The AVH (Association Valentin Haüy), which is dedicated to people who are blind, visually impaired or unable to read, is now using Acapela Cloud to accelerate its production of audio books using speech synthesis.

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AVH and Acapela Group started a close partnership ten years ago, with the aim to offer a wider library of audio books including those under the spotlight, for the visually impaired. For the 1st time ever, during the very busy period of the French literary prizes, the awarded books were simultaneously and equally available on print for sighted people AND in Daisy audio book format for those who cannot read. Since that date, the audio books produced by AVH with speech synthesis grew continuously with a great feedback from users.

More Audio books available, in a short time

Out of the 40 000 books printed each year, only a small part enters AVH’s collection. Figures have been evolving significantly these last few years. AVH’s production of audio books in Daisy Format was at 600 titles in 2019. It has now tripled and this figure is constantly increasing.
By choosing to produce the audio books with Acapela Cloud, the online straight talking solution from Acapela Group, AVH is enriching and reinforcing the process defined 10 years ago and confirms its aim to accelerate the path of production for its digital library.
The voices used in the production process are Manon and Antoine, two French high quality voices from Acapela.
The use of tags allows the management of pauses, the switch between voices, the finetuning of pace for optimal reading and much more.
The online dictionary, a flagship feature of Acapela Cloud, allows for the improvement of quality and saves production time. It already has 2800 entries and continues to grow to better serve the vocalization of written texts. The use of different voices makes it possible for the user to differentiate the reading levels within the text.

AVH steps up its production of audio books with Acapela CloudMany subscribers and a wider audience.

The Eole’s media library now counts 12,000 subscribers, of which 4,000 are new subscribers from 2018, including 2,000 children.
The amendment to the Accessibility Law (2018) made it possible to take dyslexia into account and thereby widened the public of the AVH. While there are 200,000 blind people in France, an estimated 1.7 million have difficulties to read, including dyslexics.
This is a new public for the association, historically dedicated to blind and visually impaired people since 1891, which will undoubtedly confirm the demand for audio books and the opportunity for new projects that will include all audiences, of all ages and satisfy everyone’s curiosity and pleasure in reading.

They are using audio books generated with Acapela’s speech synthesis and they talk about it:

• “I would like more books with synthetic voices! (Eric, Gironde, France)
• “Your service allowed my dyslexic daughter to understand the story. THANKS ! (Joelle, Seine-Saint-Denis, France)
• “You have a wide choice of audio books and there are school books too 😊” (Cléa, Charente-Maritime, France)
• “I am a 3rd grade student and thanks to you I can work like the others on the novels that we have to study in class, despite my visual-spatial dyspraxia. I’m going to high school next year so I think this will be even more useful to me. Thank you” (Arthur, Deux-Sèvres, France)
• “I have been using Éole for a short time, up until now I could read books with suitable lighting. I really appreciated the rapid publication of books in the literary prize category. Thank you very much for your work and the quality of your recordings that allow for easier access to the world of books. (Maurice, Indre-et-Loire, France)
• “Éole has made my life better since my diagnosis of AMD. I was an avid reader and audio books helped me to find my taste for life, to travel, to dream and to continue learning. THANK YOU SO MUCH. (Nicole, Aude, France)
• “Since I found out about you, I can finally start reading again!!! (Caroline, Paris, France)

More on the AVH website

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Your voice matters and Acapela Group cares about it. Acapela is the European leader of voice solutions with 30 years of expertise, an enthusiastic team and a strong appetite for innovation.  The company aims to create digital voices that sound different, based on Neural text to speech. Custom & personalized voices adapted to the needs and context of application, based on promising results of VoiceAI. Acapela Group is an independent subsidiary of Tobii Dynavox, the global leader in assistive technology for communication.