Accessibility 4 – using audio

ETF YouTube channel – Make Technology Work for you.

I’ve covered some basics of accessibility in a couple of previous posts.  This time I’m going to briefly discuss using audio for providing information. Many people find it much easier to listen to information than read it on either paper or on screen.  Most devices have an option to read text out loud. In the UK the Education and Training Foundation has produced a wide range of short videos showing you how to get your phone or computer to speak the content out loud as well as other features that you might find helpful. 

iPhone spoken content options.

Using audio is simple and most smart phones have an option to hear content spoken. Of course this only works is the content is in your pattern as text and not as an image.  A user might want to ‘go the whole way’ and convert one of your patterns into a downloadable audio file. This is also easy to do using a range of options.  Text to Speech is a simple website that does just that – turns text into speech.  I’ve converted the first of these two paragraphs on here into an mp3 file that you can listen to here.

If you are going to be using audio more frequently, it might be worth downloading a free app such as Balabolka or DSpeech.  These can both take large files and convert them to audio.  They can also run from an external drive such as a USB stick.  They are both available on the Accessibility part of the Portable Apps page.  
You could of course create versions of a knitting pattern in different formats.  By doing this you would ensure that it provides the information in just the right format for your customers. 

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