Hansen, E. G., Lee, M. J., & Forer, D. C. (2002). A “self-voicing” test for individuals with visual impairments . Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness , 96 (4), 273–275. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145482X0209600409

Journal Article

Hansen, E. G., Lee, M. J., & Forer, D. C. (2002). A “self-voicing” test for individuals with visual impairments. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 96(4), 273–275. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145482X0209600409


Listening; Oral delivery; Postsecondary; Reading; Text-to-speech device/software; U.S. context; Visual impairment (including blindness)





The study investigated the use of oral delivery ("speech output technology") for tests for individuals with visual impairments.


Seventeen (17) postsecondary participants ranging in age from 17 to 55 comprised the convenience sample (U.S.). All participants were legally blind, and all but 3 had some light and shape perception.

Dependent Variable

The study examined the use of a prototype testing system that utilizes synthesized speech to deliver questions on reading and listening comprehension tests. "The reading comprehension content consisted of a single passage and five questions from the Law School Admissions Council. The listening comprehension test content consisted of five questions—two prerecorded audio stimuli with one question each and one such stimulus with three questions. All listening questions were from the TOEFL Sampler practice materials (ETS, 1999)" (p. 2 of 8). The test questions mimicked a high-stakes context; performance was not examined from the participants' test responses; instead, participants were asked about their testing experiences and invited to offer feedback for evaluating the text-to-speech oral delivery system.


In general, the usability of the system was evaluated positively. The most frequently cited problem was the quality of the synthesized speech, particularly the pronunciation. Findings imply that 'self-voicing' testing systems have significant potential and may be capable of replacing human readers in certain testing situations.