SeniorMag includes SpeakThis text-to-speech technology

About SpeakThis 

Do you have as much fun reading as you used to?  If not, you may be like many other seniors whose eyes aren’t as good as they used to be.  Cataracts and weakening eye muscles are a normal part of aging that happens over time, often starting with the need for glasses, followed by bifocals, and in the case of cataracts, even surgery.  

Even still, many seniors find reading a lot of text to be tiring.  Text tends to blur, lines run together and concentration is lost as frustration increases.  As many as 8.7 million Americans have low vision difficulties

Other seniors have reading difficulties and have had them since childhood. Nearly 90 million people have reading difficulties of one kind or another with 42 million people in the United States suffering from varying degrees of dyslexia.  This is usually characterized by an inability to quickly read words accurately.  Though many have worked to be able to read anything, the process can be slow, frustrating, confusing, and very tiring.

If you would like to see a sample of SpeakThis in action, check at the top of this article to find the SpeakThis button.  Press the button and watch as a new and temporary window opens up.  

SeniorMag, in partnership with Fonix, Inc. have enabled the site so that people with low vision or reading difficulties can browse through the site and have articles read to them electronically.

According to Jeff Wilson, SeniorMag customer service representative, “We’re excited about this advance as it will open up tremendous opportunities for those with reading or vision problems.  We’re even more excited to be the first online magazine to offer this service and think that this technology will become a standard on the Internet in the very near future.”

SeniorMag’s implementation of SpeakThis is part of a well-planned initiative to make the site senior-friendly.  

“From the beginning, we chose a format that would allow seniors to find what they need,” says Steve Hardman, SeniorMag’s president.  “ We purposely chose color schemes and layouts that would be friendly to seniors’ eyes.  Page sizes are limited to enable quick load times, even on older computers and those with slow modems. 

The reader merely has to navigate to the page, read the big bold title and find the SpeakThis button located in the same location at the top of every enabled article.

Paragraph sizes are limited to allow more white space and easier reading.  We even chose to think through the navigation structure rather than take the easy way out by using a search method.  Search requirements vary from site to site, many people don’t really know how to use them, and the results are seldom accurate.”

SpeakThis does so much more than just read the text to the user.  Upon launch, the user can either just listen to the text, they can download the mp3 file created, or they can even email it to another user.

Try SpeakThis on SeniorMag.  We think that you will find it’s one of the truly functional advancements on the Internet today and it will certainly help change the face of the average Internet user as it becomes more available.

Index of pages using SpeakThis






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