Google makes 'select to speak' tool more fluid for people with dyslexia

October 15 2021

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Google has introduced some new accessibility features on Chromebooks, including making its Select-to-speak tool more fluid and easier to understand.


For people with dyslexia, low vision, those learning a new language or people who have a hard time focusing on busy text, Select-to-speak on Chromebooks allows them to hear selected text on their screen spoken out loud.


Now, new, more human sounding voices for Select-to-speak will help spoken text be more fluid and easier to understand.


"Natural voices are currently available in various accents in 25 languages with more to come," Google said in a statement.


To develop this feature, Google worked with educators who specialise in dyslexia, as well as individuals with dyslexia.


They shared that hearing text read out loud enhances comprehension – especially in an educational setting.


"By bringing natural-sounding voices to the feature, for example a local accent you're used to, it's also easier to follow along with the content being read and highlighted on screen," the company said.


Google has also made it easier to use, discover and customise Chromebook's built-in accessibility features.


This includes updates to the screen magnifier, like keyboard panning and shortcuts.


"We have also developed new in-product tutorials for ChromeVox, and introduced point scanning to make the selection process for switch users more efficient," the company said.


Google has recently launched an online training programme in conjunction with The Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP).


This eight-module course covers Chromebook and Google Workspace accessibility features.

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  • IANS