BrowseAloud accessibility and translation tool

New accessibility and translation tool to improve Camden Council’s website

Camden Council now has an accessibility and translation tool which enables more residents to read information on Camden Council's website. The state-of-the-art BrowseAloud software includes adding speech, reading and translation support to the Camden website enabling people with dyslexia, lower levels of literacy, mild visual impairments and those with English as a second language to access information about local services more easily. This upgrade is part of continuous improvements to the Council's website.  

What is BrowseAloud?

BrowseAloud makes websites accessible to those who require online reading support, 20% of the UK population. It works by reading web pages aloud in a human-sounding voice. You hover your mouse pointer over the text to hear it read aloud. Watch this video to see BrowseAloud features.

What does BrowseAloud look like?

A BrowseAloud icon is present on each council web page and when it is clicked it displays simple translation options. You can position this toolbar anywhere on your screen or hide it from view.

What will BrowseAloud do for me?

  • Read web pages aloud in a human-sounding voice  (Includes websites, intranets, extranets, html, alt tags)
  • Read PDFs in their accessible format
  • Highlight each word as it is spoken to show you where you are on the page
  • Magnify text to your chosen font size and font style
  • Translate word-for-word a range of languages
  • Convert text to MP3  audio format
  • Mask information on the screen to help you focus on a particular area.

Who does BrowseAloud help?

BrowseAloud helps you if you need online reading support or want to listen to the text read aloud. 

It helps you if you have learning difficulties such as dyslexia, lower levels of literacy, mild visual impairments, and if you use English as a second language. 

BrowseAloud icons

To launch the BrowseAloud toolbar on the web page, click on the BrowseAloud icon in the top right corner of the web page. BrowseAloud functions will work on any web page.

Use the floating tool bar to access BrowseAloud features and options. The text description of each button can be read aloud. This toolbar provides instant high quality speech at the touch of a button—no need to download anything.

How to Use Toolbar Features

This covers:

  • ‘Hover to Speak Mode’
  • ‘Speak the Current Selection’
  • Translate page
  • Text Magnifier
  • Screen Mask
  • Simplify

Hover to Speak Mode

Text is read out loud, dual-colour highlights the words as they are spoken.
Hover highlighting is useful for people with physical disabilities who use alternative pointing devices and allows users to point and read.

To hear text read aloud from a desktop or laptop computer, move your mouse pointer over the text. From a touch screen device, simply touch the text to hear it read aloud. BrowseAloud will also read pdf documents opened on the screen.

Speak the Current Selection

As an alternative to Hover Highlighting, you can select specific text to hear it read aloud.

Translate Page

Using the BrowseAloud toolbar, tap or click on the Translate Page button. From the drop down menu, select the language you want to translate the page into.

All the words that can be translated on that web page, will be. The translation only works on the current page; each time you visit a new page, you will need to translate that page.

MP3 Maker

Select any text on a web page and convert it into an MP3 file, and then save it on your USB drive for later listening.

Text Magnifier

Activate the text magnifier button on the toolbar and then hover on or select any text that you want to hear read and see it magnified at the same time.

Screen Mask

You can focus on just part of the screen using this feature. Masking applies a colour filter to the whole screen and places a ‘window’ in the area you are reading.

Limitations of BrowseAloud

  • Requires Flash to run (you may be prompted to download and install 3rd party software if you do not already have it).
  • Does not work with pages containing iframes
  • BrowseAloud can only be guaranteed to work on the following browsers:
  • Android:
    •  Google Chrome (note: BrowseAloud Plus will prompt you to download Chrome if you do not already have it on your device)
  • Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch:
    • Safari
  • Windows:
    • IE version 8 and higher
    • Chrome version 39 and higher
    • Firefox version 31 and higher
  • Does not work with languages reading from right to left (Arabic, Urdu, Hebrew etc.)
  • Cannot read PDFs on mobile devices
  • Simplification will only work on pages with textual content, pages with no textual content will display an error.

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