IPSWICH, Mass. —August 26, 2010 — EBSCO Publishing (EBSCO) has added text-to-speech (read aloud) support to EBSCOhost databases, including its major school and public library databases, by embedding Texthelp Systems’ SpeechStream toolbar—a valuable benefit provided at no additional cost to the user. Users will be able to take advantage of this new feature with any full-text articles available in HTML.
Text-to-speech support, already featured in EBSCO’s English Language Learner Reference Center, allows users to read along while a human-sounding voice speaks the text on the screen. The support toolbar provides significant assistance to those for whom text-to-speech capabilities are highly valued such as English Language Learners, users with low vision, slight physical and/or learning disabilities, as well as eBook and PDA users.
Texthelp Systems is the industry leader in literacy and language support technology for online learning. Recent studies have shown that students using Texthelp’s literacy support tools demonstrated significant improvements in both reading comprehension and writing performance. The President of Texthelp Systems, Jack Dolan, says SpeechStream delivers high quality reading support via the Web to improve access to information. "With the ever increasing demand to provide all users access to electronic resources when and where they need them, our partnership with EBSCO allows us to deliver the literacy support tools these users require."
Utilizing the text-to-speech feature via the EBSCOhost platform provides many advantages. Users have the ability to read-aloud by selected text, sentence, paragraph, or continuous reading with dual color synchronous highlighting (highlighting of the passage being read with a second color highlighting the specific word being read aloud at that moment). User control of read-aloud personalizes the learning experience for each user. Users can control reading speed as well as select between three different high-quality voices—American, British, or Australian. These options also enable teachers and professionals to incorporate the features as a tool for teaching English and reading.
About EBSCO Publishing
EBSCO Publishing is the world’s premier database aggregator, offering a suite of nearly 300 full-text and secondary research databases. Through a library of tens of thousands of full-text journals, magazines, books, monographs, reports and various other publication types from renowned publishers, EBSCO serves the content needs of all researchers (Academic, Medical, K-12, Public Library, Corporate, Government, etc.). The company’s product lines include proprietary databases such as Academic Search, Business Source, CINAHL, DynaMed, Literary Reference Center, MasterFILE, NoveList, SocINDEX and SPORTDiscus as well as dozens of leading licensed databases such as ATLA Religion Database, EconLit, INSPEC, MEDLINE, MLA International Bibliography, The Philosopher’s Index, PsycARTICLES and PsycINFO. Databases are powered by EBSCOhost, the most-used for-fee electronic resource in libraries around the world. EBSCO is the provider of EBSCO Discovery Service a core collection of locally-indexed metadata creating a unified index of an institution’s resources within a single, customizable search point providing everything the researcher needs in one place—fast, simple access to the library’s full text content, deeper indexing and more full-text searching of more journals and magazines than any other discovery service (www.ebscohost.com/discovery). For more information, visit the EBSCO Publishing Web site at: www.ebscohost.com, or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. EBSCO Publishing is a division of EBSCO Industries Inc., one of the largest privately held companies in the United States.
About Texthelp Systems Inc.
Texthelp Systems (http://www.texthelp.com) provides literacy software solutions for individuals, K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and publishers. The company’s mission is to provide high quality and innovative technology for persons of any age seeking to develop their literacy skills through the use of a computer. Texthelp's products include: Read&Write GOLD, Fluency Tutor, Lexiflow, and SpeechStream. Read&Write GOLD is a customizable easy to use toolbar that seamlessly integrates with mainstream applications allowing students to access reading, writing, studying, and research support tools from within software programs they use everyday. Fluency Tutor is an online solution for developing and measuring oral reading fluency. Lexiflow and SpeechStream allow publishers to deliver digital talking ebooks, assessments, and online content with the support tools students need.