WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: The punctuation and typographic symbols that screen readers don't read


From: Olaf Drümmer
Date: Jan 22, 2014 2:22PM

Hi Jukka,

Am 22 Jan 2014 um 22:01 schrieb "Jukka K. Korpela" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >:

> So I think a prime requirement would be that screen readers should speak
> out the names of characters that they do not otherwise handle.

I very much like the way you put this!!!!

So in essence a screen reader (or rather: any assistive technology using text to speech) does have to do "something" with "everything". That could mean:
- for sequences of characters, speak them out as words (Example: hello world)
- for sequences of characters that are all uppercase, speak them out character by character (example: HTML)
- common punctuation: insert a pause, change the pitch of the voice, etc. (implementation details at the discretion of the tool); (example: "Hungry?" where towards the end of the word hungry the pitch of the voice is slightly higher, and a pause is inserted after the word)
- anything not covered in some other fashion: for every character, speak the Unicode name (preferably in the language used for the surrounding content), possibly together with some indication that the Unicode names of characters are spoken (example: the right arrow symbol "→" as "{beep} right arrow {pause}", or instead of the beep a different pitch of the voice, or whatever.