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New software improves access to website

19 March 2010

As part of its ongoing commitment to reducing accessibility barriers, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has enabled an innovative new product on its website called BrowseAloud.

As part of its ongoing commitment to reducing accessibility barriers, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has enabled an innovative new product on its website called BrowseAloud.

BrowseAloud helps people who have literacy problems, learning difficulties, dyslexia, mild visual impairments or who speak English as a second language by reading aloud all website content.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital website already receives 35,000 hits a month—BrowseAloud will make it easier to use for large numbers of people.

BrowseAloud is free for people to use—simply click the BrowseAloud icon on the homepage to download the product free of charge.

BrowseAloud is a text-to-speech solution that reads all accessible website content aloud in a high quality human sounding voice which can be altered to suit the individual’s specific needs. As text is read aloud, words are highlighted; a useful tool which aids literacy and comprehension.

Andrew MacCallum, Director of Nursing for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, says: “We are committed to making health information as accessible as possible to everyone. I am delighted that BrowseAloud will enable us to improve the accessibility of our website for people with learning disabilities and others who may find it challenging to use the site in a conventional way.”

Matt Akid, Head of Communications for the Trust, adds: “This software is just one element of a wider project to improve our website and make information about our services more accessible.

“We also have a translation toolbar on website so that people whose first language is not English can read our website and we offer a translation service for all our main patient information leaflets.”

For further information about BrowseAloud, email rebecca@browsealoud.com or visit www.browsealoud.com.