Digital accessibility ensures that all users, including those who have a range of movement, hearing, cognitive or sight abilities, can use digital content. Digital accessibility can apply to mobile apps, websites, e-books and digital magazines. 

Why Accessibility Matters  

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over one billion people live with some form of significant disability which represents 16% of the global population. With one in six people globally experiencing significant disability, it's vital that  accessibility is not only a priority but a requirement in all digital content. 

Accessibility Standards & Guidelines and VPAT  

Internationally recognized, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a useful starting point to ensure ADA compliance. Following the WCAG guidelines can help content creators make their web content more accessible for those experiencing disabilities. Additionally, WCAG guidelines can help with accommodations for low vision, blindness, deafness, hearing loss, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and more. 

For example, users might:  

  • use a keyboard instead of a mouse  
  • change browser settings to make content easier to read  
  • use a screen reader to ‘read’ (speak) content out loud  
  • use a screen magnifier to enlarge part or all of a screen 
  • use voice commands to navigate a website  

The VPAT or Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, is a report completed by vendors to document how their digital products comply with federal accessibility guidelines. Based on WCAG standards, the VPAT report clearly states which accessibility standards your product or service meets in addition to warning users about any “accessibility blockers” they may encounter.   

According to Deque, a recognized leader in accessibility audits, remediation and training, a VPAT is “a sort of “Nutrition Facts” label for your website, app, or other digital product/service. Checking the Nutrition Facts label gives you a sense of the impact a given snack will have on your body. Checking the VPAT gives your potential customers a sense of the impact your product or service might have on people with disabilities.  

It is imperative that publishers, information providers and any company creating digital technologies and tools adhere to these guidelines, create informative and substantial VPATS, and commit to continual improvement and adoption of accessible best practices.  

How Flipster Digital Magazines Adhere to High Accessibility Standards 

The experience of reading a digital magazine varies greatly from that of an e-book or website. The goal is to produce online publications that are compliant while retaining that appealing magazine “feel” that readers know and love.  

EBSCO’s digital magazine platform Flipster has made great strides in accessibility with the goal of providing a superior digital magazine reading experience to all readers. We recently received an improved score on our VPAT, making it easier for libraries to evaluate our platform.

Some other highlights include: 

  • A completely redesigned, accessible web interface that is:
    • Available in 30 different languages
    • Mobile-responsive
  • A newly improved and fully accessible desktop reader which offers:
    • The ability for users to navigate using a keyboard
    • Text-only magazine view
    • Improved compatibility with screen readers 
    • Streamlined navigation

Accessibility continues to be a core goal at EBSCO, and we encourage customers to contact us at for questions on our accessible practices. 

Offer Your Readers an Award-Winning and Accessible Digital Magazine Experience  

Flipster has been recognized with distinctions from the Modern Library Awards for seven years in a row and continues to be a trusted source of digital magazines for libraries of all shapes and sizes. It offers a state-of-the-art platform, enhanced user functionality, user-friendly app, seamless access and an intuitive reading experience. Plus, Flipster articles are discoverable within EBSCOhost and EBSCO Discovery Service search results. 

Are you a current Flipster subscriber? Browse and order magazines using EBSCOhost Collection Manager (ECM.)


Looking to learn more about Flipster?

The best way to decide if Flipster is right for your library and your users is to see for yourself. Click the button below to request a free trial of the Flipster digital magazine platform and gain anytime access to more than 1,200 digital magazines from top publishers such as Meredith, Condé Nast, Cricket Media, TIME USA, LLC., and dozens more.