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Metro Introduces Free Software to Help Visually Impaired Navigate Web Site

Metro unveiled free software on its Web site Friday morning that reads aloud text as users move their mouse over words on the transit agency's Web site.

BrowseAloud (available here) is meant for people with "mild visual impairments, low literacy and reading skills, and learning disabilities such as dyslexia," Metro's Chief Information Officer Suzanne Peck said in a news release.

Metro spokeswoman Angela Gates said the agency's cost for a three-year subscription to the software is $14,395.

By James Hohmann  |  October 2, 2009; 10:01 AM ET
 | Tags: Metro  
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Comments

As a low vision person that rides Metro regularly, I appreciate Metro's efforts. In regards to the Metro website, I'd suggest that they design their website to be easier to enlarge or zoom text and maps. Also, make the website compatable with Opera, the accessability browser, used by millions.
And if Metro wanted to make the system more accessable for low vision people, they'd start by increasing the lighting in stations, and require train operators to announce, so they can be heard, station location alerts.

Posted by: Max231 | October 2, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Your BrowseAloud link is broken. The URI got set relative to this page rather than absolutely pointing to WMATA's site.

That said, BrowseAloud looks like an interesting tool. I can already see myself losing a weekend trying to get it to work on my never-visited blog.

Posted by: TheMatt | October 2, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Or, you know, they could simply have developed an accessible version of the site. Then JAWS Standard would work.

Still pricey at ~$1,000, but less so than the subscription service...

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | October 2, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

FREE WRITING/THINKING PROGRAM
Special Services Education to BA and Business

www.TheEasyEssay.com is a free program that is being used from Special Services Education (including ADHD, dyslexia and mainstreaming, [mild to moderate autism?]) to college education, FCAT, SAT, ACT test preparation, home schooling, and educational rehabilitation (TBI?Stroke), as well as in business for concise, organized and targeted memos, speeches, reports, and recommendations.

A noted side effect of the program is that users begin to communicate logically.

“I have used this technique with my corporate clients, my theology students, and soon with my students at Kaplan University.”
Dr. Kathleen A. Bishop, M.B.A., PhD, ThD.

“I got feedback from the teachers. They love it and we are looking at using it with some of our AT devices.”
Dr. Suzanne Pope Dobson - Calhoun High School (Special Education Department Head)

“The Easy Essay was very helpful… I [also] have 15 year old twins. They are in a college prep school... I am glad this tool is available.”
Brain Injury Association of Minnesota
~ Janice Webster | Resource Facilitator / Peer Mentor Specialist


Posted by: morse99 | October 2, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

never heard of just getting a screen reader?

what a waste

Posted by: member5 | October 2, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

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