"assistive technology"

CannyBill and BrowseAloud

I’ve recently been contacted by two companies with products relating to web accessibility, so I thought I’d pass on the information.


A very slick and accessible web application for invoicing and billing. Online demos and a free account is available. CannyBill is a product of Ltd who have also developed some other pretty cool software such as Tradingeye.

CannyBill is a web-based invoicing and billing solution for businesses and web designers. Easily create, send and manage invoices and accept payments online via credit card. You can also sell your products and services using order forms which your customers can signup to and even link to live API’s…


BrowseAloud is a text-to-speech solution which reads website content aloud and addresses the needs of those citizens with:

  • Mild Visual Impairments
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Literacy Difficulties such as Dyslexia
  • English as a Second Language

BrowseAloud is a zero impact solution for webmasters and is free to end users. Within the USA there are a number of organizations using BrowseAloud to improve the accessibility of their website, including:

  • House of Representatives
  • Human Rights Education Associates
  • St Marys County, Maryland

2 replies on “CannyBill and BrowseAloud”

it’s no secret that i have strong feelings about browsealoud’s business model. in short: it’s a zero impact solution because the plugin itself can actually work with all sites pretty much out of the box. if a company decides to pay BA, their url gets put on a whitelist that the plugin downloads, allowing it to do it’s text to speech conversion. so, in practical terms, it should be “browse allowed”. (incidentally, the whitelist is held as a text file on the user’s system, so can be manually edited for testing…just beware that it will get overwritten again at the next synchronisation unless you do something to prevent it from doing so).

imagine if this was a wheelchair that can actually work on any flat surface, but the company specifically have an on-board system that locks up the wheels unless you fit all your buildings with a specific type of coloured tiles that only they sell…a flawed comparison, for sure, but it just strikes me as ransomware.

a more sustainable business model would be to simply unlock the plugin, make it work on all sites at least in a basic mode, and make money by actually doing a “pro” version, where BA also give your site an accessibility evaluation and makeover…

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