Skip to Main Content
Accessibility Information
Shapiro Library

Using Shapiro Library Content in the LMS

This guide is for SNHU instructional designers, course developers, deans, faculty and staff that want to use library resources in the LMS and to ensure best practices are followed.

Evaluating Accessibility of Existing Resources

It isn't always possible to tell at a glance if a resource you would like to use in your course is accessible. To start, it is helpful to think about accessibility as a sliding scale (more accessible to less accessible) rather than discrete binary states. There are tools you can use on certain types of documents and resources to help assess accessibility, and things you can look for that will tell you that a deeper look at the resource is needed.


  • Use PAVE This link opens in a new window to check PDF documents. PAVE can diagnose many accessibility issues with PDFs.
  • Text in PDFs must be machine readable to be perceivable by screen readers and other assistive technology (text based or use OCR). Try to highlight text in the PDF. If text cannot be highlighted, or if the highlighted portion doesn't match well with what you were trying to highlight, the PDF may be a series of pictures of pages.
  • PDFs need appropriate metadata (title, language, etc.) and tagging structures.
  • Colors used should be high contrast.
  • Keep an eye out for images, graphs, and tables. These need descriptive alternative text, or special formatting.


With video content, use the following tips to evaluate potential video choices:

  • Visual elements should be described in narration.
  • Narration should be included in captions and transcripts.
  • Colors used should be high contrast.
  • Review the captions, transcripts and audio descriptions (if applicable) to ensure there are no errors with spelling, missed words or punctuation.
  • YouTube videos often have auto-generated captions which are notorious for having issues. Check the settings gear on the video and see if there are any other caption options, or consider picking another resource.
  • Library videos from our databases SHOULD already have captions and transcripts, and some vendors are including audio description as well. If you find a library video that doesn't have these items or there are issues with them, let us know through the Library Resource Accessibility Inquiry form in ServiceNow. 

OER Texts and other HTML content available on the web

  • Use the WAVE This link opens in a new window browser extension to check the accessibility of HTML pages you want to share with your students.
  • Colors used should be high contrast.
  • Web-based texts need alt-text for images and appropriate heading structure.
  • Do the pages have a lot of ads or other pesky visuals that take away from the learning experience? Consider another resource.

Library Resources

  • Most Shapiro Library vendors sign an Electronic Information Technology Addendum or EIT as part of our contract which stipulates the vendor meets certain accessibility standards and/or will work with us when their products do not. 
  • Articles in PDF or HTML formats and e-books in PDF, HTML or ePUB formats may have issues such as incorrect headings/navigation structure, lack of alternative text for images and tables formatted incorrectly.
  • Some videos may not have captions, but the majority of library video content will. IF you come across a video you'd like to use and don't see captions available, let us know so we can ask the vendor to add them.
  • Submit a Library Resource Accessibility Inquiry form through the Service Portal if you have questions if a library resource is accessible or if we can work to get a better version. 

Additional Information

The above is far from an exhaustive list. For more information, please see the additional information provided here and/or contact your accessibility department (Campus Accessibility Center or Online Accessibility Center)  or your Library Liaison