Useful Technology to Support Students with Dyslexia
Instructional Technology and Digital Media Specialist
Presented by: Karey Brown
The following is not an exhaustive list nor is it a recommendation of any specific product. It is intended to provide examples of instructional resources.
Digital Books - AudioBooks & EBooks
*Bookshare*: Bookshare provides the world’s largest online library of accessible reading materials for people with print disabilities. Individuals can sign up for membership and access the library on their own. Organizations that serve individuals with print disabilities (schools, libraries, community centers, etc.) can sign up and provide access to their students or clients.
A Bookshare membership offers unlimited access to accessible books, textbooks, newspapers and magazines. Additionally, free access technology makes it easy to read books with a computer.
Learning Ally: Audiobooks Can Help Your Child Become a Better Reader and a More Effective Learner. If your child is having trouble learning to read or is struggling to keep up with homework, audiobooks can be a powerful tool that can improve reading comprehension, boost confidence, save time on schoolwork and lead to better grades. This is not a Free service. There is an annual fee.
Bookshouldbefree.com: Free public domain audiobooks that can be downloaded iPhone, Android, Kindle and any mp3players.
Lit2Go has a big and free online collection of poems and stories in MP3 format. You can easily search for audio book titles here by genre, author or collection, and they even grade a book’s readability for your children by Flesch-Kincaid grade levels.
Librivox.org: LibriVox is a non-commercial, ad-free site which features text obtained from Gutenberg, read, recorded and released for the public’s listening pleasure. You can even volunteer to read, or just download to listen from LibriVox’s acoustical library of good books.
Project Gutenberg If you’re into old classics like Aesop’s fables and stories by Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe and Charlotte Bronte, then Project Gutenberg have a good list of audiobooks you’ll be looking for. Project Gutenberg offers over 2000 free audiobooks in all genres including many classics read by volunteers.
Manybooks.net: A free Ebook provider. Books can be downloaded on a variety of ePub readers, Kindles, as PDFs and more. No audio components are available.
Text to Speech Options
Text to Speech Features are free and come pre-installed on your computers, tablets and phones. These features allow users to access a basic screen reader, which reads text on the screen aloud. All computers have options and settings included in the standard features of the operating systems. Voice speed, tone, rate, volume and even the user voice options can be customized.
- On the Macintosh (Mac) computer and iPad or iPhone, these options are located in System Preferences under Accessibility - VoiceOver Utility
- In Windows, go to the Control Panel, click on Appearance and Personalization, and under the Ease of Access Center, choose Use Screen Reader.
- For Android Tablets go to Settings -> Controls -> Language and input -> Text-to-speech options. There are also several free TTS (text-to-speech) options found in the Google Play store if you do not like the standard device that comes with your Android tablet or phone.
Web Browser Extensions with Text to Speech Features
TextHelp.com- You can download a 30 day trial of all the features (highlighters, markers, and more). After the trial period, you can still use the reading options.
Speak It: Allows you to select text on a web page and read it to you. This is a free extension for your Chrome Browser.
Yakittome! A free text-to-speech website. Simply copy and paste the information you wish to be read and click run. You can choose voice and speed preference. A little more of your typical computer voices, but it will allow you to download your audio selection and save it.
Ways to Make the Web Easier to Read
Readability: Readability is a web and mobile app that zaps clutter and saves web articles in a comfortable reading view.The official Readability extension for Chrome provides a better way to read online, turning any web page into a comfortable reading view right in your web browser.
Clearly : Clearly makes blog posts, articles and webpages clean and easy to read. Save them to Evernote to read anywhere. With one click, Clearly makes blog posts and articles clean and easy to read. Clearly eliminates all distractions from your online reading experience, and even allows you to browse multi-page articles in one, seamless view. This is a Chrome Web Browser App.
Safari Reader & Reader Mode: Safari on iOS 7 has a feature called Reader Mode. Previous iOS versions are called Safari Reader. Reader Mode can essentially take a web article and turns it into just a page with only the text and any photos and videos that accompany it. Once you open your Safari Browser, look for this button:
Reading Glasses: It is a Chrome extension that makes a selection of text. Reading Glasses lets you to read what you want to read and ignore the rest. Reading Glasses is also smart enough to display an entire selection of text even if you select only a small part of it.
Beeline Reader: Save Time. Save Your Eyes. Read With BeeLine. BeeLine Reader makes reading faster and easier by using a colorgradient that guides your eyes from the end of one line to the beginning of the next. This gradient makes you less likely to skip or repeat lines, so you read faster. See it in action below, or install our extension now. Also available as a PDF Viewer
Open Dyslexic Font
OpenDyslexic is a new open sourced font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typeface includes regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic styles. It is being updated continually and improved based on input from dyslexic users. There are no restrictions on using OpenDyslexic outside of attribution.
It works with Windows, Mac and iPhone Devices. It is also available as Browser Extensions for Chrome, Safari and Opera. Follow this link for downloading instructions.
Sound Gecko - Have the Web Read to you!
SoundGecko.Com SoundGecko is a new webapp that's essentially a text-to-speech transcription service. Drop a URL into SoundGecko and it converts the article into speech. On top of that it also integrates with cloud services and an iPhone app. Currently SoundGecko is free for unlimited use. And on a personal note, for a computer generated voice, Paul speaks very clearly!