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Educational Technology

"Assistive" Technology for Anyone

  • Do you have a paper to write and need help editing your grammar and sentence structure?  Have you thought about using your computer to read your paper to you?
  • Have a pile of journal articles to read that you just downloaded from databases?  Have you ever thought of listening to them while walking or exercising?  
  • Is a book for your course available for a Kindle?  Did you know that if the audio is unlocked you can listen to it?
  • Do you have an e-textbook?  Maybe your computer can read it to you.

Assistive technologies that were originally developed for people with visual and learning differences can help anyone with their coursework and assignments. These tools are all free, some are for PC, some for MAC, some for both.  

For MAC or PC

Options that work on both a MAC and a PC:

  • Natural Reader has a free version of its text-to-speech software when using free voices.  If you want premium voices, there are different purchase options.

Exclusively for PC

Exclusively for MAC

Use the text-to-speech feature in your MAC.

  • Click on the "apple"in the left top corner
  • Select "preferences"
  • Select "speech"
  • Select "text to speech" tab
  • Select the voice (Allison, Samantha, or Tom recommended), rate, etc.
  • Check "speak selected text when key is pressed"
  • Select the key combination to use to start reading

To "speak" text, select the text in any MAC program (Adobe Reader does not work, use Preview for PDF files) and then press the key combination you selected.  To stop reading, press the combination again.



MAC exclusive: Add to itunes as a spoken track

Adobe Reader Accessibility

Adobe reader X has text-to-speech and magnification capabilities.  Remember however this is dependent on the PDF file being accessible and having the underlying OCR and tagging that makes it more than just an image file.