Ashgabat, 20 November 2023 – On World Children’s Day, UNICEF Turkmenistan, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, launched the Turkmen Text-to-Speech digital Voice. The new addition to the software allows people in Turkmenistan with visual impairments to access Turkmen-language texts for the first time using the text-to-speech technology. This groundbreaking initiative showcases country’s commitment to advancing accessibility and educational opportunities for children and adults with visual disabilities.
The event at UN House included users of the new software, as well as government officials, educational representatives, and national media.
This advancement happened thanks to a strong team effort involving the Ministry of Education, the Global Partnership for Assistive Technology “ATScale”, the Blind and Deaf Society of Turkmenistan, Louder Pages (the producers of RHVoice), and UNICEF in Turkmenistan.
Close consultations with the Blind and Deaf Society of Turkmenistan, ensured that the software’s design takes into account the unique needs and perspectives of the visually impaired community. The result is an innovative tool that facilitates a more inclusive learning environment for all.
The software, with a Turkmen name Dunya, is available for download and installation free of charge. It runs on Windows and Android platforms. The program is also available as a special add-on for JAWS and NVDA screen readers. Software for the Android system is available for download on the Play Market platform.
After installing the software, users can adjust voice pitch, volume and reading speed. Beyond traditional applications, the Turkmen text-to-speech voice software opens possibilities for reading e-books, use of other existing communication programs, and creation of audio recording from text files.
Launched on World Children’s Day, this application was developed to enable a more inclusive and accessible future for all children in Turkmenistan. “As a rights-based organization, we are excited to support children and young people with visual impairments, enabling them to enjoy their rights to education and access to information,” said Mohammad Fayyazi, UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan. ///UNICEF Turkmenistan