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Enhancing Accessibility of Web Content for the Print-Impaired and Blind People

  • Aimilios Chalamandaris
  • Spyros Raptis
  • Pirros Tsiakoulis
  • Sotiris Karabetsos
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5889)

Abstract

Blind people and in general print-impaired people are often restricted to use their own computers, enhanced most often with expensive, screen reading programs, in order to access the web, and in a form that every screen reading program allows to. In this paper we present SpellCast Navi, a tool that is intended for people with visual impairments, which attempts to combine advantages from both customized and generic web enhancement tools. It consists of a generically designed engine and a set of case-specific filters. It can run on a typical web browser and computer, without the need of installing any additional application locally. It acquires and parses the content of web pages, converts bi-lingual text into synthetic speech using high quality speech synthesizer, and supports a set of common functionalities such as navigation through hotkeys, audible navigation lists and more. By using a post-hoc approach based on a-priori information of the website’s layout, the audible presentation and navigation through the website is more intuitive a more efficient than with a typical screen reading application. SpellCast Navi poses no requirements on web pages and introduces no overhead to the design and development of a website, as it functions as a hosted proxy service.

Keywords

Web accessibility Speech synthesis Print-Impairment Screen Reader 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aimilios Chalamandaris
    • 1
    • 2
  • Spyros Raptis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pirros Tsiakoulis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sotiris Karabetsos
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Language and Speech ProcessingAthena Research Center 
  2. 2.Innoetics ltd, Knowledge and Mutlimodal Interaction TechnologiesAthensGreece

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