[Athen] online text to speech

Ken Petri petri.1 at osu.edu
Mon Aug 6 14:36:59 PDT 2012

Hi Marshall,

We recently bought two more years service for ReadSpeaker. This is our
third year with ReadSpeaker available. We keep a page about RS here:

Our RS license allows developers across the university to use the service
to enable their websites for TTS with highlighting. My office pays for the
service campus-wide. I don't think it is terribly expensive for what it
offers, but then again, it is certainly not free.

Having RS makes absolutely no guarantee that anything on your websites is
accessible. It's going to do a poor job reading sites/pages with poor
accessibility and it will do a good job reading pages with good
accessibility. So we think of it as an enhancement for all users and as
tool to bring greater awareness of the benefits both of having
TTS/highlighting and of making one's websites accessible. For me, it is as
much about building a culture of access as it is about providing access.

As others have pointed out, RS isn't a substitute for coding web pages with
accessibility in mind and it's not going to replace any assistive
technologies. For a screen reader user, ReadSpeaker is essentially
worthless. And many students with reading disabilities are going to be
using specialized software. However, for students with minor or
non-diagnosed print disabilities and for visitors who may have low vision
or who need or desire assistance reading for any reason, ReadSpeaker does a
good job.

We also thought about BrowseAloud. But it and products like gh ClickHear
market for a narrower audience of users. Of students registered with our DS
office, a very large percentage can benefit from assistance in reading and
my guess is that there are many students and visitors who also benefit.
ReadSpeaker is enabled on around 26 sites at OSU. We see between 3000 and
6000 unique usages of RS per month. My bet is many of these are from users
who are not registered with our DS office.

Feel free to contact me off list if you have any questions or want our RS
rep's contact info.

Ken Petri
Program Director, OSU Web Accessibility Center
102D Pomerene Hall, 1760 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
Office: 614.292.1760 | Mobile: 614.218.1499 | Fax: 614.292.4190
http://wac.osu.edu | petri.1 at osu.edu

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 4:56 PM, Marshall Bryant
<bryantm at seminolestate.edu>wrote:

> Is anyone familiar with the online speech to text service Readspeaker?

> I happened to run across the DSS website at Ohio State and they are using

> this to read the content of their web site. I want to make our school’s

> website accessible with the speaking option, but this is the only service I

> have seen in use so far (and it sounds expensive). I also am curious if

> there is anything else out there that can do this for a low cost or even

> free.****


> ** **


> Thanks,****


> Marshall****


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