Some of my colleagues and I are participating in a European project as part of a transnational consortium looking at the uses of RoboBraille -an interesting tool/service that has emerged as an assistive technology for the blind.
As the name suggests RoboBraille began as a Braille conversion tool to enable simple text to be rendered in various forms of Braille.
The technology has now been developed to provides conversion and translation between a wide range of formats:
From .doc, .docx .htm, .html .xml .txt. .asc .rtf .pdf (all types) .epub, .mobi .tif, gif, .bmp .jpg, .j2k, .jp2, .jpx .pcx, .dcx .djv
To: Braille, MP3, ebook (epub or mobi), Daisy, Accessible Formats
Put simply, if you have a text file (say from a word processor like MS word) and you want to be able to listen to a very good synthesised voice reading this document then you simply submit your file on the web site above or by e-mail. You get back an MP3 or a Daisy (a format that allows text and speech to be played together). This is very useful for people who find reading difficult – the partially sighted, people with literacy difficulties and people with dyslexia.
Go ahead and try the service it’s free to non-commercial users.
If you don’t mind please let me know how you get on as we are making a catalogue of good practice as part of the project outputs.