I have been looking at text to speech software for students with special needs.
Here are some I have looked at:
1st Read it aloud: I like this one the best, although there is a cost. It will read selected text which makes it easier to keep on track of what is being read. Once downloaded, select the text you want reading out, then press Ctrol + backspace for the text to be read. To pause/resume: Ctrol + F12, which is a great feature to make it easy to keep track and have control. The single licence cost is US$19.
Speaking notepad (free download): This is also one of my favourites as it highlights the words as they are read. The downside is that the text needs to be pasted into a separate (notepad) screen so it won’t read off a webpage.
Speaktonia (free download): this is a free download, it will read the page out to you (web page or any other text). What I don’t like about it is that there is no indication of where you are on the page when it is reading and when I tried it out on a web page it read all the info in the navigation bar as well.
Browse Aloud (free download): I really like this tool. It is a free download and will highlight the words as it reads. Only downfall with this is that web sites have to be Browse Aloud enabled in order to use the tool (so it won’t work on all pages). Hopefully more websites will have their sites enabled. This would be my top text to speech tool if all sites were Browse Aloud enabled.
Read Aloud (free download): Same as Speaktonia, difficult to see where you are on the page. Text needs to be entered into a text pad for reading out.
Text to speech tools: Here are tools that will convert from text to mp3.
My favourite tool for conversion to mp3 is Yak to me. Upload documents, cut and paste text or link to feeds. Text reader converts text to speech automatically. 100% free.
Read the Words: This tool has changed a bit since I came across it last year. It doesn’t read the words out any more, it converts the text to an audio file. Also, only a 30 sec audio file is allowed if you have the free account.
If you have any others that you would recommend, I’d love to about them.
Word Prediction Tool
I’d also like to share a word prediction tool I came across: LetMeType. Once downloaded (free) the utility sits on your desktop and whenever you start typing (in any program) suggested words will pop up as soon as you have entered two characters. Excellent for students who have difficulty spelling. As you type, the predictor will suggest suitable words. Teachers and students can add to the vocabulary, therefore assisting students in all subjects. Definitely recommend for LD learners and others with language difficulties. To see it in action, here is a tutorial.