Sage Knowledge Accessibility Guide

Last updated: 28 September 2020.

Welcome to the accessibility guide for Sage Knowledge. We frequently make improvements to make our site more accessible, so you may wish to bookmark this page and check back every now and then.

This page is intended as a user guide to the site's accessibility features. If you would like to request specific information on WCAG 2.1 AA conformance and Section 508 compliance (including VPAT requests), you can message Sage's accessibility team at If you're interested in the accessibility of other Sage products and formats, or accessibility at Sage generally, see our global accessibility statement.

This document is also available as an accessible PDF. If you would like this document in an alternative format, or if you have any other questions about the accessibility of Sage Knowledge, contact us at

Sage Knowledge content and alternative formats

The Sage Knowledge platform provides content through its interface, as well as offering a download option which automatically generates a PDF of the content. All content provided through the platform is DRM-free, which means there are no technical limitations placed on downloading, saving or printing   though you should ensure that your use of the content is reasonable and complies with our Terms of Use.

Should a qualified student require a book hosted on Sage Knowledge as an ePub or fully typeset PDF, we recommend that disability officers first try obtaining the title through our partners AccessText Network, Bookshare, RNIB Bookshare or the Accessible Book Consortium's Global Book Service. Note that there are no typeset or ePub versions of content in the Video and Business Cases collections.

If you need further assistance, you can send an inquiry to We reply to all inquiries promptly, typically within five working days. If we do not have the file in-house we shall exercise reasonable efforts to have the file produced at no cost to the requestor. Please note this service may take 2-3 weeks. We are not able to provide books in Word, HTML or XML format. PDFs obtained from Sage directly are also DRM-free (no password protection or print/copy restrictions) and permit magnification by the rendering application. Please note that accessible copies are issued for use by qualified students only.

Reading and viewing guidance – Sage Knowledge interface

Specific guidance for keyboard navigation

You can use a keyboard to navigate Sage Knowledge and use its features. Use the tab key to move through the interactive elements of the page and the visible outline will indicate which element has focus. Features on the site have been designed not to rely on mouse-only interactions like hovering and drag-and-drop.

Skipping repetitive content

Sage Knowledge contains a 'Skip to main content' link on each page, which becomes visible when it receives focus. This link always appears as the first link on the page, so you can navigate to it by tabbing down once when the page loads, or tabbing back up to the top of the page at any time. Clicking the link will bypass the site's navigation menus and move focus to the page's main content.

Video shortcuts

Our video player supports a number of keyboard shortcuts to control playback. These are listed in the ‘Video quick keys’ link on video pages.

Specific guidance for visually impaired users

Reading order

Reading order usually follows the visual order of the content and uses a left-to-right, top-to-bottom convention.

In a few instances, the reading order has been intentionally changed to offer a more meaningful order for non-visual users:

  • On search results pages, the ‘Add to list’ link is read as the last item so that users have information about the result before they decide whether to save it.
  • On video pages, the video title and navigation are presented before the transcript in the page order.

Limitations and exceptions

  • On books and reference pages, anchor links to chapter sub-headings are read after the main content. This will be changed in a future release. In the meantime, you can use your screen reader to navigate directly to the list of chapter sub-headings by skipping to the 'On this page' navigation landmark. You can read more about navigating by landmarks in the following section.

Navigating by page section

Each page on Sage Knowledge is divided into landmarks so that the layout of the page can be perceived by assistive technologies. As well as using the skip link on each page to bypass repetitive elements, if you use a screen reader you can use these landmarks to scan and navigate the page. Useful landmarks include:

  • Banner: The site's global header containing a link to the homepage, navigation menus, a search function and a login menu.
  • Main: The main content of the page. Structurally, this is always the first landmark after the banner landmark.
  • Search: Search functionality, such as the quick search on every page and the filters on search results pages.
  • Navigation: Navigation elements, such as the browse menus and pagination links on search results pages.
  • Complementary: Content that is separate but supplements the main content, for example related content and chapter tools.
  • Contentinfo: The site's footer where useful site-wide information, such as policies and contact information, can be found.
  • Region: The site also contains miscellaneous named regions, such as 'Also from SAGE Publishing' which links to other Sage products.

Navigating by heading

Attention has been given to each page's semantic structure (i.e. its h1 to h6 tags) to ensure that headings are descriptive and useful. For instance, on search results pages each search result is marked with an h2 tag so you can easily skip through them.

Limitations and exceptions.

  • Chapter sub-headings are not currently marked with h5 to h6 tags. A fix for this issue is on the roadmap.

Color contrast

All text on the platform meets minimum recommended contrast ratios against the background. This is 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text. If you still have trouble reading text on the site, the next section contains information about changing the text size. Alternatively, you may find it helpful to use a browser extension to specify your own color combinations, such as  Change Colors for Chrome.

Limitations and exceptions.

  • Some content, particularly older content, may contain figures and graphics (including images of text) that do not use sufficient color contrast, or use color as the only means of conveying information. If you find any graphics to be illegible, contact and we will endeavor to update them.

Text size and magnification

You can change the text size of content by using the 'Text size' icon in the tools section. This tool does not affect navigational labels. You can also change the size and style of text by altering the default font settings in your browser, or you can alternatively use your browser's zoom functionality. Sage Knowledge uses  responsive design, so changing the zoom level in your browser will reflow the layout of the page: as you zoom in or out, the page will rearrange itself to use your screen space in the best way.

PDFs downloaded from Sage Knowledge support zoom and magnification. As all PDFs have embedded, selectable text, all text can be reflowed in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and other PDF readers.

Text alternatives for visual content

Navigational images and icons, as well as many images in the content itself, contain useful alternative text. When alt text and long descriptions are available in the content, these are rendered in the interface. Some titles, particularly older ones, do not have text alternatives available for figures and other graphics. If you encounter an image that does not have a text alternative, and you need one, you can request alternative text for specific images by contacting

Images that are decorative or incidental are given a 'null' alt attribute, so they are properly ignored by screen readers.

Videos in the ‘Nursing’ subject collection are enhanced with audio descriptions. This is a separate audio track that describes on-screen content for visually impaired users. To enable it, open the audio tracks menu within the video player and select the 'audio described' track.

Limitations and exceptions.

  • Audio descriptions are not currently available for videos on Sage Knowledge other than in the ‘Nursing’ collection.
  • Automatically downloaded PDFs render alt text where available in the content, but do not render long descriptions.

MathML support

Mathematical notations are rendered in MathML for newer content, and as such can be read, reformatted and magnified using assistive technology. All equations in content published from 2015 onwards are displayed as MathML.

Limitations and exceptions.

  • The engine that generates downloadable PDFs does not support MathML, so equations in downloaded PDFs are rendered as images even when MathML is available. When reading content that is likely to contain equations, we recommend using the online interface instead.

Screen reader compatibility

Our site is designed to follow a logical reading order and semantic structure rather than work with any specific screen reader. However, we test our site with the following combinations:

  • JAWS and Chrome
  • NVDA and Firefox
  • VoiceOver and Safari

Limitations and exceptions.

  • The main barriers screen readers will encounter will be when reading older content without text alternatives, such as images without alt text and tables that have been scanned in as images. See the 'Text alternatives' section above for more information.
  • There may be instances when navigating tab panels where the Screen will stop reading page content and remain stuck. To solve this issue, press the Esc key and input the command for “Start reading”, usually Insert+Down Arrow. This solution was tested on both NVDA and JAWS on Google Chrome.

Specific guidance for hearing impaired users

Video captions

All videos on Sage Knowledge have synchronized closed captions, which are written by professional transcribers and available in several formats.

On video pages, the transcript alongside the video automatically scrolls and highlights the section of the transcript currently being spoken. You can also scroll the transcript yourself, search within it, or download it as a PDF. Clicking on dialogue in the transcript will skip to the relevant part of the video.

If you prefer to view the captions as subtitles, you can switch these on and off by clicking the 'CC' button in the video player.

Specific guidance for problems with comprehension, memory, problem-solving or attention

Scrolling transcripts

Videos on Sage Knowledge contain transcripts which automatically scroll and highlight text. If you find this distracting, you can switch this feature off by unchecking the 'Auto-scroll' checkbox.

Text-to-speech tools

All content on Sage Knowledge can be copied and pasted into a text-to-speech tool with no barriers.

Reading guidance - PDF

We recommend that users will get the best experience if they read content directly on the Sage Knowledge interface. If you would rather read from the automatically generated PDF, you should bear the following in mind.

Limitations and exceptions.

  • PDFs downloaded from the platform are not tagged for reading order, and so will follow the visual order. The main implication of this is that the page header and footer is read on each page.
  • PDFs downloaded from the platform convert equations to plain text and do not render in MathML.
  • Although alt text is rendered in PDFs downloaded from the platform, long descriptions are not.
  • PDFs downloaded from the platform inherit any structural or content issues mentioned above, such as unavailable alt text and untagged section headings.

If you do not have a PDF reader installed on your computer, you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader DC from Adobe.

How to contact us

If you have any comments, questions or feedback about the accessibility of Sage Knowledge, Sage's accessibility team would love to hear from you. You can contact us at

This accessibility statement was independently verified by ASPIRE, achieving gold standard with a score of 100%