Curtin University of Technology is the first WA university to improve its website with new technology that makes information access easier for people who have difficulty reading information on a computer screen.
The assistive technology, BrowseAloud, will be available to visitors on Curtin’s website – www.curtin.edu.au – later this month.
With BrowseAloud, visitors can have website content read aloud in a high quality, Australian-accented voice, with each word highlighted as it is spoken.
Curtin’s Chief Information Officer, Peter Nikoletatos, said the technology would provide an accessible and inclusive environment for Curtin’s diverse population of students, staff and visitors.
“BrowseAloud is an audio-visual reinforcement that can aid reading comprehension in those with mild visual impairments, dyslexia, learning or cognitive difficulties, and those who speak English as a second language,” he said.
“We introduced BrowseAloud to help our online visitors to access information more easily and independently.
“The technology is available wherever a user has access to the internet, meaning that our students can use BrowseAloud at home or on campus.
“The technology will read aloud all accessible information on Curtin’s website, including HTML, PDF documents, Word documents, forms, and content on secure areas of the website like the student web portal.”
In addition to the core text-to-speech functionality, BrowseAloud also gives users access to features such as text magnification, dictionary, translator, MP3-maker, and a screen masking facility.
All features and options are accessed from a floating toolbar which can be easily navigated using keyboard shortcuts.
Curtin joins more than 3,000 organisations in Australia and worldwide in using BrowseAloud including the University of New South Wales, the Public Health Information Development Unit at the University of Adelaide, Samaritans, NSW Council for Intellectual Disability and local government councils throughout Australia.
Note to Editors:
BrowseAloud is the world leading text-to-speech solution from Texthelp Systems, which is designed to improve website accessibility for those with literacy difficulties, learning difficulties such as dyslexia, mild visual impairments or where English is a second language. With a choice of 17 high quality voices covering 9 languages and a number of unique features, BrowseAloud is quickly being adopted as the product of choice worldwide.
Texthelp Systems was formally incorporated in 1996 and specialises in the design of assistive software solutions to support those struggling to read and write. The company is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Adobe Solutions Network Developer, Apple Business Partner, HP Business Partner and is ISO 9001:2008 accredited. For the past ten consecutive years, Texthelp Systems has been a Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Award winning company.