Breast cancer group invests in `voiced’ leaflets

Although screen readers and automated voice technologies continue to improve, there is no substitute for being `read’ to by a warm, human voice. Reading and recording a leaflet out loud is very time-consuming, but can add a personal touch that the flat tones of automation cannot match.

Turning PDFs into voiced leaflets

The team at UK patient group, Breast Cancer Now, work hard to ensure that some of their PDF information leaflets are available in formats that individuals want to use.  

For example their booklet “Your operation and recovery” is available in 5 formats:

  • Print
  • Downloadable PDF
  • ePub (e.g. for non-Amazon e-book readers)
  • Kindle
  • Audio (downloadable mp3 file).

It’s the scale of this audio example which is remarkable – a running time of around 52 minutes. That represents a large investment in the time taken to adapt, rehearse, record and edit an audio file. Also, there is a lot of content, running to 32 pages of PDF. 

Given this investment of time, it would be also be helpful to add for users a brief text summary to show where to find specific content in the big audio file. However, given the concerns that people may have around breast cancer operations, it is reassuring to have a real voice leading you through the content. 

Most patient information leaflets produced by patient groups are much shorter than 32 pages, and recording `readings’ is not only an accessibility aid, but can bring sensitive content to life in an engaging way.

NEXT STEPS:

Review an example of a voiced leaflet at..

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Check out the group’s app to help people after breast cancer treatment at…

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