Friday, June 12, 2009

Listen To Me

It’s no secret that I love technology that speaks. For me, audible access is the last word. It is, after all, the problem-solver in the evolution of accessible everyday things. A few excellent examples: Talking ATMs, the iPod Nano with spoken menus and the Shuffle’s voice over. I applaud these big moves, and I anxiously await more to come.

At the top of my (soon to be published) Wish List is audible access on the web. Yes, that’s correct. I want websites to talk to me (and you). Why not? Wouldn’t you like the option to listen while the webpage is read to you?

I know how good this could be, because I get a taste of it now using ZoomText speech. Unfortunately, it is not consistent. Way too often, I will ask ZoomText to read a webpage, and it refuses, without explanation.

My wish is, now, your command. Thanks to Odiogo you can experience the beauty of speech, right on this blog. Just click the “Listen Now” button at the top and enjoy!

I’ll say it again--vision- friendly technology is good for everyone!

Thanks for listening --- now talk to me. Do you like this web option as much as I do?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Google Made Even Easier

“Accessible” means: “easy to deal with.” As if Google was not already easy, Google’s Accessible Search (I kid you not) is even easier.

Before I discovered “Google Accessible Web Search, web searching was an activity I seriously considered giving up altogether because I seemed to often end up in a mess of links that led to pages I had tremendous difficulty reading.

Google Labs Accessible Web Search for the Visually Impaired (to some degree, that’s about half the US population, isn’t it?) delivers clean, uncluttered search results that are easy to read, no sponsored links, and pages are ordered by site accessibility (easiest to deal with first).

I know it’s great for me, and having converted many to Google Accessible Search users, I think it could be better for everyone.