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  • Browsealoud

About SOLS

The Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) delivers programmes and services to almost 200 public libraries across Southern Ontario, including Toronto Public Library, one of the busiest libraries in the world.

Daryl Novak, Director of Operations at SOLS noted the urgent need for libraries to make their content accessible.

Success with Browsealoud

Thanks to Browsealoud, a growing number of libraries in Ontario have ensured their online services and content can be accessed by as many people as possible.

Online library content can now be read aloud in multiple languages, to aid understanding of the website and improve the visitors experience.

Working With Texthelp

Daryl expresses his stress free experience with Texthelp,

“Working with the team at Texthelp has been amazing, they’re so responsive, so quick to come up with ideas... I’m really pleased with the level of success.”

Canadian libraries make online services accessible to all


Canadian libraries make online services accessible to all

Background

Established in 1989, The Southern Ontario Library Service (SOLS) delivers programmes and services to Southern Ontario public libraries. With almost 200 libraries, these range from those serving small communities of 300 people, to those the size of Toronto Public Library, considered one of the busiest libraries in the world.

SOLS is responsible for :
  • Managing the resource sharing network as well as a related courier service
  • Providing libraries with information and advice on management, governance and accreditation issues
  • Managing and supporting numerous training and library skills development programs
  • Providing opportunities for libraries to network and exchange information, both face to face and electronically
  • Managing shared electronic, print and non-print collections

The Challenge

Daryl Novak, Director of Operations at SOLS identified the urgent need for library websites to be accessible.

“There is definitely a push on making websites and content as accessible as possible.”

He needed a solution which would tailor websites to suit their visitors’ needs, appealing to a variety of different groups and disabilities.

SOLS is committed to fostering an inclusive and barrier-free environment for both its employers’ and clients’. This includes catering for those with dyslexia, visual impairment, poor literacy and similar challenges.

Daryl raised an insightful comment on library visitors, “According to demographics, there is a fairly large percentage that are older”. Although demographics are not identical from one library to another, there is clear need to cater for those whose eyesight may not be as strong as it once was.

The Solution

Daryl tells his story,

“I was approached by Texthelp and shown Browsealoud, I immediately thought this is something that libraries could really benefit from as they make their websites accessible.”

Thanks to the SOLS team, the Browsealoud software is now available to almost 200 libraries, helping to banish any barriers between their online visitors’ and library services’.

“Browsealoud is very helpful to different groups of people with different issues and with different types of disabilities”. Libraries can now ensure their online services and content are accessible to everyone, leaving no-one behind.

Browsealoud is a leading literacy software, designed to cater for those who have low digital skills, print disabilities and those with english as a second language. Browsealoud equips website’s with user-friendly speech, reading and translation tools, making them more accessible to a wider audience.

Online library content can now be read aloud in multiple languages to aid understanding of the website and improve the visitors experience. Other features available include text magnifier, MP3 generator, screen masking and web page simplifier. These tools help reduce any pre-existing barriers between libraries and their audiences.

Now thanks to Browsealoud, a growing number of libraries in Ontario are ensuring that their online services can be accessed by as many people as possible.

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If you would like to know more about Texthelp’s digital inclusion programme, we offer free information sessions, webinars and software trials. To arrange, please call or email our texthelpers: Email: corporate@texthelp.com Tel: +44(0)28 9442 8105