“The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
– Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web
This statement sums up the power of the philosophy behind the creation of the Internet, designed for everyone on our planet, regardless of cultural, geographical, linguistic, physical, or other individual characteristics. An ethic that is also clear in this statement on the W3C website: “When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability.”
The Internet is a dimension in our lives in which our individual characteristics exist on totally different levels compared to the physical world. As the Web provides direct access to communication, it eliminates the restrictions and difficulties that would typically prevent people from interacting face to face. However, when websites, web-based services and tools are not designed to include all user groups, they in fact exclude certain groups.
The W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) works to encourage inclusive design that promotes accessibility for all user groups. Among the W3C’s recommendations for designing accessible web-based services and content, according to the philosophy referred to above, attention is paid to providing alternatives to text content. “Text alternatives can be presented in a variety of ways. For instance, they can be read aloud for people who cannot see the screen and for people with reading difficulties, enlarged to custom text-sizes, or displayed on braille devices.”
IVONA’s high-quality text to speech software is an easily-deployed tool that reliably supports web designers and developers with a focus on accessibility to achieve inclusive service design that engages all user groups, in a wide array of languages from around the world.
IVONA TTS is deployed in numerous enhanced accessibility applications, including:
- AAC speech devices and software
- Digital talking books
- Screen readers
- e-Learning solutions for individuals with reading disabilities