At VitalSource, we have a long-standing commitment to meet the needs of learners of all ability levels. For nearly two decades, we have worked to ensure our products are designed from the beginning with accessibility in mind.
An Active Part of the Accessibility Community
VitalSource works closely with key members of the disability and advocacy communities who are committed to accessibility. We work with organisations such as the W3C, DIAGRAM Center, Book Industry Study Group, the Center for Accessible Materials Innovation, and the EDUPUB Alliance
(EPUB for Education). We conduct user studies and a variety of research and usability studies on assistive technology use and on product prototypes. We collaborate with consultants and advocacy groups, such as the National Federation of the Blind, JISC, Tech for All, and others to grow the community and the capabilities of each part of the system working together. VitalSource goes beyond simply adhering to industry standards, as we are also actively involved in helping create those standards through participation and leadership with these partners.
Solving the needs of learners requires a great deal of collaboration and accountability. VitalSource demonstrates its Section 508 compliance by publishing the VPATs for its products. But our commitment goes beyond mere compliance. We are transparent about our capabilities because learners and partners need to know how we meet their needs.
In September 2019, we were awarded the DAISY Consortium Award for Accessibility in Publishing. In July 2020, we were ranked as one of the top publishing platforms by ASPIRE with an incredible score of 100%.
Need an Accessible eTextbook?
While we work with each of our publishing partners to provide accessible content that works with our platform, we recognise that this goal is not always possible to achieve. When an alternate format file is required, we will work with the publisher to understand what options are available and how to best provide the necessary accommodation in coordination with the appropriate departments at the institution. A request for a particular title to be enhanced for improved accessibility can be sent directly to the publisher contacts, or we can assist in the process by submitting this form.
Created in collaboration with the BISG Accessible Publishing Working Group, VitalSource is pleased to help with the publication of the BISG Quick Start Guide to Accessible Publishing. This guide serves as the model for best practices in creating accessible digital content. This eBook offers a succinct introduction to the basics of accessibility, legal requirements, top tips, very practical advice on producing accessible content, and much more. You can obtain a free copy in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Korean by visiting our store.
We have a team of accessibility specialists to assist customers with questions or other needs. Customers in can visit our Technical Support site anytime at https://support. vitalsource.com. We respond to most inquiries within 24 hours. You can also email your accessibility issue to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://vitalsource.com/accessibility.
VitalSource Bookshelf Accessibility
Select the Bookshelf platform below for more information on how to use the platform, accessibility tips and issues, and accessibility documentation:
- Bookshelf for Windows
- Bookshelf for Mac OS X
- Bookshelf iOS App
- Bookshelf Android App
- Bookshelf Kindle
- Bookshelf Online
VitalSource is committed to providing rich, highly functional, long-term solutions for the needs of the accessibility market. We are committed to working with partners to provide regular review and evaluation by actual users, and to make our solutions widely available. We will accomplish this primarily by taking advantage of the built-in solutions provided by the computer or devices operating system, or by supporting open source alternatives. Additionally, we will work with the leading third-party vendors in the market to provide support for those users where possible. More information regarding VitalSource’s commitment to accessibility can be downloaded here.
New! Digital Rights Management (DRM) Signposting
- In the Bookshelf® mobile and desktop apps, readers can now see in the Book Details panel a visual indicator showing their sideloaded content is DRM-free.
- Sideloaded eBooks have no limits on downloading or copying
With the recent release of content controls* in the Bookshelf online, mobile, and desktop apps, readers can now:
- Choose from four different text sizes
- Select from various fonts available, including OpenDyslexic
- Easily alter the colour of their screen by selecting night mode
- Choose from three different margin sizes
- Pick from three line height options
*Depending on the type of content, some content controls may not work. If something doesn't look right, you can default back to the publisher setting.
Accessibility and compatibility with assistive technology is now clearly noted with icons for titles offering these features, allowing instructors and students to quickly see the information on the product details page.
- Publishers and content providers can describe the accessibility features included in their content
- Instructors selecting content for course adoption can quickly view the accessibility features on the product details page
- Students can confirm if their assigned course materials will accommodate their needs before they purchase the content
Colours and Contrasts
- Bookshelf Online has a built-in function to alter the colour of the display
- All readers can adjust the background colour to sepia, cyan, or night mode using our Mode options
- Readers using a Mac can change the colour on their computer—this functionality is called Night Shift
Copying and Printing
- There are some limits on the amount of content that can be copied or printed from Bookshelf, as designated by the publisher
- A print dialogue box advises readers on the print limit for their title
- Limits on printing and copying vary, but are usually around 10%
Digital Rights Management (DRM)
- Content delivered through the Bookshelf online reader and mobile applications employs DRM protection
- Files can only be opened in Bookshelf
- If alt text image descriptions have been added to a file and the reader is utilising a screen reader software, the alt text will be displayed in line with the text
- We encourage all of our publishers to supply alt tags and long descriptions on content when possible to ensure our images (excluding book covers) adhere to WCAG AA
- Transcripts and alt text for video and audio content can be made available, where provided by the publisher
- VitalSource Bookshelf Online is browser-based and will work with supported keyboard shortcuts. Learn about various quick keys here: mobile, Mac, and Windows
- Magnify content in the platform up to 300%
- Choose from three different margin sizes
- Pick from three line height options
- Bookshelf supports navigational tagging (heading levels, hyperlinks) and reading order, where supplied by the publisher
- VitalSource will begin badging books on their accessibility features in our online store, allowing users to make informed decisions before purchasing
- Where page numbers are available, we will expose them in both the margins and contents page
- PDF and EPUB files can be read in Bookshelf
- Both file types can be read with a screen reader such as, but not limited to, JAWS and NVDA
- Readers can resize text using our content controls located at the bottom of the screen or change the zoom percentage of the entire page
- Readers can select from various fonts available, including OpenDyslexic
- We support VoiceOver and TalkBack screen readers for iOS and Android, respectively
Bookshelf is compatible with:
- Plus more
- Bookshelf Online and the native apps have a built-in text-to-speech function
- Rewind, play, pause, and fast-forward
- The text being read is highlighted on the page
- Both PDF and EPUB file formats can be read
We have a team of accessibility specialists to assist customers with questions or other needs. Customers in North America can visit our 24/7 Technical Support site anytime at support.vitalsource.com. We respond to most issues within 24 hours. You can also email your accessibility issue to email@example.com or visit support.vitalsource.com.
When an alternate format file is needed, we will work with the publisher to understand what options are available and how to best provide the necessary accommodation in coordination with the appropriate departments at the institution. A request for a particular title to be enhanced for improved accessibility can be sent directly to the publisher contacts, or we can assist in the process by submitting this form.