Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Text-to-Speech

Tools to read typed words out loud.

What does it do?

Text-to-speech systems turn written text into spoken words. The device will read aloud everything that is typed on the screen. These tools can be helpful for people who have difficulty communicating or if their speech can be hard to understand. Text-to-speech systems can also be useful to people with reading disabilities. This type of software can often read texts, emails, books, and other written forms.

What kinds of text-to-speech options are there?

Built-in Text-to-Speech

Your computer, smartphone or tablet might have a built-in text-to-speech feature. Look under the device’s Accessibility settings. On the iPhone and iPad, select Spoken Content. You will be able to turn on options such as Speak Selection or Speak Screen. On Android devices, this feature is called Select to Speak.

Natural Reader

This system will convert your documents into an mp3 file for you to listen to. You can also use the software to read PDF and document files.  A web browser extension is also available so that text on the internet can be read aloud.

Speechify

This software is compatible with Google platforms such as Google Docs and Gmail.  You can use this to review your own written text or read a webpage.

Voice Dream Reader

This software is available on iOS and other Apple devices.  The app can help you read text on your iPad.  The computer-based software is compatible with PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, some eBooks, and web browsers.  You can adjust the reading speed and customize other features to fit your needs.

Related Apps

iOS apps for text-to-speech AAC

  • Proloquo4Text
  • Predictable
  • Jabberwocky AAC
  • Verbally
  • Flip Writer AAC
  • Talk for Me
  • Speech Assistant AAC
Graphic of a speaker icon over a printed page.

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

text-to-speech, reading software, screen reader, speak screen, text reader

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?

Yes

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Hali Strickler

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