Readspeaker's Voice-on-the-Web Services Spread

Readspeaker in Europe is equipping Web sites with Acapela's text-to-speech technology.

The latest Web sites that are now speaking out are the district of Grand Chalon, and Terre-net, the first French agricultural news Web site, with over 2 million pages viewed per month.

The district of Grand Chalon counts 108,000 inhabitants over 38 villages and towns. The district decided to speech-enable its Web site to make it more easily accessible to all as part of a global project. This service is based on the fact that 10 percent of the French population, roughly 6 million people, have sight-related problems. Beyond the concern of the visually impaired, Readspeaker also allows users to overcome obstacles such as illiteracy or language problems.

Terre-Net had the same concerns when they decided to ease the access to the agricultural news on its site. Terre-Net allows its visitors to listen, at the click of a button, to contents that can be updated up to 20 times a day. This is made possible by the speech synthesis which can read any written information.

"By vocalising the news articles on our site, we intend to show our engagement towards an information system that is accessible to the visually impaired." says Arnaud Romoli, CTO of Pole Terre-net Médias.

Readspeaker technology is a service available on the Internet. It requires no installation, neither on the user's computer, nor on the site's server. The information is read aloud in real time with a voice provided by Acapela's speech synthesis.

Grand Chalon district and Terre-Net join GlaxoSmithKlein laboratories, Sesam Vitale, Yanous! and the French National Assembly (on test until end of 2004) who have already adopted Readspeaker's solution.

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