In my work with the CMTO I’ve been developing techniques to best assist learners in community radio who are using screen readers – ie. people who are blind or have a vision impairment. Screen readers convert written text into voice, so that a user who is blind can ‘read’ the text, from top to bottom (as long as that text is formatted to be accessible, more about that here). Using a screen reader to read back a pre-written script in real time can be a challenge for some screen reader users, but worth the effort to become confident on-air.
“My feature is about Barbara and Jane, both vision impaired, who were lonely and like one of the main characters said “me and my guide dog where getting fatter and fatter”. With the help of a wonderful initiative here in Brisbane, they changed their life around – they started running.”
My voice, my abilities, my rights. Coffs Harbour CHYFM, NSW. “CHYFM, in partnership with the Law & Justice Foundation, the Community Radio Network, and the Community Broadcasting Foundation have created the ‘My Voice, My Ability, My Rights’ project that aims to improve the knowledge of young people with disabilities about their legal rights, their advocacy rights and educate them and their families about support networks available.”
LISTEN to all the episodes here: http://chyfm.com/programs/voice-ability-rights/
“Studio Recorder is a powerful digital recording and editing software package geared to making recordings of the spoken word. It includes features not found in audio recording and editing programs primarily designed for music production. Such features include:
- Speed up playback with no pitch distortion
- Three levels of phrase detection
- Index tone generation and removal
- Instant open on large files
- Instant cut, copy, paste, and delete
- Intercom functionality
- Simple user interface
- Accessibility for blind and visually impaired users
- Multiple user marks and notes
- Remote control support
Studio Recorder was originally written for internal use at American Printing House for the Blind to serve as a tool for creating direct to digital audio recordings for the National Library Service (NLS). It contains many features that ease the task of recording, editing, and proofreading audio books. It also includes features that simplify the production of analog cassette tapes from the digital master, and it aids in the production of Digital Talking Books.”
You can download it here: http://tech.aph.org/sr_info.htm
The APH also recommend this (sadly, now archived since 2010) resource on accessibility for the studio.
Audacity has built in accessibility features to assist vision-impaired radio producers.
A very important feature of Audacity is the ability to fully manipulate the selection using the keyboard.
Screen reader access works very well on Windows. Mac OS X screen reader support now requires considerable adjustment following a transition to wxWidgets 3, but a 2.1.1 accessible build is available on our Mac OS X downloads page. Screen reader support still needs further development on Linux.
See the Audacity Wiki here: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Audacity_for_blind_users
There is also and Audacity For The Blind email list here: http://www.freelists.org/list/audacity4blind