WebAnywhere: Platform Independent, Open Source Screen Reader

WebInSight, a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded, University of Washington project, has released an alpha version of WebAnywhere. WebAnywhere is a platform independent, Web-based screen reader that can be used on any Internet-aware PC or mobile device with audio output.

To use the Web like the rest of us, the blind and visually impaired need to use programs called screen readers. These screen readers are able to convert what we typically read or see on screen to speech. Many screen reader are available – free or for a fee – on the major desktop operating systems. Web-based screen reader, however, are not common. In fact, aside from WebAnywhere, we know of only one and it is not open source or free.

WebAnywhere is the first open source, We-based screen reader. The development team of WebAnywhere is led by Jeff Bigham, a Ph.D candidate in computer science at the University of Washington. WebAnywhere won the Accessible Technology Award for Interface Design in the 2008 Imagine Cup. Below is a video introduction to WebAnywhere.

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