Making ALL websites talk!
7th July 2009
• Introduction to Texthelp Systems
• What is BrowseAloud?
• Why BrowseAloud?
• Features & Benefits of BrowseAloud
• Demonstration of Social Networking
• Questions & Answers
Texthelp Systems Ltd.
Head office in Northern Ireland (59), US office in Boston (25)
Developing software helping users improve their reading and
writing skills for over 12 years
Worldwide Leaders in literacy and assistive technology solutions:
3 Products - Read & Write
ISO / Investors in People Accreditation
Microsoft GOLD Certified Partners
Adobe Trusted Partner
• Browsealoud is designed to assist the “print disabled
community”, where literacy difficulties prevent and discourage
• Browsealoud is not designed to replace traditional screen readers
used by the blind…. Jaws
• Browsealoud is only as good as the organisation has followed
W3C Guidelines. E.g. euro2004.com
In the UK:
• Over 2 million people are blind or partially sighted
• Over 8 million people have literacy problems/ learning
• Over 10 million people are registered with a disability
So e Guid line fo UK Go rnm nt W b ite , TheCa ine Offic
urc : e s r ve e es s b t e
Source: Guidelines for UK Government Websites , The Cabinet Office
• In the UK :
– Significant group with poor literacy skills or
– Of that, significant group are not aware of
– Those who need it most cannot afford it!!
Legislation & Guidelines
• Disability Discrimination Act.
• W3C Guidelines
• To meet PAS 78:2006
• Equality Duty (Dec 2006)
• Browsealoud business model allows the users
to get the technology for FREE
Browsealoud will assist…
• Dyslexia and other literacy and learning difficulties
• Limited English Proficiency
• English is not a native language
• Mild Visual Impairments
• Dyslexia comes from the Greek language meaning 'difficulty with words
• People with dyslexia and related reading disorders find it difficult, time
consuming and intimidating to read online content
• The Trades Union Council state that, "dyslexia, often known as the
‘hidden disability’, affects up to 2.9 million workers in the UK”
• The Dyslexia Institute estimates that Dyslexia costs the UK economy
£1 billion per annum.
• Over 7 million people in UK have literacy problems
• Literacy levels are lower in populations with poorer socio-economic
• Nearly 4 out of 10 adults in some parts of the UK cannot read or write
properly or do simple sums
(Source: National Needs and Impact Survey of Literacy, Numeracy and ICT Skills,
DfES, October 2003)
English as a Second Language
• 3 million people in the UK were born in countries where
English is not the national language
• Digital Inclusion Strategy states “there is a need for
exploring the role and potential of ICT learning in support
of teaching English for speakers of other languages
• People who speak English as a second language are
better able to understand English when it is spoken
rather than reading it themselves
Mild Visual Impairments
• 80% of people with sight problems in the UK are 65 or over. Their
eyesight is effected by conditions such as macular degeneration or
• “LONDON (Reuters) - Retired people are starting to prefer browsing
the Internet to more traditional pastimes such as gardening, travel
and DIY…. Their top Internet activity was e-mailing and looking for
• Research shows older generation are in danger of becoming
(So e RNIB)
*Silve s rsRe rsFe 2 0
r urfe ute b 07
• Increases digital inclusion, accessibility, assistive learning
and usability of your website to visitors with reading or
• With Browsealoud your website content is delivered on an additional two
– Audio …. “Positioned” Sound
– Visual ….. “Positioned” Highlighting
• To have Browsealoud on your website.
1. Subscribe to service.
2. Put download link on your homepage.
3. ALL pages hosted by your URL
– Works with Static and Dynamic
– Works with Social Networking Websites
Browsealoud – Customer Side
No software installation
Placement of download link and Information/logo on your website
All Technology is Client side
Zero effort for the Webmaster
No Bandwidth Impact
No Security Impact
Intranet / Extranet can also be speech enabled
Quarterly Download Statistics
Free Technical Support
Browsealoud – User Side
Technology is free to ALL website visitors
Not every user is the same
Customizable settings (Speed, Pitch Continuous Reading)
Customizable Colour Highlighting
Identification of Links
Online Video Tour
Once only download, building a community of websites
Features and Benefits - Listening
• Individuals with dyslexia may be the least literate in the
classroom or workplace, but they could be the most
literary – accessing literature is a problem – listening is a
• Listening is often seen as ‘Cheating’
– “There is nothing inferior about receiving information
or a story aurally rather than reading the words on the
page.” (Cogan & Flecker)
Features & Benefits - Colour Highlighting
• Dual Colour Highlighting.
• Sentence Highlighting
• Synchronised word highlighting with speech
• Users can select colours to suit requirements.
• Dual Colour Highlighting while speech enabling content is
a proven means of improving comprehension, studies
show an increase in reading grades.
Colour Highlighting - Website
Browsealoud performs the task of
decoding the words and allowing
the reader to concentrate on
assimilating words and meaning.
•Highlights words as they are
Colour Highlighting – PDF
Browsealoud will read by
word, sentence, paragraph
or continually. The speed
can also be adjusted.
The reader can focus on
the task with less danger
Browsealoud appeals to
The user can hear and see
the text as they follow it.
Features and Benefits - Pronunciations
• W b a te c n d finethes e ificp nunc tio fo s le
e m s rs a e pc ro ia ns r ing
w rd .
• Theo a a n ha full c ntro o r thew y theinfo a n
rg nis tio s o l ve a rm tio
o thes iss o n.
n ite p ke
Features & Benefits – Dictionary, MP3 and Magnification
• Assistive Learning – through ‘Talking Dictionary – helping
those with English as a second language & Learning and
• Conversion to MP3 – PDF & HTML text saved to a
sound file - saving time & money.
Learning on the move can be helpful in sequencing text.
The listener can visualise parts of the text when they are
in a relaxed environment.
• Magnification of text – especially useful for those with
mild visual impairments
What can Browsealoud read?
• Accessible Java and Flash
• Alt Tags behind pictures
• http”s” secure sites
• Intranets and Extranets
• PDF documents
• Social Networking – Facebook, Twitter etc
• Browsealoud can work on any URL – Including Social Networking
• Zero effort for Webmasters – So long as website has been designed with
accessibility in mind.
• Free technology to ANY website visitor
• Increases Website Access to an Additional 20% of Population
• Demonstrates Corporate and Social Responsibility
• Increases your Website Interaction with Public
• All client side technology
• Community of Websites