Tools transforming text to speech
Text-to-speech tools, often called screen readers, convert the text on a computer screen into audio. This is like having the computer read the page to you, and it is a great option for students who struggle with reading or are learning a new language.
- Activate Immersive reader in Canvas (in your personal settings after login to Canvas)
- Read aloud PDFs (built in Acrobat Reader)
- Immersive reader in Microsoft 365 (the online version of MS Office)
- Speak tool in the regular installed version of Microsoft Word (only Office 2019 and 2021, and Microsoft 365).
Additional tools you can download:
- ReadSpeaker TextAid to read documents (licenses available on request)
- Immersive reader on Chrome and Edge
- Claro Read (on Chrome)
- Natural reader (on Chrome).
If you have been using the TextAid Readspeaker tool or other accessibility tools or would want to make use of these, we kindly ask you to fill in the survey to share your experiences and needs.
Tools converting speech to text
These programs capture spoken words and convert them into typed text. Many of these options even add punctuation and paragraph breaks through verbal signals. Speech-to-text tools are especially beneficial to students who lack either writing or typing skills. Many phone and tablet applications have speech-to-text features built into their keyboard options. These are often convenient and free.
Other options (free available on the internet):
- TalkTyper: Use this website to convert your speech to text. Then, copy and paste your text into any application of your choice. TalkTyper includes a translation feature, as well.
- Dictation: This website will type dictations in multiple languages.
- Google Docs Voice Typing: This feature is integrated into Google Docs (and can be found under the “Tools” menu). To use this, activate voice typing, click the microphone, and begin speaking.
- Voice In Voice Typing: This Chrome extension allows you to voice type into other Google products as well as many text fields on websites.
Closed captioning of video or videoconferencing
Closed captioning is text that appears on the bottom of a video screen. It provides a transcript of anything that is spoken as well as other sounds that can be heard in a video. Students with hearing loss rely on closed captioning to “hear” the audio portion of a video.
Adding subtitles and text overlays to videos
For official videos it is already obligatory, but also for your educational video, it makes sense to add subtitles to your video.
ZOOM Closed Captioning
To make your ZOOM lectures more accessible for participants who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, you can add Closed Captioning to your conference or webinar. This allows the participants to read along with what you are saying in real time. Follow this link to a manual on how to activate Closed Captioning in your ZOOM meeting.
- Only available in English
- In Zoom only the person who actually created the session can activate the option.
You can use an accessibility checker, for instance in Microsoft Word (fill in ‘accessibility checker’ in the menu field ‘Tell me what you want to do…’) or Adobe Acrobat accessibility checker (PDF), to give insight about your documents.