ERIC Number: ED247886
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Computer-Assisted Support for Blind Students: The Use of a Microcomputer Linked Voice Synthesizer. CAL Research Group Technical Report No. 10.
Vincent, A. T.
Designed primarily to enable blind students to more easily use the Open University's Student Computer Services, a project was implemented to generate computer programs (in BASIC) for a limited configuration microcomputer with synthetic speech as the only output program. Three techniques can be identified with synthetic speech generation: speech-by-rule, look-up tables, and compressed digital speech. To provide a programmer support system that would facilitate the incorporation of synthetic speech output into computer programs, a dictionary/conversion program was developed which replaces PRINT, INPUT, DATA, and string statements in a program written for video display unit output, provides the phonetic commands for a voice synthesizer, and incorporates subroutines to assist blind students in using the program. Essential program subroutines that have been identified include synthetic speech output, repetition of speech output, validation and changing of input data, numeric phonemes, and output of errors. The lack of pitch or speed control limits the speech quality of the voice synthesizer used (which runs on a TRS-80 microcomputer), but its ease of use and relatively low cost compensate for the limited quality. Six references are listed. (LMM)
Descriptors: Accessibility (for Disabled), Artificial Speech, Blindness, Computer Software, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Microcomputers, Programing, Systems Development
Institute of Educational Technology, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, England.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Open Univ., Walton, Bletchley, Bucks (England).