One of the primary assistive technologies that students request is a program that reads aloud to them, whether it is a worksheet, a PDF or a novel. Below are several options that will read text or books to students.
Read Aloud (Chrome extension)
By installing the Google Chrome extension Read Aloud, students can have any web page read to them in over 40 languages. Read Aloud works on articles, PDFs, Google Docs, and more. Students can also choose the voice that the program uses to read to them.
Speechify (Chrome extension, iOS, Android)
Speechify, which works on both the computer and on cell phones, can read aloud in more than 20 languages across all web content, including PDFs. Not only can students choose the voice that reads to them, they can also adjust the rate of speech. By installing the app on a cell phone, students can also listen on the go.
Learning Ally (website, contact Ms. Arechiga for an account)
A Learning Ally account helps students access audio books for novels that they are required to read throughout high school for free. Students can follow along in their hard copies or simply listen. There are also audio books available for casual listening.
Snap&Read (Chrome extension, iOS, $3.99/month)
Snap&Read does everything that Read Aloud or Speechify does, and more. It can read images to students, it can translate words to aid students who are not confident in English, and it can simplify more complex language.
Voice Dream Reader (iOS, $5.99)
With 60+ free voice options, synchronized highlighting, and several accepted file options offline, Voice Dream Reader helps students follow along with text wherever they are. Students can also control the rate of speech and font of their documents, as well as add annotations to the text.
Kami (Chrome extension instructions, $50/year or $10/month)
With a variety of features, Kami will read the text from an uploaded document, including Google Docs, MS Word documents and certain PDF files. Furthermore, students can choose from a few voices and adjust the reading speed of the voice. There is also a built-in dictionary to look up new words. These features are in addition to many others that allow interaction with the document.
Read&Write (Chrome extension, $125/year)
A powerful learning tool, Read&Write does allow text to speech as one of its many features. As it reads, it has dual highlighting of words and also has access to a picture dictionary to help students look up unknown words. Read&Write is also great for students who would like fewer distractions when online and must type their work instead of write it.
Do you have applications or programs that you find helpful, but you don't see them here? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend them! You can help other students out with your experiences.