Accessibility of eLearning
Accessibility of eLearning

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Accessibility of eLearning

2.3 Text to speech

Text-to-speech software applications read selected areas of text aloud to the user, and are usually used by people with dyslexia or less severe vision impairment who can navigate by means of the visual cursor but who need help with reading longer passages of text. They should not be confused with screen readers, which offer sophisticated navigational capabilities unnecessary for most sighted users.

Described image
Figure 10 Text to speech software is often used by people with dyslexia

Text-to-speech applications range in type from commercial software, with many additional features such as spelling and homophone checkers, to more basic free tools. In order for free text-to-speech tools to work well you need to have a high quality synthetic voice installed – synthetic voices in a variety of languages can be found online by searching for ‘SAPI5’ or ‘SAPI4’ voices.

The potential users of text-to-speech software are diverse – many people may need support with reading text from a screen, for a wide variety of reasons.

You can get a good overview of text-to-speech software from looking at a free tool called DSpeech [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . There are tutorials on the site, and some introductory videos can be found online.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371