Welcome to the future of accessibility! All devices now have built-in text-to-speech applications. These tools help individuals who have difficulty with decoding, reading fluency, reading comprehension, or for students who have visual impairments. It can also be a handy tool for someone attempting to multi-task: your devices can read you steps of a recipe while you’re cooking, or read you an article while you are walking (and would like to rely on your eyes for safety!).
For iPads or iPhones, “Highlight text on the screen, tap Speak, and your device reads the selected text out loud. You can also have words highlighted as they’re being read, so you can follow along. You can even adjust the voice’s dialect and speaking rate to suit your needs.” To adjust the dialect and rate, go to Settings, click on General, then select Accessibility to play around with these features.
For Macs, go to Apple’s accessibility page, or follow these steps:
- go to System Preferences
- click Dictation & Speech
- click on Text to Speech
Here, you will can select the speaker’s voice and rate. You may also set up a keyboard shortcut, which you can click each time you would like your computer to read your text to you.
For Windows, see Microsoft’s support page. Here, they describe how to configure your speakers, as well as the speaker’s voice, rate, and volume.
For Chromebooks, the Speak It! web extension can be set up to read any selected text.