International Journal of Speech Technology

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 301–309 | Cite as

Evolution of the Information-Retrieval System for Blind and Visually-Impaired People

  • Simon Dobrišek
  • Jerneja Gros
  • Boštjan Vesnicer
  • Nikola Pavešić#x0107;
  • France Mihelič#x010D;

Abstract

Blind and visually-impaired people face many problems in interacting with information retrieval systems. State-of-the-art spoken language technology offers potential to overcome many of them. In the mid-nineties our research group decided to develop an information retrieval system suitable for Slovene-speaking blind and visually-impaired people. A voice-driven text-to-speech dialogue system was developed for reading Slovenian texts obtained from the Electronic Information System of the Association of Slovenian Blind and Visually Impaired Persons Societies. The evolution of the system is presented. The early version of the system was designed to deal explicitly with the Electronic Information System where the available text corpora are stored in a plain text file format without any, or with just some, basic non-standard tagging. Further improvements to the system became possible with the decision to transfer the available corpora to the new web portal, exclusively dedicated to blind and visually-impaired users. The text files were reformatted into common HTML/XML pages, which comply with the basic recommendations set by the Web Access Initiative. In the latest version of the system all the modules of the early version are being integrated into the user interface, which has some basic web-browsing functionalities and a text-to-speech screen-reader function controlled by the mouse as well.

information retrieval system spoken dialogue system web browser for the blind 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Dobrišek
    • 1
  • Jerneja Gros
    • 1
  • Boštjan Vesnicer
    • 1
  • Nikola Pavešić#x0107;
    • 1
  • France Mihelič#x010D;
    • 1
  1. 1.LUKS, Faculty of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of LjubljanaSlovenia

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