Visitors to The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission’s website can now listen to the web content being read aloud using a free tool called BrowseAloud.
Graham Doyle, Communications Officer for the Garda Ombudsman said, “BrowseAloud will enable visitors to experience easier navigation of the website and access to information. It is particularly useful for people with literacy difficulties, dyslexia, mild visual impairments or where English is spoken as a second language”.
BrowseAloud is free to download and visitors to the Garda Ombudsman’s website www.gardaombudsman.ie should click on the BrowseAloud icon on the right hand side of the homepage and follow the easy steps to install the software.
BrowseAloud enhances website accessibility as users can personalise the product to suit their own individual needs. BrowseAloud highlights each word as it is spoken; this tool aids literacy and allows users to read more fluently with the dual colour highlighting. Colours, text size, speed and type of voice can all be altered to suit the user\’s requirements.
BrowseAloud already works with a broad range of clients across Ireland including Bus Eireann, Permenant TSB, Dublin Institute of Technology, An Post, Department of the Taoiseach, ESB, Department of Agriculture and many others.
Visitors to the site will now be able to hear information regarding the Garda Ombudsman, their complaints process, FAQs (frequently asked questions), press releases and contact information amongst other things, read aloud in a high quality human sounding voice.
Other key features of BrowseAloud that will enhance the user experience include text magnification, an option to convert text to MP3 format and a talking dictionary. BrowseAloud will also read accessible HTML, PDF documents, hyperlinks and tags behind images.
Graham concludes, “We are constantly striving to ensure all our services, including our website are as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. It is important that our visitors can navigate our website and access what information they need easily. We hope that BrowseAloud will make a big difference in achieving this”.