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Text to Speech

Text-to-speech software is typically used by students with visual or learning disabilities. This software can read the text of documents out loud. These programs can be very basic and just read the text out loud to the student or they can include additional features, such as links to definitions, highlighting progress on the page, or allowing for commenting and notes to be left on the document to be read aloud later. These programs are particularly useful for students with learning disabilities or dyslexia or even students with attention deficit disorders as they can both listen and read the text at the same time, which often helps to improve retention and comprehension of the content. CC-BY-SA AccessMOOC

Built in device/browser 

Apple

Have your Mac speak text (OS X)
Speak Screen (iOS)

Windows

Speak text-to-speech (Office)
Read aloud selection (Edge)

Google

Hear text read aloud (Chromebook)

Browser Extensions

Read Aloud (Firefox, Chrome)
Natural Reader (Chrome)

Adobe Acrobat Reader

This software has a built-in Read Out Loud tool.

Software

Premier

Premier Assistive Technology offers a suite of reading products including text to speech. This software is particularly helpful for individuals with visual or learning disabilities. Premier software has screen reading functions as well as other features: for example, a talking dictionary, spellcheck, word prediction, notes area, talking calculators, text to audio, scanning options etc. Premier offers a toolbar, containing several tools that are used in a specific application. Students can select the tools and fine tune them to match their specific needs.

Kurzweil 1000/3000

Kurzweil 1000/3000 is a comprehensive literacy technology that allows students to access their course texts and documents via text to speech. This software is helpful for individuals with print-related disabilities, including visual or learning disabilities. Kurzweil has a number of useful features including dictionary, bookmarking, and highlighting tools, ability to create vocabulary study guides, and ability to create graphic organizers and outlines for writing. Kurzweil also has the ability to translate words in over 70 languages. 

Read&Write

Read&Write is a suite of reading, writing, and study tools for PC and Mac. An institution can purchase a site license that allows it to be installed on any college computer and on students’ own devices. Read&Write opens as a toolbar that hovers over everything else open on your computer or can be locked to the top or side of the screen. The toolbar allows the user to access the 30 or so features of the suite. It can be customized to allow users to focus on the handful of features they find most helpful. These features include:

  • Text-to-speech that highlights text while reading it aloud;
  • A scan and read feature that allows the user to create searchable PDFs and other documents that can be read aloud;
  • Screenshot Reader, which allows the user to take a screenshot of part or all of the screen and then have it read aloud. This will be handy for students who want to have online homework read aloud and have been stymied by inaccessible courseware.
  • The creation of mp3 files out of text.
  • Study tools that can be useful for those doing reading and research with electronic documents, including several colors of highlighters, the ability to export all highlighted text to a new document, and a feature that inserts voice notes;
  • Writing tools, including a word predictor and a feature that helps the writer sort through homophones and other confusable words;
  • An tool that allows the user to graphically organize ideas;
  • CheckIt, a robust grammar checker.

Apps

Voice Dream Reader (iOS and Android) is one of the most acclaimed mobile text-to-speech apps. In iOS, a scan and read app, a writing app, and an email app are also available with text to speech.
Dolphin EasyReader (iOS, Android, Windows)
@VoiceAloud Reader (Android)
Google Text-to-Speech
(Android)
Moon+ Reader (Android)
Capti (iOS and Chrome)
Go Read (Android)
VitalSource Bookshelf (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Chromebook) is a good free option for those who wish to use text-to-speech to access ePub files in Windows.


 

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