Force website gets vocal

Visitors to the City of London Police website can now have the pages read aloud to them, thanks to a specialist computer program.

The software will improve the accessibility of the site by reading web pages aloud in a high-quality, human-sounding voice. As the text is read aloud, words are highlighted to aid literacy and comprehension.

The BrowseAloud software can be downloaded for free. Once downloaded, visitors to the force website can simply point the cursor at any text and hear it read aloud.

Aug 5, 2010
By Paul Jacques

Visitors to the City of London Police website can now have the pages read aloud to them, thanks to a specialist computer program.

The software will improve the accessibility of the site by reading web pages aloud in a high-quality, human-sounding voice. As the text is read aloud, words are highlighted to aid literacy and comprehension.

The BrowseAloud software can be downloaded for free. Once downloaded, visitors to the force website can simply point the cursor at any text and hear it read aloud.


The software can also translate individual words to European languages, offer dictionary definitions, convert pages of text into spoken MP3 files and provide support for those with dyslexia.


The same software is used on the websites of the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and has already been adopted by a number of polices forces and authorities.


Beryl Cooper, equality, diversity and human rights unit project officer at the City of London Police, explained: “People can experience difficulties reading text for a number of reasons, whether because of a condition such as dyslexia or indeed through deterioration of eyesight as part of the ageing process. We have a duty to the public to make our services accessible to them whatever their disability, and this software helps us to achieve that.”

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