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Talking Word Processors

Text and Screen Readers

Scan to Speak

Screen Magnification

Readers for ebooks

Reading Sources

Reading Skills Development

Text to Speech Downloads

Text & Screen Readers

Text Readers | Screen Readers

In addition to dedicated talking word processors that read their own files as well as copied text, there are other "readers" available. As students get older and work in multiple programs, including web browsers and e-mail, we need to look at other options.


Comparison of Text/Screen

Text Readers

Text Readers are software programs that read all the text in any given document or application and often include other assistive features such as word prediction and spell check. Those with a reading disability, but with adequate vision most often use them.



Read and Write ToolbarRead & Write (textHELP)
This easy to use floating tool bar works with any Windows software program such as a word processor, spreadsheet, database, email or Internet options. It has five areas of support: speech feedback, screen reading, phonetic spell checker, word prediction, and thesaurus.(Windows)

Text Assist PackageTextAssist (Mindmaker, Inc.)
TextAssist is an easy-to-use application that converts text into speech. You can use it to read e-mail messages and text documents, and even with Internet chat rooms. Simply highlight text and let it go to work. It is fully customizable, offering several different voices that you can modify in pitch, volume, and speed.

TextAloud MP3 toolbar

TextAloud MP3 (NextUp Technologies)
TextAloud is a floating toolbar that lets you listen to text that you copy to the clipboard. As you highlight and copy text, the program begins to read it back to you. You can read any email message, text file or web page or save it to listen to later; it allows unlimited sizes so copy an entire eBook and save it as a file. The program uses Microsoft text-to-speech capabilities.


Wynn 2: Download a demo video

Wynn 2 ToolbarWynn 2 (Freedom Scientific)
Used with a standard computer, WYNN lets you open a file and hear it read aloud or scan in a page using a flatbed scanner, and read that aloud. Several toolbars provide student options that include: to scan or edit any page by adding text or making corrections. Students can alter the way the page is presented on the screen as well as the way it is read aloud. To help students study, they can insert notes and bookmarks, highlight sections, or look up words in the dictionary.


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Screen Readers

Screen readers read ALL the text elements on the screen, including menu bars, buttons and dialogue boxes and may include screen magnification features. They provide access to program navigation and written text for students with visual impairments.

Reading text aloud benefits anyone having difficulty reading information on the screen or for whom simultaneously hearing and reading text aids comprehension. Any the reading programs can also assist reading speed. Features within programs vary and should be investigated for each user.




JAWS: Download free demo

JAWS (Freedom Scientific)
This popular full screen reader provides a way for blind computer users to access a wide variety of information and education related applications: browse the web, read or write e-mail messages, re-calculate spread sheets or access information in a data base. (Windows)

ScreenReader ToolbarScreenReader (textHELP! Systems)
ScreenReader is a user friendly utility tool bar that allows a PC to read text in any windows based application: word processor, spreadsheet, encyclopedia, web page, Help File, educational program, etc. With a floating menu bar, it reads text in any Windows application. (Windows 95/98, NT)


Zoomtext Xtra Level 2: Download free demo

ZoomText Xtra Level 2 (AI Squared)
This program combines a screen reader with enlarged text. (Windows 95/98) $595.00


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