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

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2012 17:05:14 +0100
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Message-ID: <op.v91dm02nwxe0ny@widsith-3.local>
On Tue, 21 Feb 2012 15:53:07 +0100, Patrick H. Lauke  
<redux@splintered.co.uk> wrote:

> 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.

Broadly, I agree. Itis true that the user may not have such features  
available because of their setup, but in general it is a terrible waste of  
resources to provide all that for a single site. It would be better to  
push manfacturers to do it so users have it in whatever environment they  
are using.

In really specific cases it might still be worthwhile - the answer to  
question 1 might be "someone helped them get to the one thing they need",  
and to question 2 "wish that the world put things you need where you  
really need them"... but by and large it is a stopgap, and if it is done  
at the site level not even a very good one.

Another important consideration is what happens to users who already have  
the facility they need. In general, it is important not to break the  
experience for people who have done the sensible thing and got themselves  
a free voice system, or platform/browser that offers them high  
contrast/zoom/keyboard access to everything/whatever the individual in  
question really needs.



>> 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

Charles 'chaals' McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg kan litt norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Tuesday, 21 February 2012 16:05:54 UTC

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