The Office of the Attorney General has incorporated assistive technology from Texthelp Systems to improve accessibility to its website.
The Browsealoud software reads website content aloud and highlights each word as it is spoken. This combination greatly improves comprehension for those with literacy difficulties, such as dyslexia, and those with mild visual impairments who find reading text online difficult.
Visitors to www.attorneygeneral.ie can download the software for free. The cost is covered by the Office of the Attorney General, and the software will speak web content aloud on any website that subscribes to the service. Browsealoud will read whole pages of text continuously, accessible HTML, PDF documents, hyperlinks and tags behind images.
“The Office of the Attorney General, conscious of the need to deliver website content to everyone, saw the functionality of the Browsealoud software as a positive development in the area of accessibility and usability,” said Gerry Matthews, assistant principal, Office of the Attorney General.
“The increasing amount of information contained on websites and PDF documents meant that it was of paramount importance that the product was capable of delivering this information in audio format.”
Browsealoud is already available on many websites across Ireland and the UK, including those of Permanent TSB, An Post, Dublin City Council, Cavan County Council, Fingal County Council, Galway City Council, Office of the Houses of Oireachtas and the ESB.
Texthelp Systems is a global supplier of literacy software. Based in Antrim, Northern Ireland and with offices in the US, the company is undergoing a strong growth period and has resellers in over 20 countries. It has been developing assistive technology for the learning disabled since 1996.
By Niall Byrne