VleBooks Accessibility Statement

Our Promise

VLeBooks is committed to providing the best and most accessible experience for each and every user.

We are dedicated to proactively reviewing and developing the functionality and accessibility of the service and will enhance the platform to maintain this standard.

The VLeBooks platform is designed to comply with the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.1 Level AA. Our ongoing developments and new features are designed with the latest guidelines in mind and are tested using recommended software for compliance.

Support and Contact

Our team are available to help and answer any questions to ensure all users can have equal access to information. We also encourage feedback and would love to hear from you.

Please contact accessibility@vlebooks.com. We aim to respond to all enquiries within 1 working day.

Compatible Devices

The platform is built with a responsive design so that it will adapt itself according to the user’s device and browser. All standard devices are supported, including Windows PC, MAC, iOS and Android devices.

Formats Available

The VLeBooks platform supports PDF eBooks which are formatted to read online and support the accessibility functionality within the VLeBooks Reader.

PDF format books have distinct pages, which allow for page-level citations. They have a fixed page size that may not work well on all devices or screen sizes/zoom levels. PDF eBooks are compatible with screen readers using an ASCII text layer.

As more publishers are supporting EPUB and providing content in that format, we are working towards being able to offer both formats for both online reading and download.

Licences

Publishers allow access to eBooks through a range of licences which dictate how many users can read a title at any one time. The licence on offer to users is chosen by the library based on the options available to them.

If all licences are in use, a user will be presented with a message explaining the position and the options available to them (for example, a reservation).

Currently, the VLeBooks platform shows how many copies of a licence a library holds. A future development will see more detail added on the licence types held and what that means for the user.

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

The majority of VLeBooks come with DRM allowances set by the publisher to protect content.

DRM manages licence access, in addition to print and copy levels and requires Adobe Digital Editions in order to read titles that have been downloaded.

An increasing number of titles available through VLeBooks are DRM-free, in which case downloaded copies are compatible with any PDF reader. DRM-free titles are clearly marked as such on the platform.

If you find that the accessibility features of the platform, like the read aloud facility, are not suited to your needs, we can source a DRM-free copy for your use. To organise this, please ask your library helpdesk to contact accessibility@vlebooks.com with the book title and ISBN. This will be provided to your library helpdesk, for your use, within 5 working days.

Colours, Contrasts and Fonts

There are a range of accessibility options available to users which make searching and navigating the platform easier.

To access these options, select Edit Accessibility Settings on the left side of the screen. This feature enables users to set their own preferences for the platform.

Options include:

  • Large Font
  • High Contrast
  • Highlight links in yellow
  • Underline Links
  • Greyscale Colour mode
  • Dyslexic friendly font
  • Prevent pop-up auto close

The options are applied permanently or until users make a change.

When reading via the platform, users can change the background colour to suit their requirements. Select ‘Read Online’ and access the colour palate in the top right-hand corner of the screen. This will open a pop-up panel which allows users to select a reading background from one of seven 7 different dyslexia-friendly colours.

To amend contrast in the reader, users will need a browser plugin such as ‘High Contrast’ on Chrome

Watch or listen to our helpful video on our Accessibility Options

https://www.brownsbfs.co.uk/help/vlebooks-videos/vlebooks-video-accessibility

Reading Choices

VLeBooks are accessible anytime, anywhere, and users can read with all common devices and web browsers.

There are two reading options - Read Online or Download.

It is highly recommended that books are read through the platform using the ‘Read Online’ facility, as this has a vast array of features available, which enhance and support the reading experience.

Read Online

Users can read within the platform itself by choosing ‘Read Online’ to access features such as:

  • Table of contents with direct chapter access (and sub-chapters where available)
  • Full text searching
  • Dictionary
  • Annotations; bookmarks, highlights and notes (sharing)
  • Thumbnail view
  • Page layout options (single, double page)
  • Page rotation (Landscape, portrait)
  • Selection of 7 background colours
  • Read Aloud software

There is also a full user guide within the reader itself or accessible at the following web address https://www.vlebooks.com/vlereaderhelp.pdf

Download

Alternatively, users can download by choosing ‘Download’ and read using their chosen software.

To download eBooks, users will need a device which is compatible with Adobe Digital Editions. This can be downloaded for free here:

https://www.adobe.com/uk/solutions/ebook/digital-editions.html

Full instructions are provided on the eBook’s download page for getting started on every type of device.

Assistive Technology

The platform is compatible with screen readers that provide OCR (Optical Character Recognition) functionality, such as Read and Write Gold.

In addition, our online reader supports a Read Aloud facility available through ‘Read Online’ and can be used from both desktop and mobile views. This allows the user more freedom to roam desktops or browsing devices where traditional assistive software would have been required. Read aloud is a core feature built into the online platform allowing for wider audience access to audible facilities where assistive software may not have been possible or practical.

eBooks downloaded to eReader software such as Adobe Digital Editions can be read by most other software. Common software tools and their compatibility are as follows:

Read & Write Gold

This software has Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capability which enables the eBook to be read via the platform or via download through Adobe Digital Editions.

JAWS, NVDA, Claro Read

Download the eBook to Adobe Digital Editions to enable this software to perform. This is not compatible with the online reader.

We recommend accessing the software manufacturers’ own user guides for further information.

Use the following link for information on other tools which may improve the reading experience:

https://www.learningapps.co.uk/moodle/xertetoolkits/play.php?template_id=1402

Magnification

VLeBooks have over 20 levels of magnification using the built-in zoom function, available when reading via the platform, which is operated through the universally recognised zoom icons. Windows & iOS magnifier can also be used.

As the platform does not currently support EPUB formats, reflow is not available. We are working towards enabling this.

Copying and Printing

VLeBooks offers both a copying and printing facility.

When reading through the platform, there are multiple copy options. Likewise, there is the facility to either print a single page or a range of pages.

When a book has been downloaded, the print and copy experience is driven by the software used.

Each eBook has its own print and copy allowance which is set by the publisher. These allowances are displayed against each title. When using ‘Read Online’, a user’s current allowance and usage are displayed.

VleBooks have the required Alt Tags to support image descriptions to help with navigation.

Jacket images of books which are supplied from the publisher’s data source do not include image tags and therefore the jacket image of the books do not support screen readers at this time.

When reading books within the platform, users have access to a table of contents, page navigation, word/phrase look up function and thumbnail view, in addition to portrait or landscape reading options, single or double-page views and a built-in Read Aloud function.

VLeBooks supports keyboard shortcut navigation. The list of commands are noted below:

ShortcutFunction
ctrl+shift+HomeGoto Page1
ctrl+shift+EndGoto Last Page
ctrl+shift+PageUpScroll down a Page
ctrl+shift+PageDownScroll up a Page
ctrl+shift+1Set Focus Page Number Input Box
ctrl+shift+2Add a page note to the current page
ctrl+shift+3Cycle through Single Page, Double Page, Cover Page view
ctrl+shift+4Bookmark this page
ctrl+shift+5Goto next bookmark
ctrl+shift+6Zoom to Fit to page
ctrl+shift+7Zoom to Fit to width
ctrl+shift+8Rotate current page
ctrl+shift+p or ctrl+pPrint Dialog
ctrl+shift+k or ctrl+kCopy Text from current page
ctrl+shift+eExport annotations
ctrl+shift+sShow annotation share code popup
ctrl+shift+yImport annotation share code
ctrl+shift+zZoom in
ctrl+shift+xZoom out
ctrl+shift+fToggle sidebar
ctrl+shift+qCycle page background colour
f1Link to Help document
ctrl+shift+f1Allowance Summary
ctrl+shift+f2TOC (Table Of Contents) Tab
ctrl+shift+f3Search
ctrl+shift+f4Thumbs
ctrl+shift+f5Dictionary
ctrl+shift+f6Thumbnails

Auditing and Updates

The VLeBooks Accessibility Statement was updated in October 2020 and will be reviewed on a regular basis.

The VLeBooks platform was last updated in April 2020.