • Closed-captioned.
  • Fullscreen mode available
  • Transcript consists of phrases linked to timing in the video, about every 3 seconds incomplete but can be used to navigate the video.

Films on Demand (Infobase)

  • Closed-captioned.
  • Full screen available.
  • This database utilizes interactive transcripts for many videos. Interactive Transcripts allow you to view the full text of the video, search within the full text, or click on any word in the transcript to jump to that exact point in the video.


  • Closed-captioned. Some older and foreign language films use "burnt-in" captions which cannot be turned off
  • Fullscreen mode available
  • Transcript tab appears below the film once it starts playing. Clicking on any sentence in the transcript causes the video to jump ahead and start playing where those words are being spoken