Voice Dream Reader: Affordable TTS For Disabled Users - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
5/15/2013
11:45 AM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Google+
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Moving UEBA Beyond the Ground Floor
Sep 20, 2017
This webinar will provide the details you need about UEBA so you can make the decisions on how bes ...Read More>>

Voice Dream Reader: Affordable TTS For Disabled Users

During a life-changing year in the Arctic, former enterprise software CTO created a life-changing mobile app for disabled users.

"It helps that nearly everything on an iPad is available through voice and touch," Chen said. To make the app more usable for the blind, he said, "I literally had to blindfold myself and learn to navigate through it."

The app is also designed to read from common text formats such as PDFs and pull content from widely used iOS apps such as Dropbox. Visually disabled readers can also take advantage of the Bookshare program supported by the U.S. Department of Education that makes copyright-free ebooks available to people with disabilities.

Voice Dream Reader has become well-known throughout the community of assistive technology specialists. Janowski said in addition to recommending the app to parents, in some cases she can get the school system to provide an iPad with the app installed as part of a student's federally mandated Individualized Education Program.

Chen said he sees school systems ordering licenses in blocks of 20 in order to get the 50% discount Apple provides for volume purchases. "I'm always thinking about an Android version, but I'll probably wait a bit," he said. "The iPad pretty much dominates in education."

Voice Dream Reader has also attracted some users who are not disabled -- such as busy college students who have it read to them while they walk between classes -- and from users who may never have been formally diagnosed with a disability but still find reading difficult, such as those with attention deficit disorders or dyslexia, Chen said.

His original target audience of busy executives may come later. "I use this occasionally when I'm in the car. The sound quality is tolerable; I can tolerate it. From a company standpoint, I'm reluctant to openly market this as a product for the general population. A year or two from now, that may be different -- I'm finding some fantastic text-to-speech voices."

Follow David F. Carr at @davidfcarr or Google+, along with @IWKEducation.

Previous
2 of 2
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
IT Strategies to Conquer the Cloud
Chances are your organization is adopting cloud computing in one way or another -- or in multiple ways. Understanding the skills you need and how cloud affects IT operations and networking will help you adapt.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll