AudioKrant, the daily spoken newspaper
||AudioKrant, the daily spoken newspaper
||ELPUB2008. Open Scholarship: Authority, Community, and Sustainability in the Age of Web 2.0 - Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Electronic Publishing held in Toronto, Canada 25-27 June 2008 / Edited by: Leslie Chan and Susanna Mornati. ISBN 978-0-7727-6315-0, 2008, pp. 122-129
||Being subscribed to a newspaper, readers expect some basic things: receiving their paper in their mailbox early in the morning, being able to read it privately when and where they want, reading first what they find most interesting, etc. For people with a reading disability all this is not that obvious as only few accessible alternatives are around; accessible news on a daily basis does virtually not exist. Knowing that the number of visual disabled persons follows the rise in the ageing population, an increasing number of citizens however is getting debarred from a daily news reading experience. At present Belgium is one of the rare countries publishing a daily newspaper accessible to readers with a visual impairment, both in a Braille print and an electronic version. Notwithstanding major accessibility improvements over a printed newspaper, these newspapers still have some important barriers for many visually impaired readers. Reading requires specific skills and/or equipment, such as the ability to interpret Braille or the availability of a personal computer, a screen reader, a speech synthesizer or an internet connection. The goal of the AudioKrant project was to develop a new, universally accessible news publication with a minimal learning curve, aiming at a wide range of potential readers: the “talking newspaper”. Thanks to significant progress in text-to-speech technology it is today possible to produce a newspaper read by a computer voice that is understandable, has an acceptable speech quality and is even pleasant to listen to. This paper explains how the talking newspaper is produced, what formats and technology are used, what the current status and challenges are and what future improvements can be anticipated.
||newspaper; accessibility; Daisy; DTB (digital talking books)
||file.pdf (437,829 bytes)
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