Area of Focus: Speech

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Speech accessibility and communication aids enable people who are unable to talk, or to talk clearly. These users may have acquired brain damage, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual impairment, or strokes. Many speech recognition systems are unable to recognize the speech of these users because they are based on average speakers. Because of the inconsistency of most impaired speech, speaker dependent systems do not have a high rate of accuracy. Speech recognition should not be the only form of input. In addition, some users with impaired speech may have additional motor skills accessibility problems because of impaired dexterity.

Speech accessibility includes difficulties with language and meaning, and difficulty producing intelligible speech. Language and meaning difficulties can also be related to Cognitive impairment. See the tags list below for related resources.

Reference Books

There are several excellent books related to speech. See the suggested reading list for general information and detailed reference books for your library.


Speech Resources

Learning and Speaking

Find more resources using the Areas of Focus Speech category search.

Relevant News

Advances in Converting Text to Speech

  • Apple® Accessibility Features Vision built into all Macintosh computers provides adjustable keyboard, an ergonomic mouse, CloseView screen magnification software, Easy Access system software (StickyKeys, SlowKeys, MouseKeys), electronic documentation, key-repeat disable, text-to-speech synthesis and voice recognition (PlainTalk), sticky mouse, and visual alert cues. The VoiceOver spoken English interface for Mac OS X is a fully integrated, built-in screen reader technology providing access to the Macintosh through speech, audible cues, and keyboard navigation.
  • NaturalReader a powerful Text To Speech reader: Listen to PDF files, webpages, e-books, e-textbooks, office documents, and printed books.


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