As part of our move towards improving the accessibility of our website, we’ve added a new piece of software called BrowseAloud.
This tool supports users by reading or translating web content, giving people access to our website in a much more user-friendly way.
BrowseAloud offers the following features:
- Text-to-speech – this means that you can get the page content read out loud whilst the text is simultaneously highlighted in yellow.
- Spoken and written translation – the tool can translate web pages into 78 different languages and the text-to-speech function currently supports 35 of those languages, including Welsh.
- Text magnification – along with having the text read out loud, you can magnify the text to make it easier to read.
- MP3 generation – this feature can convert text on a web page or even in a publication to a MP3 file. These can then be sent direct to a user upon request, or we can host the file as an alternative format.
- Screen mask – this feature removes distractions and glare from the page by applying a black mask over most of the screen, leaving a letterbox-style reading window to provide focus on small sections of the page.
- Web page simplifier – this tool removes all clutter from the web page like logos, images or icons by stripping them out to show the plain text only. It also provides a high contrast option to invert the colours.
- Customisable options – you can also tailor your settings on certain features, like the voice speed or text magnification size.
All of these features are available for free, to any user, with no download required.
Having this software available will support a number of people that may encounter problems using digital services, but that don’t require or have access to assistive technology, like a screen reader. It may also help users with English as a second language to access our published content, reducing the barriers.
Huw Vaughan Thomas, the Auditor General, has welcomed this development as part of the Wales Audit Office’s continuing commitment to digital inclusion and making it easier for people to access our website.
We’re currently working on other website improvements to ensure we are meeting the recommended Web Content Accessibility Guidelines [Opens in new window] for users. Further updates will be published in due course.
Find out more about BrowseAloud [Opens in new window], or try out the new tool by selecting the icon in the top right corner of the page.