Anyone who has visited the ERIH website recently may have noticed the buttons labelled "Listen" and the audio icons dotting the page. They add to our previous measures towards a low-barrier internet performance: ERIH is the first pan-European heritage platform to offer a text reading service.
Clicking the "Listen" button or the audio icon displays a toolbar allowing the user to adjust the volume and reading speed and to fast-forward and rewind the content. If required, it is also possible to download the spoken text as a mp3 audio file. In addition, the service has a translation tool. To activate it, the corresponding text section needs to be marked in order to open a drop-down menu with the translator which, when clicked, allows to select a language and have the text read aloud respectively.
The screen reader is responsive and automatically adapts to the size and type of the device being used. We are aware that this innovation does not yet provide full accessibility. There is, for example, still no information in easy-to-understand language and in sign language, and most PDF data and embedded documents from other websites are not barrier-free. Nevertheless, we believe that the new function is an important step on the way to more accessibility.