Title

Right Hear - Accessibility in Academia

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Standing

Undergraduate

Type of Proposal

Media/Film Presentation

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

N/A

Abstract/Description of Original Work

Noor consulted with a student born with a visual impairment. He used an assistive device in the past to convert text-to-speech for textbook readings but stopped due to many barriers. The voice was unclear due to the intonation and speech patterns of the synthetic voice, it was tedious to use, and the assistive device read irrelevant information on each page, such as watermarks, which interfered with the flow in relevant information. He also noted after sustained periods of listening to an assistive device, the synthetic voice becomes grating on the ears. When asked if he could choose between a synthetic voice or human narration, he chose a human narration as preferable. As the popularity and accessibility of audiobooks continues to increase studies have shown information retention and comprehension between visual and audio learning are equal. Unfortunately, not all books and scientific articles exist in audio-format and we have been slow to take up the need for such formats on campus. In addition to benefitting individuals with visual impairment, audio books can benefit any individuals with reading and comprehension impairments. Studies show audiobooks used in tandem with reading materials enhance reading fluency in individuals with reading disabilities but also in students with no impairment. Therefore, expanding information sources to include audio file formats would increase accessibility for visually and/or reading impaired students, as well as any students who wish to use this service.

Our service provides a human-voiced audio file for academic sources such as textbooks, syllabi, and journal articles.

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Right Hear - Accessibility in Academia

Noor consulted with a student born with a visual impairment. He used an assistive device in the past to convert text-to-speech for textbook readings but stopped due to many barriers. The voice was unclear due to the intonation and speech patterns of the synthetic voice, it was tedious to use, and the assistive device read irrelevant information on each page, such as watermarks, which interfered with the flow in relevant information. He also noted after sustained periods of listening to an assistive device, the synthetic voice becomes grating on the ears. When asked if he could choose between a synthetic voice or human narration, he chose a human narration as preferable. As the popularity and accessibility of audiobooks continues to increase studies have shown information retention and comprehension between visual and audio learning are equal. Unfortunately, not all books and scientific articles exist in audio-format and we have been slow to take up the need for such formats on campus. In addition to benefitting individuals with visual impairment, audio books can benefit any individuals with reading and comprehension impairments. Studies show audiobooks used in tandem with reading materials enhance reading fluency in individuals with reading disabilities but also in students with no impairment. Therefore, expanding information sources to include audio file formats would increase accessibility for visually and/or reading impaired students, as well as any students who wish to use this service.

Our service provides a human-voiced audio file for academic sources such as textbooks, syllabi, and journal articles.