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Holiday Coast launches new technology to assist vision impaired and elderly

Holiday Coast Credit Union (Holiday Coast) proudly partners with ReadSpeaker to provide accessible technology for the vision impaired and elderly.

ReadSpeaker is text-to-speech technology – this means essentially when a user clicks the ‘Listen’ button on a website page, ReadSpeaker opens a player and starts reading the content out loud.

“Accessing banking services and information online is critical for our members to manage their finances and maintain independence in their lives”, says CEO Neville Parsons. “On hearing of this technology we quickly recognised it is a ‘must have’ for our members.

“We are proud to be the first financial institution in Australia to enable this technology on our website for our customers.

As an Australian Credit Union that is 100% customer owned, we recognise our responsibility in delivering banking innovation that includes bridging the gap in accessibility for the elderly, along with our members with learning difficulties and visual impairments. Implementing this technology on our new elcomCMS website is an important step in investing and demonstrating our commitment to being a Credit Union who truly cares about the diverse needs of people in our community”.

Richard Ings Managing Director ReadSpeaker Australia and New Zealand added, "In 2016, customers expect services to be available online. For businesses this creates major challenges, one of which is making their online content accessible to everyone regardless of disability or literacy limitations. Holiday Coast Credit Union is the first Australian financial institution to offer its online customers the option to listen to online content they may otherwise struggle to read. ReadSpeaker is delighted to partner with Holiday Coast Credit Union in making it easier for people who struggle with literacy to access their banking services online".

The benefit of using ReadSpeaker is that words are highlighted while it is being read, reinforcing a better understanding of the text. Website visitors can customise the reading experience and they can control the reading speed and how the text is highlighted, either sentence by sentence or word by word. They can select text to only listen to certain parts of the page. In this case, a listen button “pop-up” will appear. The pop-up will follow when the user scrolls up or down the page. They can also choose to have the page scroll automatically to follow the highlighted text.  With the Enhanced text visibility option, the user can have the current sentence displayed at the bottom of the page, with a larger font size and simultaneous text highlighting.


The new Holiday Coast Credit Union website is built on the elcomCMS platform with easy integration to ReadSpeaker.