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Accessibility support from the Library

Text to speech and reading support

Text readers built into your device

iPad and iPhones will read selected text, or the whole screen to you using an inbuilt voice.

  • Go to settings, select: General>Accessibility>Speech and turn on Speak Selection and Speak Screen.
  • Instructions on how to read the text are shown when you turn on these settings.

Android also has built-in speech. Greenbot gives more information on android speech.

Text reader apps

ClaroRead Chrome

is a toolbar which offers some of the functions of the full ClaroRead software within the Chrome web browser.  It works with web pages, PDFs and also files accessed through Google Drive.

It provides:

  • Text-to-speech - it will read the content of web pages or Google Docs files aloud.  
  • Screen Overlay- change the colour of web pages to make it easier to see and read
Installing the ClaroRead Chrome extension
  1. Go to the Chrome Web store ClaroRead Chrome page
  2. Click on the + Add to Chrome button
  3. Click on the Add Extension button
  4. Once installed you will see the ClaroRead Chrome icon on your Chrome toolbar.  Click on this to access the toolbar.

video introduction and Help Guides are available on the Claro website.
 

Balabolka (https://www.cross-plus-a.com/balabolka.htm)

is a free Text-To-Speech (TTS) program which can use any installed voices on your system.  It has a high quality feel and is easy to use. There are inbuilt features which improve clarity and articulation, including changing pitch, rate and pronunciation. 

Balabouka can read clipboard content, view text from documents, control reading from the system tray or by the global hotkeys. The on-screen text can be saved in all popular audio formats: WAV, MP3, MP4, OGG or WMA file.

There are options to change how on-screen text is displayed, such as customising font and background colours. Files can be split into more manageable ‘chunks’. When an audio file is presented with players on a computer or on modern digital audio players, the text can be displayed synchronously making it suitable for supporting reading skills. 
 

Dspeech (https://dimio.altervista.org/eng/) 

Another text-to-speech (TTS) application. It will read text aloud using any voices already built into your computer (such as the one in Windows). Output files can be saved in many common audio formats, such as  WAV, MP3 or OGG.

Text can be read back at a different pitch or speed (while speaking) for user convenienceMultiple voices can be applied to the same track to simulate dialogue. Text is pasted into a window or read directly from the clipboard. Dspeech has integrated Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) to recognise commands 

 

Reading Support apps

Capti 

is a universally accessible literacy platform enabling and empowering students to keep up with reading and develop active reading strategies.

  • Upload or drag and drop files into your playlist.
  • Plays ePub, html webpages, PDF and Word documents.
  • You can adjust the background colour (includes a pale yellow).
  • You can also switch to dyslexia font
  • Download the app and use on your device

There is a Premium version which has more features. 

 

Natural Reader

Download your PDFs, Word docs, EPUB books, plain text or PowerPoints straight into Natural Reader. Read them aloud using the play and stop buttons using your preferred voice, language and speed. 

Natural Reader Help explains how to use it.

Free versions for iOS or Android, Mac and Windows

 

Readium

 Readium is a Chrome app Epub reader.

Drag and drop an ePub file into the window.

  • You can adjust the background colour (includes a pale yellow).
  • You can also switch to dyslexia font.
  • If the file is an ePub3 (with audio media layer) there will also be a text-to-speech option.