Hat tip to Henny Swan.

“WebAnywhere” is a new screen reading product (available in May of 2008) from the University of Washington and the WebInSight project. The basic concept is simple: it’s a web-based service which provides a proxy service as a screen reader. Fantastic tool for anybody requiring a screen reader at a computer which they don’t control: at a public library, a friend’s house, or any imaginable situation where your normal setup isn’t available.

The project is designed with minimal requirements, and is supposed to be usable from any web-enabled device with a sound card.

On top of that, the software is open-source and available through Google Code.

It’s impossible to say at this point how the user interface and power available to the screen reader will compare to a mainstream screen reader. Will this be a usable tool for web developers to use as a testing device, for example?

The project information is available at the WebInsight project page. The principle feature is a demonstration video, showing the basic use and value of the service.

There’s no information available concerning the features of the service beyond a few comments during the video concerning keyboard shortcuts. I’m looking forward to seeing the service and discovering what tools and features it provides.