8th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Geneva, Switzerland
September 1-4, 2003


A Voice-Driven Web Browser for Blind People

Bostjan Vesnicer, Janez Zibert, Simon Dobrisek, Nikola Pavesic, France Mihelic

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

A small self-voicing Web browser designed for blind users is presented. The Web browser was built from the GTK Web browser Dillo, which is a free software project in terms of the GNU general public license. Additional functionality has been introduced to this original browser in form of different modules. The browser operates in two different modes, browsing mode and dialogue mode. In browsing mode user navigates through structure of Web pages using mouse and/or keyboard. When in dialogue mode, the dialogue module offers different actions and the user chooses between them using either keyboard or spoken-commands which are recognized by the speech-recognition module. The content of the page is presented to the user by screen-reader module which uses text-to-speech module for its output. The browser is capable of displaying all common Web pages that do not contain frames, java or flash animations. However, the best performance is achieved when pages comply with the recommendations set by the WAI. The browser has been developed in Linux operating system and later ported to Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP platform. Currently it is being tested by members of the Slovenian blind people society. Any suggestions or wishes from them will be considered for inclusion in future versions of the browser.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Vesnicer, Bostjan / Zibert, Janez / Dobrisek, Simon / Pavesic, Nikola / Mihelic, France (2003): "A voice-driven web browser for blind people", In EUROSPEECH-2003, 1301-1304.