Disability Resources for Students

Cool Technology

Speech-to-Text

Software Name Operating System 3rd Party or Built-in? Cost More Info
Dragon Naturally Speaking Microsoft Windows 3rd Party $150 Dragon Naturally Speaking
Dragon Dictate Apple OS 3rd Party $50 Dragon Dictate
Dragon Dictation Apple iOS 3rd Party free Dragon Dictation App
Windows Speech Recognition Microsoft Windows Built-in free Windows Speech Recognition

Last updated Nov 2016

Text-to-Speech

Software Name Operating System 3rd Party or Built-in? Cost More Info
Speak button Microsoft Windows Built-in free Text-to-Speech Button in Word on Windows
Text-to-Speech Apple OS Built-in free Text-to-Speech on Apple laptops/desktops 
Text-to-Speech Apple iOS Built-in free Text to Speech on an iPad (or any iOS device)
Central Access Reader Microsoft Windows, Apple OS 3rd Party free Central Access Reader
Natural Reader Microsoft Windows, Apple OS 3rd Party free limited version; $70 for personal license Natural Reader
VoiceDream Apple iOS 3rd Party $15 VoiceDream
 Claro Apps Apple iOS 3rd Party varies ClaroSpeak FreeClaroSpeak Plus (paid)

ClaroSpeak (paid)

ClaroSpeak+PDF bundle (paid)

Last updated Nov 2016

Kindle and Mobile Devices

Text-to-Speech (TTS)

  1. You need to have purchased a Kindle book or received a Kindle book as a gift.
  2. You need to have the Kindle App downloaded to your mobile device (the app requires logging into an Amazon account).
  3. The book needs to have TTS Enabled. Follow the steps to check this:
    1. Find the book on amazon.com.
    2. Look for the Product Details. Specifically locate the Text-to-Speech field.
    3. If it says Enabled, the following table of information will apply. If it says, Not Enabled, it likely will not work (but still try because sometimes this field is mis-labeled).
Type of Service Kindle App on iOS (iPhone, iPad) Kindle App on Kindle devices (Kindle Fire) Kindle App on Android (Samsung Galaxy, Lenovo, ZenPad)
Operating System iOS 8+ n/a
Will device allow native TTS with Kindle books? yes yes  not as of Oct 12th, 2016. TalkBack is a screen reader for Android that can be used with Kindle books but it requires some training on how to use because it assumes the user is blind.
How to turn TTS on
  1.  Launch Settings and tap on General
  2. Scroll down to Accessibility and tap on Speech
  3. Slide Speak Selection and Speak Screen to ON.
  4. Change voice and speaking, if desired, before leading Settings.
  1.  While reading, tap the center of the screen, and then tap the menu icon in the upper right corner.
  2. Tap Additional Settings, and then tap the switch next to Text-to-Speech to turn it on.
 

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How to use TTS with Kindle books
  1. Open Kindle book in app.
  2. Use 2 fingers to swipe down from the top.
  3. Device should start reading the book.
  4. Pause, speed up, slow down, exit as desired.
  1.  In your Kindle book, tap the screen to show the progress bar, and then tap the Play button next to the progress bar to hear the text read aloud. To increase or decrease the reading speed of the Text-to-Speech voice, tap the Narration Speed icon. You can listen to the Text-to-Speech voice through the external speakers on your device or through your earphones plugged into the headphone jack.
  2. Tip: If you’re reading a book in another language, you can download a Text-to-Speech voice for that language without leaving the book. Tap the download prompt at the bottom of the progress bar to install the Text-to-Speech voice.
 

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Additional Links  iOS 8 How-to: Have your iOS device read text for you  Listen to Content with Text-to-Speech  n/a

Screen Readers

  1. You need to have purchased a Kindle book or received a Kindle book as a gift.
  2. You need to have the Kindle App downloaded to your mobile device (the app requires logging into an Amazon account).
  3. The book needs to have TTS Enabled.
    1. Find the book on amazon.com.
    2. Look for the Product Details. Specifically locate the “Text-to-Speech” field.
    3. If it says Enabled, the following table of information will apply. If it says, Not Enabled, it likely will not work (but still try because sometimes this field was mis-labeled for a specific book).
Type of Service Kindle App on iOS (iPhone, iPad) Kindle App on Kindle devices (Kindle Fire) Kindle App on Android
Will device allow native Screen Reader with Kindle books? yes yes no
How to turn Screen Reader on
  1. Launch the Settings app from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on General.
  3. Tap on Accessibility.
  4. Tap on VoiceOver under the Vision category at the top.
  5. Tap the VoiceOver switch to enable it.
  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to show Quick Actions, and then tap Settings.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Select Screen Reader
  4. Manage voice guidance settings, including turning Screen Reader on or off, adjusting reading speed and volume, feedback tone volume, and gestures for Explore by Touch.
  5. Screen Reader describes what you touch and interact with on the screen (for example, the title of a book in the carousel).
  6. Tip: Adjust the Reading Speed of the Screen Reader by pressing the + (increase) and – (decrease) buttons.
  1. Navigate to Settings > Accessibility.
  2. Follow the steps for your version of Android. Learn how to check your Android version.
    • Android 4.1 and above: Select TalkBack and slide the TalkBack switch to the on position.
    • Android 4.0: Select TalkBack and slide the TalkBack switch to the on position. Next, go back to the previous screen and turn on Explore by touch.
    • Android 3.2 and earlier: Select the Accessibility checkbox, then select the TalkBack checkbox.
  3. The confirmation screen displays a list of permissions that allow TalkBack to provide useful spoken feedback. To confirm that you allow these actions and to begin using TalkBack, touch OK.
How to turn Screen Reader off
  1. Double-tap the Settings icon on your homepage.
  2. Use three fingers to scroll down to the General menu, and double-click on it.
  3. Use three fingers to scroll down to the Accessibility menu, and double-click on it.
  4. Double-tap on the VoiceOver menu item.
  5. Turn VoiceOver off.
  1. To turn off Screen Reader and Explore by Touch:
  2. Swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers to open Quick Actions.
  3. Tip: If you’re on the lock screen, place two fingers on the screen, swipe to the left, and then open Quick Actions.
  4. Tap Settings, and then double-tap the screen to open the Settings menu.
  5. Tap Accessibility, and then double-tap the screen to open the Accessibility menu.
  6. Next to Screen Reader, tap Off, and then double-tap the screen to confirm your selection.
  7. In the alert that appears, tap Continue, and then double-tap the screen. When the Screen Reader is disabled, Explore by Touch is turned off automatically.
  1. Navigate to Settings > Accessibility > TalkBack.
  2. Slide the TalkBack switch to the off position.
  3. In the Stop Talkback dialog, select OK.
How to use Screen Readers with Kindle books
  1. Turn on VoiceOver.
  2. Open Kindle book in app.
  3. Use 2 fingers to swipe down from the top for continuous reading.
Configure the Accessibility Shortcut
  1. Press the Home button to make sure you are on the device’s Home screen.
  2. Locate and double tap Settings.
  3. Double tap General.
  4. Double tap Accessibility.
  5. Double tap Accessibility Shortcut.
  6. Double tap VoiceOver.
  7. Press the Home button to return to the Home screen.

 Toggling VoiceOver On and Off

 Simply triple tap (press three times in rapid succession) the Home button to turn VoiceOver on or off. VoiceOver says “VoiceOver on” or “VoiceOver off” according to its status.

  1. In Settings > Accessibility, select Accessibility shortcut.
  2. Set the switch to the on position.
  3. Now you can turn TalkBack on or off any time by following these steps:
    1. Press and hold the power button until you hear a sound or feel a vibration.
    2. Release the power button.
    3. Touch and hold two fingers until you hear audio confirmation (about 5 seconds).
Additional Links  iOS 8 How-to: Have your iOS device read text for you

Toggling VoiceOver On and Off Using the Accessibility Shortcut

Turn Accessibility Features On or Off

 

Last updated Nov 2016

Notetaking

Software Name Operating System 3rd Party or Built-in? Cost More Info
Noteability Apple iOS 3rd Party $10 Noteability
Sonocent Audio Notetaker Apple OS; Microsoft Windows 3rd Party $50-250 depending upon length of license Sonocent Audio Notetaker
AudioNote Apple iOS; Apple OS; Android; Microsoft Windows 3rd Party AudioNote Mac $15

AudioNote iOS Free

AudioNote Android $6

AudioNote Windows 7 and XP $20

AudioNote Apple OS

AudioNote Apple iOS

AudioNote Android

AudioNote Windows

Evernote Apple iOS; Apple OS; Android; Microsoft Windows; Web-based 3rd Party Free to $70 depending upon plan and device. Evernote Apple OS

Evernote Apple iOS

Evernote Android

Evernote Windows

Evernote Web

Last updated Nov 2016

Browser Extensions*

Name of Extension Browser What It Does
SpeakIt! Chrome Select text you want to read and listen to it. SpeakIt converts text into speech so you no longer need to read.
Announcify! Chrome Announcify reads out loud every website you want. For example, if you’re too tired but still need to study one more Wikipedia entry, Announcify can help your tired eyes relax.
Select and Speech Chrome Select and Speak uses iSpeech’s human-quality text-to-speech (TTS) to read any selected text in the browser. It includes many iSpeech text to speech voices in different languages. You can configure the voice and speed options by changing the settings on the options page.
Zoom Chrome It helps you to zoom easy in and out a web page. Thanks to the slider and the zoom buttons. It’s the number one and best magnifying browser extension to customize the zoom value of that web page.
Text to Voice Firefox TTS gives Firefox the power of speech. Select text, click the button on the bottom right of Firefox window and this add-on speaks the selected text for you. Audio is downloadable.
Speechify Firefox An add-on to convert your text to speech.
FoxVox Firefox FoxVox will speak any text you highlight in a web page. FoxVox can also create audiobooks in mp3, ogg, and wav formats. You can now easily turn your blogs and articles into podcasts.

Reading Faster*

  • Spritz is an innovative reading process that can help you increase your speed.
  • Readsy allows you to upload your own text and have it read to you Spritz-style.

Reader Helpers*

  • BeeLine Reader (Chrome, Firefox, iPhone, iPad)
    • Gradiates color to help lead the eye.
    • Change fonts and colors to what works best for you.
  • Rewordify
    • is powerful, free, online software that improves reading, learning, and teaching.

*Thanks to Susan Kelmer, Alternate Format Access Coordinator, Disability Services @ University of Colorado Boulder for sharing this info!