Accessibility on Ingenta Connect – the next stage

Ingenta Connect has just been audited against WCAG / JISC standards. How did it do?

You may recall from our last Newsletter that Ingenta was being audited for accessibility / degree to which we meet WCAG 2.0 standards. We have now had an accessibility audit carried out independently by Leeds Beckett University (huge thanks to the team there led by Vicky Dobson, Senior Information Services Librarian) based on JISC recommendations. Unusually we’re taking the step of publishing this in full, with notes (in italics) on the steps we intend to take to correct any flaws or hindrances.

One noted area in which we might add a feature to Ingenta Connect is the inclusion of text-to-speech software, licenced in from ReadSpeaker. There would be a cost element to this, of course, so if we went ahead the service would be included for our Library Members only. We’d welcome any comments on this.

The other area we need to improve on is article presentation, but this is largely outside our control, as it’s in the hands of our publishers. The next step is to make publishers more aware of accessibility issues and compliance. We shall do that through our publisher communications, including a webinar early in the new year.

All testing on the Ingenta Connect interface was conducted using a Windows 10 PC.

Platform interface

  • There is a “Skip to content link” on the platform interface which is good.
  • It is also good that it is possible to tab through platform content in a logical order and the current element is highlighted, one person felt excessive tabbing is required.
  • Within the platform interface links are titled appropriately.
  • Text on the platform reflows when the browser zoom tools are used which is good. It might also be helpful to add an inbuilt zoom option to the platform. Note: we plan to add a zoom button, accessible via a new accessibility panel on the r/h side of the screen
  • It is good that there is a search box on the platform for searching article titles. However, this only appears to pick up article titles and not text within articles Note: Users can search by keyword(s) but we can see how the drop down sub-menu may not be immediately obvious. We plan to add full text to the drop-down menu on quick search?
  • The platform generally has a good level of colour contrast as tested with a colour contrast analyzer. However, the platform menu colours (blue and white combinations) could be improved by making them higher contrast, as these failed the AAA level test for regular sized text. Note: Further investigation is needed, but this can be corrected.
  • Text on the platform can be read aloud using Texthelp Read & Write text-to-speech software, in Google Chrome (depending on the PC used), Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. There were mixed results for reading text on the platform aloud using Windows Narrator, e.g. it was found that it did not work in Microsoft Edge. Note: It would improve accessibility if the platform could have an inbuilt text-to-speech tool, particularly for users with dyslexia and certain visual impairments. Readspeaker TTS possible, but costly; could be covered with Library Membership.
  • Platform interface icons used to aid navigation mostly had a suitable text label which could be read aloud using Read & Write text-to-speech software, apart from the social media icons (which have a text label that only appears when the mouse is hovered over them). These labels could not be read aloud using Read & Write, or with JAWS screenreader. Note: It would help if a permanent text label could be added next to each one.
  • Text on the platform can be read aloud using JAWS screen reader software; however we may want to consider asking a more experienced user to perform more thorough testing using a range of different screenreaders (e.g. Supernova or NVDA), ideally a visually impaired user.
  • There are accessibility help pages which is good. However these provide limited useful information and instructions. Suggested additions include:
  1. Information on keyboard only equivalents for all mouse actions E.g. Safari Books Online provide really good detailed information about keyboard shortcuts; Note: we shall put up a Safari-style page to note what we already provide and review those shortcuts already in place. We shall make download button tab-able.
  2. Information on which assistive technology tools the platform has been tested with
  3. Link to instructions on how to change the font size in Adobe Reader, Link to instructions on how to activate Reflow in Adobe Reader, Link to instructions on how to change the font and background colour in Adobe Reader e.g. “Please see the following guide for advice on using the inbuilt accessibility features of Adobe Reader: Reading PDFs with reflow and accessibility features”. Note: we shall add a Link on Help pages to Adobe help pages
  4. Inform the user that they will need a PDF viewer installed to open the articles with, and a link to download Adobe Reader.


  • The articles are only available as PDF. Also providing them in HTML format would allow users to choose the format which best suits their needs, increasing accessibility. Note: agreed – we are working on it!
  • There is no digital loan period or download limitation period, which is good.
  • Accessibility could be improved by making the article text left aligned rather than justified; left aligned text is easier to read for people with dyslexia and certain visual impairments.
  • Accessibility could also be improved by publishing the articles in a sans serif font, such as Arial.
  • For all the articles tested, the zoom level can be changed in Adobe Reader and the user can choose from a full range of zoom levels, which is good. It is also good that the text reflows when the zoom level is changed.
  • The original colours on the PDF documents have a good level of colour contrast.
  • It is possible to change the font and background colours of the articles in Adobe Reader and to choose from a full range of colours for both, which is good.
  • The articles can be printed without limitation, which is good.
  • The articles can also be copied without limitation, however the pictures do not copy and the formatting is lost. This could be improved.
  • It is possible to search within the article content when they are opened in Adobe Reader, which is good.
  • Images and diagrams that convey information generally have meaningful descriptions.
  • Text in downloaded PDF content can be read aloud using Texthelp Read & Write text-to-speech software including text within figures. The files can also be read aloud in Adobe Reader, however Adobe Read Out Loud did not work when reflow was activated. This could be improved. Note : we are investigating further.
  • Text in downloaded PDF content can be read aloud using JAWS screen reading software however the text in figures was not read aloud. We were not able to test alternative text for images as we could not find an article with images in.  It would be good to ensure that images have a relevant alternative text description which can be read by screenreaders to ensure that visually impaired users have access to this information.

For our US readers, the most recent VPAT statement of Ingenta Connect’s accessibility standards is available by contacting me: . Accessibility is an ongoing project for us, and involves proactive engagement from our publishers, as well as ourselves.

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