Who Can Benefit?
We talk often about improving accessibility through text-to-speech (TTS), but what does that actually mean? The benefits of TTS extend well beyond computer screens and mobile devices. In fact, once you start looking for it, you’re sure to be surprised by the many applications TTS already has in your day-to-day life. We’ve put together a list to help you get a sense of how TTS is being used to good effect, and the fun part is that people are always devising interesting, unexpected new ways to deploy TTS.
Our homes, offices, and classrooms are increasingly filled with smart, connected technology, designed to make life easier for the user. It’s a great start, but achieving accessibility means that every user should be able to have the same quality of experience with your app, content, service, or device. In other words, it’s about offering diverse options, with your entire audience in mind. TTS improves accessibility with a wide range of applications, from speech-enabling ATMs to bringing your company’s Web content to life.
Need to get from point A to point B with little time to spare? Transportation requires data, whether you’re deciphering a bus schedule in a busy city, or searching for directions in a small, quiet town. TTS allows travelers to navigate with confidence, regardless of accessibility challenges. Provide directions, send weather and traffic alerts, and offer simple, speech-enabled instructions for complex transport schedules. For riders of public transport, your commute is also the perfect time to listen to those interesting articles that have been knocking around your bookmarks folder.
Providing all students with equal access to learning materials is one of the core concepts of accessible education, and differentiated instruction plays a starring role in Universal Design for Learning. Why not cover both bases at the same time? Adding TTS to your educational content or application is a simple, proven way to improve accessibility for students with learning disabilities, literacy challenges, and visual impairments, along with second-language learners. TTS also provides an important tool for appealing to auditory learners, who learn well by speaking and listening, but may have trouble with written instructions.
In a world of on-demand entertainment, there’s something out there to appeal to every interest. The challenge comes in sorting through all of the options to find what you’re looking for, which typically requires plenty of reading. Simplify the search for entertainment by adding TTS to television listings, streaming services, and any place where users are looking to be connected with specific content. No matter the medium, people still love a good story. Add TTS to your to ensure that everyone gets the same chance to enjoy what you have to say.
Emergency warnings and media notifications often contain critical information for everyone in the viewing area, and a visual, text-based warning is simply not sufficient to reach a wide audience. So providing an alternative way to consume important notifications is really a public service – and an important one, too. TTS also makes it easier to present newsworthy content accessibly to the widest possible audience, allowing you to achieve maximum reach with any announcement, big or small.
Smart technology is reshaping the healthcare experience, for patients and providers. Easy access to detailed patient records is improving the quality and efficiency of care, and TTS is a natural fit to improve the accessibility of all that data. For patients with accessibility challenges, the jargon and small print of medical instructions can be an especially daunting prospect. Use TTS to provide accessible instructions for prescription medications, offer healthcare reminders and alerts, and even to speech-enable personal medical devices like blood glucose monitors.