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Database Help: Accessibility

Find answers to your questions on the library's online resources, including databases.

  Thigpen Library is committed to providing online resources that meet accessibility standards. This page highlights a few accessibility features that improve the experience for all users and can enhance understanding.


Text-to-Speech converts text to audio.

The text from an article can be read aloud if a library database has this feature. This feature is NOT a substitute for a screen reader.

Who might use text-to speech? Why use it?

  • Some people prefer listening to reading
  • Anyone with English as their second language may benefit from hearing an article read
  • Content is more accessible to people with
    • dyslexia
    • learning disabilities
    • low literacy levels
    • impaired vision

Credo Reference provides the option to "Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker."

Read Aloud icon in Credo ReferenceClicking the Read Aloud icon on an article page toolbar opens the control panel for ReadSpeaker. You can stream the audio or select "Download mp3" option to listen offline.


In EBSCOhost databases an article available in the HTML full-text format may have a Listen button. Listen online or use the Download button for an MP3 audio file.

Listen button and controls for HTML articles in EBSCOhost databases

IMPORTANT! This function is NOT available with eBooks or PDF articles.

Need help?

When using an EBSCOhost database ...

  • Click the Help link from top menu bar and a pop-up support box appears
  • Select "Using Text-To-Speech" from the list of topics under Viewing Results.

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

Listen button for ReadSpeaker from Gale Cengage Learning databases

Tools available with Gale Cengage Learning database. Highlighted Download MP3 tool

Need help?

  1. Select Help from the More menu of the Gale database.
  2. Find the list of topics under Help Contents
  3. Select "Listen to Documents."

A Text-to-Speech reader is available in many ProQuest databases for HTML full-text articles. Click play to hear the article read aloud in English. The reader is available in the full text section on the Document View page.

ProQuest read text play button

These ProQuest databases have HTML full-text articles enabled with Text-to-Speech:

  • Literature Online
  • ProQuest Research Library
  • Tennessean
  • US Major Dailies

Streaming Videos

Multimedia sources are sometimes available in article and reference databases but this accessibility information pertains to the library's streaming video collections. Learn about captions, transcripts, and other features that improve the user experience.

The following explanations of captions and transcripts are from WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind). These features are available without special devices to any user and can aid understanding of the material.

Captions are text versions of the spoken word presented within multimedia. Captions allow the content of web audio and video to be accessible to those who do not have access to audio. Though captioning is primarily intended for those who cannot hear the audio, it has also been found to help those that can hear audio content, those who may not be fluent in the language in which the audio is presented, those for whom the language spoken is not their primary language, etc.

Transcripts allow anyone that cannot access content from web audio or video to read a text transcript instead. ...  Transcripts provide a textual version of the content that can be accessed by anyone. ... Screen reader users may also prefer the transcript over listening to the audio of the web multimedia. Most proficient screen reader users set their assistive technology to read at a rate much faster than most humans speak. This allows the screen reader user to access the transcript of the video and get the same content in less time than listening to the actual audio content.

These streaming video databases provide closed-captioned [ ] videos that meet current standards

  • Academic Video Online (Alexander Street)
  • BBC Shakespeare (Ambrose Digital)
  • Films on Demand (Infobase)


Most Kanopy videos have closed-captions that meet current standards. Some older and foreign language films use "burnt-in" captions which cannot be turned off.

Note: The vendor providing the database is the name in parentheses, e.g. Alexander Street for Academic Video Online

Transcripts are available for the hearing impaired [ ] and for all users to enhance their understanding of the audio. Transcripts can also be used to navigate the video.

Academic Video Online: 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: Transcript consists of phrases linked to timing in the video; about every 3 seconds is incomplete; can be used to navigate the video.

Films on Demand: Interactive transcripts are used for many, but not all, videos. These interactive transcripts allow you to view the video's full text, search within the full text, or click on any word in the transcript to jump to that exact point in the video.

Kanopy: 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

These streaming video databases provide fullscreen mode [ ] to improve viewing in the classroom.

  • Academic Video Online (Alexander Street)
  • BBC Shakespeare (Ambrose Digital)
  • Films on Demand (Infobase)
  • Kanopy

Note: The vendor providing the database is the name in parentheses, e.g. Alexander Street for Academic Video Online