Disability & Accessibility | News

Partnership Enhances Reference Service with Text-to-Speech Technology

Reference and information skills company Credo has partnered with ReadSpeaker to add text-to-speech features to its Literati suite of software and services.

The partnership announcement comes as part of an active week for the reference company, which also acquired onlinetutorsolutions.com to bolster its tutor service availability.

Text-to-speech technology is now available to libraries utilizing Literati Public, and will be available soon to institutions using Literati Academic, Student Athlete, and School, according to a company release.

The partnership is designed to enhance accessibility of Literati reference services to those with limited literacy skills, visual impairments, dyslexia or other language-based learning disabilities, and English language learners.

"We're focused on making authoritative information accessible to all users. Text to speech removes barriers," said Carol Helton, Credo's executive vice president of marketing and customer solutions, in a release. "We are very excited to leverage (ReadSpeaker's) experience, expertise, and technologies to make Literati an even stronger solution for libraries and the diverse user base that they serve."

ReadSpeaker technology speech-enables online content "on the fly," which means that ReadSpeaker collects the text that a user selects, produces the audio, and streams it without any downloading. Speech is available in more than 35 languages and more than 100 voices, according to the company Web site.

"Literati is unique in that it helps individuals hone information skills that transfer beyond the classroom to the workplace and everyday life," said Joop Heijenrath, ReadSpeaker cofounder, in a release. "We are proud to partner with Credo to enhance Literati and support such an important mission."

About the Author

Kevin Hudson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at [email protected].