Student Accessibility Services

How To Locate eBooks & Audio Books

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) has created the following list of suggested locations where you, the student, can purchase/obtain eBooks or audio books for your required course textbooks.

UNI Bookstore

The UNI Bookstore has partnered with VitalSource, which offers eBooks that are available for you to purchase/obtain for any of your required course textbooks. You save money with the low prices and gain functionality with the enhanced features eBooks offer. Enjoy the ability to search the entire text for a word or phrase, add notes and highlights, and share your notes with friends. To learn more contact the UNI Bookstore. This reading tool may be beneficial for members for the following reasons:​

  • Blindness: Bookshelf is compatible with Jaws, NVDA, SuperNova, and more.
  • Low-Vision: Enlarge book text up to 300%. Change fonts, text & background color, highlights, and margin sizes.
  • Learning Disability: Synchronized audio and highlighted words/sentences. Add notes to your textbook and easily search by keyword. Readers can select from various fonts available, including OpenDyslexic.

VitalSource

VitalSource has available to purchase a variety of eBooks, including textbooks from major publishers (e.g., Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Cengage Learning, etc.). Get immediate online access and download books for offline reading. VitalSource content accessed via the online reader requires no download and is accessible from nearly any computer with Internet access. You can read books provided by VitalSource on desktops, laptops, and supported mobile devices using the Vitalsource Bookshelf App.

Learn how to to download the Bookshelf application based on your personal device, which you will utilize to read the eBooks. VitalSource Support also provides additional assistance, including videos on how to get started with utilizing Bookshelf. VitalSource has enabled its publisher partners to identify accessible content and highlight specific accessibility features. All eTextbooks and course content in the VitalSource catalog with one or more accessibility features are clearly designated with an icon. Both PDF and EPUB file formats can be read with Bookshelf. This reading tool may be beneficial for members for the following reasons:​

  • Blindness: Bookshelf is compatible with Jaws, NVDA, SuperNova, and more.
  • Low-Vision: Enlarge book text up to 300%. Change fonts, text & background color, highlights, and margin sizes.
  • Learning Disability: Synchronized audio and highlighted words/sentences. Add notes to your textbook and easily search by keyword. Readers can select from various fonts available, including OpenDyslexic.

 VitalSource demonstration and instructional video 

Amazon

If you want to read a digital book from Amazon's vast and inexpensive Kindle library, you do not have to own a Kindle device to do it. A free Kindle app. is available on iOS, Android, Mac, & PC. Learn how to purchase and download eBooks through Amazon’s free applications for desktop/laptop and mobile devicesAmazon provides guidance on how to make your Kindle accessible for you. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact SAS staff, so that we can assist you.

Google Play Store

You can use your computer, Android, or iOS device to read books you bought on Google Play and use features like bookmarks, notes, and word definitions to enhance your reading experience. Information on the different features with an eBook from the Google Play Store is available on the Google Play Help website. The Google Play Help website also provides information on how to use the text-to-speech feature on your device to have eBooks read aloud to you.

Bookshare

Bookshare is the world’s largest accessible online library for people with print disabilities. You typically can obtain narrative textbooks/reading books within the Bookshare catalog. Sign up for an individual Bookshare membership to download free eBooks. Bookshare members can read on a wide range of devices, including computers, laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, smartphones, assistive technology devices, and MP3 players. Learn how to read eBooks obtained through Bookshare.

EasyReader is a FREE accessible reading app for readers with dyslexia, low vision or blindness that is compatible with Bookshare. This reading tool may be beneficial for the following reasons:

  • Blindness: Fully compatible with iOS VoiceOver and iOS supported Braille displays
  • Low-Vision: Enlarge book text as BIG as you need it! Change fonts, text & background color, highlights, Line and letter spacing
  • Learning Disability: Synchronized audio and highlighted words/sentences. Add narration to books without audio.

BookShare demonstration and instructional video

Learning Ally 

Learning Ally makes it easy for you to download the audiobooks you want. Learning Ally has over 80,000 human-narrated audiobooks. Research has shown that making reading a multisensory experience can increase engagement, comprehension and retention. Learning Ally’s human-read audiobooks offer a text highlighting feature that allows readers to follow the material on their screens as they are also hearing it being read. Learning Ally has different audio formats, depending on your needs. Audio format refers to the way an audio book is recorded. Not all audio books have the same formats. Classic Audio: A human reading the book without the text displayed. VOICEtext (H): Human narrator with text you can follow along with as it reads. VOICEtext (S): Synthetic voice with text you can follow along with as it reads. This reading tool may be beneficial for the following reasons:

  • Blindness
  • Low-Vision
  • Learning Disability

Learning Ally Google Chrome Extension demonstration and instructional video 

Learning Ally Desktop Application demonstration and instructional video 

LibriVox

LibriVox offers free public domain audio books created by volunteers from around the world. Although these books are free, they are audio only, therefore individuals who require the ability to read along with text, might consider utilizing a different resource. To find an audio book, simply search the website for the textbook, and download the files to your device to access the audio book. This reading tool may be beneficial for the following reasons:

  • Blindness
  • Low-Vision
  • Learning Disability

Publisher Websites

Individuals can sometimes purchase eBook versions of textbooks directly from publishers' websites. You can find the publisher for a textbook by searching for the book through Amazon.

McGraw-Hill Connect

McGraw-Hill, a major publisher of textbooks, has a web-based assignment and assessment platform called Connect which some instructors utilize in their courses. In addition to different activities, Connect includes an eBook version of the textbook on which the program is based. If the access code to Connect is required for a course, you can obtain an eBook through that program. If the access code is not required for the course but you want to utilize the eBook within Connect, contact SAS. We can work with the publisher to get Connect set up for you.

UNI Rod Library 

University of Northern Iowa has selected ProQuest Ebook Central as a key ebook provider. Use Ebook Central to quickly and easily find relevant ebooks and chapters; read online; search within the ebook; and highlight, take notes and bookmark pages in your online copy, stored on your bookshelf for you. You can also share your research with others, download ebooks and chapters to your laptop or mobile device, and more. Ebook Central promotes simplified access to all users with features such as:

  • Formatted book content to be readable online and offline
  • Certified for use with major screen readers (JAWS and VoiceOver)
  • Browser magnification increasing the entire screen to make the content more visible
  • Keyboard navigation so that pages can be negotiated without the use of a mouse

This reading tool may be beneficial for the following reasons:

  • Blindness
  • Low-Vision
  • Learning Disability

Copia 

Copia is a popular eBook store with a social twist, allowing customers to leave notes in the "margins" of digital texts that can be shared with friends. Copia eBooks are readable on any device that accepts the ePub format (iPad, Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, and more).

Student Accessibility Services

If any of the required textbooks for the semester are not available to purchase or rent as eBooks or audio books or are not accessible, you can request alternative textbooks through Student Accessibility Services if you have been approved for this accommodation. eBooks obtained through SAS will mainly be provided as text PDFs and able to be read aloud through Read & Write Gold.