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Read Entire Text Aloud

This feature involves a text-to-speech engine that reads the text on a web page aloud. This may be implemented in a number of different ways – as a built-in text-to-speech reader in the operating system, as downloadable screen reader software (including OCR software to access image of text) that operates on the user’s machine, or as a remote text-to-speech service that receives text online and returns a spoken copy as an audio file.

The way that text is read may vary depending on the implementation and the user group. This approach simply reads the entire text of the page aloud and works in conjunction with simplified navigation techniques of screen readers.

Discussion by Disabilities

Blindness

It’s beneficial to read text aloud, including alt texts for images, in conjunction with navigation features.

Low Vision

People with low vision may want to read text aloud and highlight each word as it is read.

Cognitive, Language, Learning Disabilities & Low Literacy

  • Read text aloud, highlight each word as it is read.
  • Read words aloud when they are pointed to or highlighted by the user.
  • Slowly pronounce difficult words on demand.
  • A computer with this feature can be used as a communication device – by reading words aloud after they are typed by the user.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing

A computer with this feature can be used as a communication device – by reading words aloud after they are typed by the user. This allows a person who has poor speech (due to hearing difficulties or other reasons) to communicate easily with their peers.

Existing Products

This listing includes a wide range of products, from screen readers, to simple text-to-speech utilities, to large literacy suites that include a text-to-speech application. Please note that these products are not necessarily endorsed by RtF, but represent the range of available options.

Many operating systems, including Windows Vista and Mac OS X, include limited built-in screen reading ability as well.

Open Source and free

These products are free and their source code may be modified with few restrictions.

Free, not necessarily open source

These products are free to use, but may have strict restrictions on viewing and modifying source code.

Commercial, with free trial

These products are free to try for a limited period of time or with limited functionality. They must be purchased for full functionality.

Commercial, no free trial

These products must be purchased to be used, and did not offer free trials at the time of posting.

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