TEXT-TO-SPEECH -- CONVERTING DIGITAL TEXTS TO AUDIO
All students now have a great accessibility tool available to them for free – the ability to listen written text read aloud. See below for the various ways that you can convert digital text to audio.
"READ&WRITE" BY TEXT HELP
Read&Write is a software program that will read aloud all digital texts—including Word documents, webpages,?and PDFs, and has features to assist with outlining, research citations, proofreading, vocabulary-building, and more. Once downloaded to your computer, Read&Write?works with a floating, customizable toolbar where users can adjust the settings to their preferred voice and speed and even convert written texts to an MP3 audio file to save to iTunes.
Video explanations of its many?features are available on YouTube, like this video demonstration of how to use?Read&Write for Google Chrome, as well as on the "Video Tours" section under the "rw" icon on the toolbar.??One commonly used feature of Read&Write that enables you to convert posted articles to audio is?PDF Aloud.
Read&Write?is available for free to all members of the Dickinson community!?
It can be accessed through one of these guidance documents:
Instructions are also available to students and faculty on the Academic Resources page of the?Gateway.
Read&Write?can be found on the computers in the following locations in the Waidner-Spahr Library: Alden Room, Library Classroom 1, Library Classroom 2, and the Reference Commons.
BUILT-IN TEXT-TO-SPEECH AND DICTATION FOR APPLE PRODUCTS
Every Mac comes equipped with accessibility features that include text-to-speech and?dictation software. The link above explains how to enable each, and here is a video of a college student explaining how and why to enable text-to-speech on a Mac. You can also enlist similar functionality that's already built into every?iPhone, so that even when you’re on the go, you can dictate your texts or emails. Just remember to proofread after you do!
BUILT-IN TEXT-TO-SPEECH AND DICTATION FOR OTHER PLATFORMS: MICROSOFT, ANDROID, ETC.
Users of Android phones, Google Docs, or Windows 10 can learn how to enable dictation by following this?guidance document, as well as how to enable text to speech in Windows 10 versions of Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and OneNote. For earlier versions of Windows, we recommend using Read&Write.
OTHER FREE TEXT-TO-SPEECH OPTIONS
Here is guidance for How to Use the Accessible Reading Tools in Office 365 with Word. This video shows?how to convert text to audio?using?Adobe Reader?and this video shows?how to download and use?Natural Reader?(we?would recommend skipping over the first introductory minute).
CONVERTING PDF DOCUMENTS TO ENABLE TEXT-TO-SPEECH
Students can quickly convert nearly any file type to an accessible (convertible to audio) format for use with screen reading text-to-speech programs (such as?Read&Write) by following this "Making PDFs Accessible" guidance. All file types available for conversion are listed at the bottom of the page.
GRAMMAR AND SPELL CHECKER PROGRAMS
Students interested in advanced grammar and spell checker programs may be thrilled to discover?such?highly-rated?software programs as these (which include free versions):
- Ginger?spell checker (Here's a?video explanation of how to use Ginger)
- Ghotit?--"Dyslexia Writing and Reading Assistant" (Here's a?video explanation of how to use Ghotit)
- Grammarly?– an integrated spelling and grammar checker, it will also suggest improvements for tone and has a plagiarism checker. Here’s guidance for how to get the Grammarly premium version for free.
RESOURCES ON LIBRARY COMPUTERS
The Waidner-Spahr Library provides a variety of assistive technology resources available to all Dickinson students. Adobe Acrobat Reader 9 and Microsoft Windows 7 Ease of Access Center are installed on all computers in the library. Both contain a read-out-loud feature, as well as several other helpful attributes.
In addition to the Read&Write software noted above, Ghost Reader, another screen reading software, is available on two Mac computers located in the Alden room on the lower level of the library, near the back wall. Ghost Reader will read aloud PDFs, text files, and Microsoft Word documents to its user.
For more detailed descriptions of any of the above information, please?email ADS.
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
OPTIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH A TEXT-TO-SPEECH ACCOMMODATION
Students with disabilities who would like to be able to access books in digital (convertible to audio) format should?contact Access and Disability Services?to determine whether you?would be eligible for enrollment in?Bookshare, which hosts a collection of books in digital format. Students already determined to be eligible for access to books in an alternative format have additional options,?and should refer to this "How to?Access Books in Digital Format to Convert to Audio" guide.?
Questions regarding any difficulties you may be encountering with converting books from digital to audio format should be directed to email@example.com.
SMART PENS – FOR STUDENTS WITH AN ACCOMMODATION TO RECORD CLASS
Smartpens record audio while the user writes notes, linking the audio with the time when the notes were written, and allowing students to replay what was said. Here's a video of?students explaining what they like about using the LiveScribe for note-taking, and here’s a clip of a?college student explaining how to use the pen to help with lecture notes. Please remember, there are restrictions placed on students' use of a recording device in the classroom without an accommodation to do so, and all students must consult with faculty before making any recordings in class. Failure to obtain proper consent may result in a violation of Pennsylvania's wiretap statutes.
ADS has a limited number of?LiveScribe smartpens?available for checkout for students with a note-taking accommodations. Some with a note-taking?accommodation may prefer to buy their own through LiveScribe or at stores like Staples, Target, Walmart, or on eBay. If you are a student with a note-taking accommodation who wishes to borrow a LiveScribe pen, please email?ADS?to let us know.
MICROSOFT OFFICE ONENOTEAND LENS
OneNote (which is compatible with Mac and Windows devices) enables you to create digital notebooks that you can access from anywhere, and within each notebook (e.g. “Fall ‘20”), you can set up each of your classes as a new subject, and each class session as “page.” You can type or draw in OneNote, as well as insert tables, pictures, files, videos, and more. You can also dictate text that it’ll type up for you, have text read aloud, and even enter math formulas that can be solved or graphed! Learn more about how to download and start using OneNote!
While the use of OneNote is recommended for all students, those students who have the accommodation of recording class using a computer may wish to use OneNote's Audio Notes feature, which enables you to type while recording, and then sync the audio with what you've typed. Here’s a video tutorial of How to use the Audio Notes feature in OneNote (the section on audio recording class starts at 1:24).
Office Lens is a companion app for OneNote that you can use to upload photos of your handwritten notes to your notebook in OneNote.?
Individuals with dyslexia may want to consider downloading and using?Dyslexie--a font designed to assuage the challenges often posed by reading traditional fonts. This?video?provides a demonstration of its use.
Access and Disability Services has a Farview portable magnifying system available for loan. A CCTV Clearview+ Magnifying System that enables users to zoom in on small print materials is located on the upper level of the library. This 19” full-screen magnifying system allows patrons to more easily view small print materials, providing up to 56x magnification. These Clearview+?video instructions?demonstrate the magnifier's ease of use and highlight the Always-In-Focus technology, adjustable monitor, and?easy glide reading platform.