Monday, December 05, 2005

Talking Browsers

I thought that Opera browser was the only Talking Browser in town, but today I was told by someone from the Center for the Visually Impaired students in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem that there are other Talking Browsers – so I volunteered QTSaver for this search mission and here's what I got:
Hardware and software produce synthesized voice output for text displayed on the computer screen, as well as for keystrokes entered on the keyboard. Talking browsers use the same technology as screen reading software, but the reading functions are limited to Internet use. Points to ponder - Questions to consider when shopping for a screen reader or talking browser Is it compatible with your computer's platform?
IBM Home Page Reader brings the world of the Internet to users who are blind or have low vision. It is an award-winning, talking Web browser that uses the power of speech to aid users in exploring the World Wide Web. Originally created as an assistive technology for users who are blind or have low vision, Home Page Reader's visual user interface and easy-to-learn keyboard navigation make it a popular accessibility test tool for Web developers. In fact, Home Page Reader was developed with testing for usability and efficient navigation of Web sites in mind.
o ConversaWeb
Voice-activated browser allowing spoken selection of links using "saycons".
o webHearit
A telephone-based tool using the telephone keypad as an interface to navigate suitably configured pages. TelWeb
An experimental telephone-based browser allowing access to any site using voice and dialled commands.
Accessibility Firefox 1.5 delivers easier navigation for everyone, including those who are visually or motor-impaired. Firefox is the first browser to support DHTML accessibility, which, when enabled by Web authors, allows rich Web applications to be read aloud. Users may navigate with keystrokes rather than mouse clicks, reducing the tabbing required to navigate documents such as spreadsheets. Built-in RSS/ATOM Reader: Avant Browser has a built-in RSS/ATOM Reader, which allows you to read RSS/ATOM feeds just like browsing web pages. And you can also keep your favorite feeds as bookmarks.
The Simply Web 2000 package includes a software based speech synthesizer and can be used in standalone mode as a "Talking Web Browser". It you already have a screen reader installed in your computer, then you can take advantage of the fact that it has been design to be speech friendly. WeMedia Talking Browser - Free downloads at BumperSoft
Different from a screen reader, the WeMedia talking browser becomes the actual browser through which you surf the Net. Complete with large buttons and keystroke commands for easy navigation, the browser 'speaks' the text you select within the browser.
WeMedia said Tuesday it had launched a talking browser to make Internet surfing easier for the visually impaired.
I think it's great people are investing a lot of effort into providing talking browsers for the blind," said Curtis Chong, director of technology at the National Federation of the Blind, which has aggressively pushed companies for accessibility technology such as electronic Braille readers. But "even the best talking browser in the world can be defeated by a poorly designed Web page.
The talking browser released Tuesday uses a Windows compatible sound card and speakers. The WeMedia browser is available for free download and is compatible with PCs that have Windows 95, 98, 98 SE, ME, 2000 or NT operating system.
Readers who read Talking browser speaks to blind Net users also read...

If you know of any other reading browser please let me know.

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