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Friday, October 26, 2007

Aural Style Sheets

Aural style sheets use a combination of speech synthesis and sound effects to make the user listen to information, instead of reading information.

Aural presentation can be used:
• by blind people
• to help users learning to read
• to help users who have reading problems
• for home entertainment
• in the car
• by print-impaired communities

The aural presentation converts the document to plain text and feed this to a screen reader (a program that reads all the characters on the screen).

An example of an Aural style sheet:


h1, h2, h3, h4
{
voice-family: male;
richness: 80;
cue-before: url("beep.au")
}


The example above will make the speech synthesizer play a sound, then speak the headers in a very rich male voice.

azimuth: Sets where the sound/voices should come from (horizontally)
cue: A shorthand property for setting the cue-before and cue-after
properties in one declaration
cue-after: Specifies a sound to be played after speaking an element's
content to delimit it from other
cue-before: Specifies a sound to be played before speaking an element's
content to delimit it from other
elevation: Sets where the sound/voices should come from (vertically)
pause: A shorthand property for setting the pause-before and
pause-after properties in one declaration
pause-after: Specifies a pause after speaking an element's content
pause-before: Specifies a pause before speaking an element's content
pitch: Specifies the speaking voice
pitch-range: Specifies the variation in the speaking voice. (Monotone voice
or animated voice?)
play-during: Specifies a sound to be played while speaking an element's
content
richness: Specifies the richness in the speaking voice. (Rich voice or
thin voice?)
speak: Specifies whether content will render aurally
speak-header: Specifies how to handle table headers. Should the headers be
spoken before every cell, or only before a cell with a different header than
the previous cell
speak-numeral: Specifies how to speak numbers
speak-punctuation: Specifies how to speak punctuation characters
speech-rate: Specifies the speed of the speaking
stress: Specifies the "stress" in the speaking voice
voice-family: A prioritized list of voice family names that contain specific
voices
volume: Specifies the volume of the speaking


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