Rawporter Road Trip
FOSE 2012: Browse Aloud, Just Like The Name Says
While you're perusing across the internet, consuming web page after web page and moving as fast as your fingers will type, you may not stop to think about the 45 million people in the USA who have literacy problems. You may not consider the 10 to 15% of the population with a learning disability or the 18% of the U.S. population who speak and read English as a second language. Well, the folks at BrowseAloud have done that for you.
They've been around since 1996 helping to make the internet more accessible to those who can't read as well as they'd like.
We bumped into them at the FOSE 2012 show in Washington DC while on our Rawporter RoadTrip (www.rawporter.com). What do they do? Well they do exactly what the name suggests.
BrowseAloud is a tool bar that works with any browser and has a set of functions that read web pages to the user in whatever way they want. If the user wants to be read an entire page BrowseAloud will do that. If they only want to read a selected text or the next paragraph, BrowseAloud can do that too.
The BrowseAloud tool bar even has a dictionary tool and a translation tool.
BrowseAloud was created in Ireland but they now have offices in the United States, and they're making an impact. On camera the BrowseAloud representative reiterated the reasons for BrowseAloud, however we also discussed those who may have vision impairments as well. Or those who've been sitting in front of a computer all day long and need something read out loud.
BrowseAloud's reading voice sounds very similar to Siri. She can read in multiple languages and also translate words to a native tongue making web pages just that more understandable.
BrowseAloud was on hand at FOSE 2012 because of a change to the Section 508 web accessibility rules that states that all new technology purchased by government agencies and departments must be accessible to people with disabilities.
Source: Nibletz, April 2012, www.nibletz.com .