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.
Learn Alberta is a digital repository that supports teaching and learning in Alberta schools. As part of the Learn Alberta collection is a set of digital resources to support the learning of students with identified print disabilities.
The digital repository contains 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 many can be accessed with the use of text-to-speech.
To access these digital resources, log in to Learn Alberta, choose Resource Search, scroll down to Learning Resource Type, and choose Resource for Students with Disabilities. Access to Learn Alberta can be gained through individual school districts or by contacting Learn Alberta through www.learnalberta.ca.