What Assistive Technologies are Available?

Facilities and Assistive Technologies in the Sydney Martin Library

  • Dragon Speak (speech to text functionality allows users to create documents by voice)
  • JAWS (text to speech functionality allows users to listen to printed books and electronic documents)
  • Reading Rooms
  • Reading magnifiers
  • Study cubicles
ReadSpeaker and TextAid: Adding Accessibility to eLearning Resources

These provide text-to-speech functionality for text-based learning materials shared on elearning course sites. Text-to-speech functionality means that the application will read aloud the content on the course site just by the click of an icon.

Effective Semester 1, 2017-18 students at the Cave Hill Campus will have access to two new tools, ReadSpeaker and TextAid, which have been integrated with the Moodle eLearning system. They provide text-to-speech functionality for text-based learning materials shared on elearning course sites.

Text-to-speech functionality means that the application will read aloud the content on the course site just by the click of an icon. These tools are being made available in keeping with the Campus’ commitment to improve accessibility and support learning for all students, in alignment with principles of universal design for learning (UDL).

ReadSpeaker and TextAid can also highlight words as they are being read aloud, depending on the setting selected by the student. This feature can be beneficial to a variety of learners, including:

  • Students with visual impairment.
  • Students with learning disabilities.
  • Students with reading difficulties.
  • Students with English as a second language.
  • Students with different learning preferences. (eg auditory learners)
ReadSpeaker

The eLearning system has been configured to enable ReadSpeaker to be available as the default on all courses. It appears as a small speaker icon located in the bottom left corner of the course site. Using that icon, students can choose to listen to the content of the page they are currently on, or highlight segments of text to be read aloud. Students can also move the icon to their preferred location and/or change the settings of the tool to their preferences.

TextAid

TextAid offers a wide range of additional features. Students can use virtually any device with a web browser to have content read aloud. Types of content that can be read aloud with TextAid include emails, PDF files, web sites and Word documents among others. Unlike Readspeaker which is enabled by default, TextAid must be enabled for each course by the instructor. If it is not enabled for your course and you would like to use this tool, please ask your instructor to enable it on the course site.

For a brief overview of TextAid and how to use it, watch the short video below:


The Office of Student Services
Tel.: (246) 417-4165/6/7 Fax: (246) 424-5348 | Email: studentservices@cavehill.uwi.edu