Adds speech output to Emacs
Emacspeak is a suite of task-oriented tools that, through Emacs, provides speech-enabled access to the Web. With support for the freely downloadable IBM ViaVoice Outloud speech synthesis engine, Emacspeak makes GNU/Linux systems the first zero-cost (commercially available screenreaders typically double the cost of a personal computer) Internet access solution for blind and visually impaired users. Emacspeak speaks the underlying information of a visual display, not its contents. For example, if you use a calendar application with a screenreader you hear a sequence of meaningless numbers, but Emacspeak speaks the relevant date in an easily understood manner. The system uses audio formatting to increase the band-width of aural communication; changes in voice characteristic and inflection combine with non-speech auditory icons to create the equivalent of spatial layout, fonts, and graphical icons. This provides contextual feedback and shifts some of the burden of listening from the cognitive to the perceptual domain. The program comes with a default set of auditory icons; they can be replaced with any of the themes available (typically higher quality recordings).
22 November 2000
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