Text-to-speech, often written as TTS, is a technology that converts digital text into speech, allowing the student to have highlighted text read back to them.
What is text-to-speech?
Text-to-speech is a technology that converts digital text into speech, allowing students to have selected text read out loud. Text-to-speech is becoming more of a common feature on web sites, providing users the option to read the text on their own or have it read to them. For students who have difficulty decoding text, text-to-speech software can be used to support reading of digital text including but not exclusive to Word documents, email, accessible PDFs, and information on the Internet. Text-to-speech can also support students during the writing process by allowing them to have their text read out loud as often as they like so they can use that oral feedback to revise their writing.
Text-to-speech capability is included in both the Windows and Mac operating systems. This can provide a simple and convenient way to try out a basic version of text-to-speech. However, the built-in tools may not be robust enough to offer all the features that individual students with more significant reading difficulties may require.
The Digital Repository of Textbooks for Students with Disabilities houses a secure online database of digital versions of most authorized grade 4 to 12 student textbooks for language arts, mathematics, social studies and science.
These digital resources are available for students with disabilities in Alberta and can be accessed with the use of text-to-speech. While the tip sheet is no longer available, information on how to access the digital repository and tips for using are located at: