This research examined the design of accessible digital picture books (e-books) for people with print disabilities. Accessible e-books can be presented in a simplified layout, with suitable fonts, or audio synchronized with word highlighting. Previous studies have established that children show curiosity about recordings of unfamiliar natural voices that are different than their mother’s voice when reading an e-book on a tablet PC, but reactions to text-to-voice synthesized speech have not yet been tested. We investigated the effects of natural versus synthesized voices on ease of listening. Eight adults (2 male and 6 female) took part in this study. Five versions of a digital picture book were created, with different voice conditions (natural voice of girl and an adult, synthesized voice of a girl and an adult, animated voice of a boy). The study was set up on a tablet computer (iPad). First, participants listened to the picture books being read in each of the voices. Then, they were asked to rate the ease of listening for each reading voice using 4 items evaluated on a five-point Likert scale. In addition, the participants were interviewed and asked to comment on the digital picture books. The results showed that participants preferred digital picture books with speech synthesis rather than natural voices. The synthesized child’s voice was suitable for the digital picture book in which a girl was a character, suggesting that speech synthesis might be suitable for character voices in picture books.
Hanae Ikeshita-Yamazoe, Ritsumeikan University, Japan
Chihoko Aoki, Ritsumeikan University, Japan
Stream: Education and Technology: Teaching
This paper is part of the ACSET2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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