[Athen] Synthesized Voices and Accurate Pronunciation

Burke, Dan (DSS) burke at mso.umt.edu
Thu Sep 17 14:22:46 PDT 2009

The main determinant of accuracy in reading is not what is doing the
reading, but the quality of the electronic text that is being read.

For example, , JAWS out of the box pronounces the name of my town as
Miss-owl-a, when it is commonly pronounced as Mizzoola.

So the issue is for the student to learn a couple of tricks -- stop
(frequently, if necessary) and spell out words he or she is uncertain
of. If they are pronounced strangely, virtually every tts package
offers some way to correct pronunciation. Which is what I have done
with JAWS and the name of my town.

So, the quality of the e-text -- is it a publisher file? If not, has it
been properly spell-checked?

And then add to that the student taking responsibility (with our
guidance) and learning how to manipulate the screen reader to make him
or herself successful.


Daniel J. Burke
Assistant Director/Coordinator
Disability Services for Students
Emma B. Lommasson 154
The University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812


406.243.2243 voice/text
406.243.4424 direct line
406.243.5330 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Sent: Thursday, September 17, 2009 2:37 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] Synthesized Voices and Accurate Pronunciation


We have a student who needs to listen to respiratory therapy text books.
Towards this end, we need to know what determines how accurately text
will be read. Is it the synthesized voice? Is it the text-to-speech
software? What text-to-speech environment is likely to read medical
texts accurately? I was wondering if the TTS feature of the Medical
version of NaturallySpeaking would do well; however, the student does
not need voice recognition....

Thanks, Ellen

Ellen Cutler
Santa Monica College
Disabled Student Services, High Tech Training Center
1900 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
cutler_ellen at smc.edu

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