WebAnywhere: A Web-Based Screen Reader

Just happened upon a story from the University of Washington News describing a project to build a web-based screen reader — called WebAnywhere — to allow the visually impaired to surf the web.

Most people have heard of or even tried screen readers like Jaws. The problem with software like Jaws is that it must be installed and run on the computer a visual impaired person is using. This can be inconvenient if someone is traveling, or is otherwise away from home or work.

WebAnywhere is different in that it is web-based, so there is no software to install. Any computer can be made more accessible to the visually impaired as long as it has a browser. The software that runs WebAnywhere is available for review from Google Code.

This sounds like an outstanding project — I’ll have to pull the source code down and take a look at it.