Web Accessibility Perspectives: Text to Speech
Web accessibility is essential for people with disabilities and useful for all. Learn about the impact of accessibility and the benefits for everyone in a variety of situations.
Video on Text to Speech
What is "Text to Speech"?
Many computers and mobile devices today have built in text-to-speech software. Some people with disabilities, including people who are blind, use specialized software called screen readers. Screen readers provide important functionality such as navigating through headings, speaking image alternatives, and identifying internal and external links. They can also highlight the text as it is being read aloud for people to see and hear the content at the same time. Content must be coded properly so that all of the functionality of the text-to-speech software works with the content.
Who depends on this feature?
- People who are blind and cannot see what is on the screen.
- People who have partial sight (often legally blind) and cannot see certain types of content.
- People with dyslexia and other cognitive and learning disabilities who need to hear and see the text to better understand it.
What are the additional benefits?
- Content can be read aloud for people who cannot read the written language.
- Content can be read aloud for people who prefer to listen, for example, while multi-tasking.
What needs to happen for this to work?
Use semantic HTML markup for structures such as headings, paragraphs, lists, forms, and tables. Provide text alternatives for images, icons, and other non-text content. Ensure keyboard compatibility, and ensure that text information is understandable without the visual context.
- Accessibility Principle:
- Getting Started:
- Easy Check:
- User Story:
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG Overview):
- Mobile Applicability:
- Web Accessibility Tutorials (several related topics)