Perth County’s Accessibility Advisory Committee is committed to meeting and surpassing customer expectations and serving persons with disabilities. Their aim is to create awareness of accessibility and provide goods and services in an accessible manner.
This aim also extends to Perth County’s website, and visitors to www.perthcounty.ca can now benefit from a new application called BrowseAloud, which will improve access to the County’s website for those who have difficulty reading information online.
BrowseAloud reads website content aloud and highlights each word as it is spoken. This combination helps users to follow words as they are spoken, improving comprehension by up to 40%.
Shelby Wilson, Accessibility Coordinator at Perth County said that the County is constantly striving to make services more accessible. “With the addition of BrowseAloud to the County website we are improving access for everyone, regardless of their abilities. It will benefit visitors to our site who require online reading support, such as people with learning disabilities, people with low or mild vision loss and people with cognitive disabilities.”
BrowseAloud differs from traditional assistive technology in that it is free of charge to the user, making it possible for people with limited finances to have access to a screen reader. Ms. Wilson continues, “BrowseAloud reduces barriers on the website which will make it easier for people with disabilities to access our website and be able to get the information necessary to them. “
Since its launch in 2004, BrowseAloud has been added to over 6,500 websites worldwide, including Standards Council of Canada, Ministry of Community and Social Services, Learning Disability Association of Ontario (LDAO), OC Transpo and a growing number of Ontarian municipalities.
BrowseAloud is free to visitors to Perth County’s website, as well as any associated Facebook pages. Simply visit www.browsealoud.com and click on the ‘Download’ link.
Shelby Wilson, Accessibility Coordinator
Samantha Corr, Marketing Executive
Notes for Editors:
BrowseAloud is the world leading text-to-speech solution from Texthelp Systems, which is designed to improve website accessibility for those with literacy difficulties, learning difficulties such as dyslexia, mild visual impairments or where English or French is a second language. With a choice of 17 high quality voices covering nine languages and a number of unique features, BrowseAloud is quickly being adopted as the text-to-speech product of choice worldwide.
Texthelp Systems was formally incorporated in 1996 and specializes in the design of assistive software solutions to support those struggling to read and write. The company is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, Adobe Solutions Network Developer, Apple Business Partner, HP Business Partner and is ISO 9001:2008 accredited. For the past ten consecutive years, Texthelp Systems has been a Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Award winning company.