Adding speech features to web sites


 

The visually impaired can use computers with the help of so-called screen readers, which enable them to navigate through web sites and even to listen to the text content of those sites. However, the quality of speech depends on the speech synthesizer which the screen reader uses. Owing to high quality speech synthesis in Serbian and other South Slavic languages, AlfaNum is the only company in the region where South Slavic languages are spoken which is able to offer a solution that allows the user to comfortably search Internet by voice..

By clicking the button “Read to me” the user opens Flash Player, which reads the text content of the current web page. The solution is primarily intended for reading news. Users can reduce the search time by choosing options “most recent” or “most important”. These options increase the efficiency of this information service.

It should be noted that, besides the fact that this functionality is of great benefit to the visually impaired, it also helps people with other types of disabilities. People with multiple sclerosis and people with cerebral paralysis are often not able to read because it is a remarkable effort for them. People with dyslexia have difficulties with reading, both in terms of reading speed and accuracy, which affects the level of their reading comprehension.

Adding the speech functionality to web sites offers great benefits to everyone else as well. There is very little time in a modern society and we are often forced to multitask. It is now possible to listen to the news and simultaneously perform other jobs. Furthermore, various other information needed in everyday life, such as road conditions and schedules, is now more accessible.

Examples of sites can be found at: www.rtv.rs i www.rts.rs.

 

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