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RE: Text-to-speech feature: a real help ?

From: Régine Lambrecht <Regine.Lambrecht@tipik.eu>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2012 16:47:21 +0100
To: Jonathan Hassell <jonathanhassell@yahoo.co.uk>, "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <FDBE151C8C378544A93886B9BA497069BB7AC28DD0@tipik-mail>
I agree with you, and that’s exactly what I will tell to my client J :

·         users who need audio (for any reason: impairement, laziness to read…) have their own,

·         anyway this one is not really usable (cannot skip or read again easily)

But I wanted to add a reference “from the users”. Does anyone know a survey or study around ? I think I never came accross such a study. Do you ?

Thanks a lot

Régine Lambrecht

E-fficiency Coordinator

Prevention Advisor


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From: Jonathan Hassell [mailto:jonathanhassell@yahoo.co.uk]
Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 4:25 PM
To: Patrick H. Lauke; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Text-to-speech feature: a real help ?

Terrill, Patrick,

Actually, the top use-case for site-specific tools is browsing on multiple devices, especially mobile. Desktop/laptop OSes, ATs and browsers can provide much of what people need. But go onto mobile and those facilities are often not available.

So there are good reasons...

Yes, the constraint is that these tools are site-specific at the moment. But see GPII (http://gpii.net/) for a way around that particular issue and a potential way of getting site-specific and locally hosted accessibility aids to talk with each other.

Over to you Gregg Vanderheiden...



From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Sent: Tuesday, 21 February 2012, 14:53
Subject: Re: Text-to-speech feature: a real help ?

On 21/02/2012 14:46, Terrill Bennett wrote:
> I have to ask...
> 1) If the user requires text-to-speech to understand your site, how did
> the user GET to your web site in order to benefit from this technology?
> ("Magic" is not an acceptable answer).
> 2) If the user requires text-to-speech to understand your site, and
> since users spend most of their time on OTHER web sites... what do they
> use when they leave your site?
> Answering these two questions will probably answer your original question.

I have to agree with Terrill's sentiment here. I've been known to be quite critical of these sorts of site-specific tools (a particular pet hate of mine has been BrowseAloud in the past) - though I'd even include things like text size switchers and colour changers to the list, as they're again site-specific.

It's likely that users that need those sorts of tools have them installed on their machine already. The only use case that is then cited is "what about if they're not on their own machine...maybe in a library or an internet cafe, where they can't install anything" - which I'd still argue is then the responsibility of the library/cafe to provide assistive tech and relevant configuration options, rather than the burden being shifted onto each individual site.


> At 09:17 AM 2/21/2012, Régine Lambrecht wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> do you have references on how impaired users consider text-to-speech
>> alternative, such as Readspeaker (http://www.readspeaker.com).
>> Is it a good feature to add to a page that *is already accessible* ?
>> Does it help impaired users or do they consider this negatively (maybe
>> because you can’t skip paragraphs or easily read again words, for
>> instance?) ?
>> Thank you for your input
>> *Régine Lambrecht
>> *E-fficiency Coordinator
>> Prevention Advisor

-- Patrick H. Lauke
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Received on Tuesday, 21 February 2012 15:44:17 UTC

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