Future Media Standards & Guidelines

Self-voicing Guidelines v0.1

1. Purpose

1.1. This document aims to help those considering the use of self-voicing on their website to choose the most appropriate and cost-effective production and delivery techniques in order to achieve a site that is both accessible and delivers a good user experience.

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2. Why use self-voicing?

2.1. There are a number of reasons why you might consider using self-voicing on a site:

  • the site’s primary audience includes children/people with low-literacy skills, e.g. speaking all text on CBeebies or RaW
  • the site’s audience may include blind children under the age of 10, who are thus unlikely to already be able to use screenreaders, e.g. ensuring that BugBears or Merlin can be used purely using self-voicing
  • the site/content uses a technology which does not currently work with screenreaders, e.g. any sites/content using Silverlight or Adobe Air do not currently include MSAA (Microsoft Active Accessibility) support which allows interfacing with screenreaders
  • as additional entertainment or immersion value, e.g. Merlin – the speech, spoken by the actor playing one of the characters, adds immersion to the experience, just like the background music

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3. I want to use self-voicing

3.1. If you are considering using self-voicing on your web-site you MUST contact the Head of Audience Experience and Usability (AE&U) for advice.

Note: The Head of AE&U is leading a project to roll-out a self-voicing solution that can be used across bbc.co.uk.

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4. Trigges for updates to this document

Future versions of this document will include details of the self-voicing solution to be used across bbc.co.uk.

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