Title

Central Access Reader:The Next Generation Text to Speech Program

Presenter Information

Wendy Holden
Marshall Sunens

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Room 140

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Accessibility, Disability, Outreach

Abstract

The Central Access Reader (CAR), conceived and developed by a team of programmers and staff at Central Washington University, has provided Disability Services (DS) with a valuable tool for outreach and education. CAR is a free text-to-speech (TTS) program that reads Word Docs and clipboard text. CAR incorporates popular features from several existing text-to-speech programs with the unique ability to read math equations. Combining dual highlighting (by word and sentence) with synchronized audio helps students maintain visual focus while listening to the text being read aloud. Users can also easily create MP3 files so they can listen to their materials using any device that plays MP3s. CAR has changed the way that Central Access produces accessible materials for students with print disabilities. Converting all texts into accessible Word Docs has improved the quality of the materials that students receive while streamlining the production process. Educating faculty and staff about the importance of providing students with accessible educational materials is an ongoing process. CAR has opened the door to many conversations about accessibility, helping the DS office promote the creation of a more inclusive campus that provides individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to fully participate in the educational process. The widespread availability and usage of CAR benefits many individuals, not just those with disabilities. Emphasizing the resources available through the DS office is an important part of our goal to help the campus community recognize that disability is a natural part of diversity.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Holden, Wendy

Additional Mentoring Department

Disability Services

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May 15th, 10:20 AM May 15th, 10:40 AM

Central Access Reader:The Next Generation Text to Speech Program

SURC Room 140

The Central Access Reader (CAR), conceived and developed by a team of programmers and staff at Central Washington University, has provided Disability Services (DS) with a valuable tool for outreach and education. CAR is a free text-to-speech (TTS) program that reads Word Docs and clipboard text. CAR incorporates popular features from several existing text-to-speech programs with the unique ability to read math equations. Combining dual highlighting (by word and sentence) with synchronized audio helps students maintain visual focus while listening to the text being read aloud. Users can also easily create MP3 files so they can listen to their materials using any device that plays MP3s. CAR has changed the way that Central Access produces accessible materials for students with print disabilities. Converting all texts into accessible Word Docs has improved the quality of the materials that students receive while streamlining the production process. Educating faculty and staff about the importance of providing students with accessible educational materials is an ongoing process. CAR has opened the door to many conversations about accessibility, helping the DS office promote the creation of a more inclusive campus that provides individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to fully participate in the educational process. The widespread availability and usage of CAR benefits many individuals, not just those with disabilities. Emphasizing the resources available through the DS office is an important part of our goal to help the campus community recognize that disability is a natural part of diversity.