Assistive Technology Resources
IF YOU'RE ON A MAC
Mac OS X includes a cool Text to Speech function that makes the Mac speak selected text in text-based files - including web pages, email messages, spreadsheets, calendar entries, PDFs, text documents, Finder windows, and even iTunes.
To set up the Speech function:
- Go to "System Preferences"
- Click on "Speech"
- Click "Text to Speech"
- Select the System Voice and Speaking Rate you prefer
- Select the "Speak selected text when the key is pressed" and select a sequence that works for you (example Control+S)
You're done! Now when you're viewing any website, word document, etc. you just need to highlight the text you want to have spoken and hit the sequence you selected to have it read to you.
Learn more about Mac accessibility here:
IF YOU'RE ON A PC
For Windows 8, watch a short clip, "How to change the text to speech options in Microsoft Windows 8," on how to set up Text-to-Speech. For Windows XP and Windows Vista, visit the site, "How to configure and use Text-to-Speech in Windows XP and in Windows Vista." For Windows 7, visit the site, "Hear text read aloud with Narrator."
You can find out more about Microsoft/Windows Accessibility here:
The Office of Disability Services Tips and Information: Accessibility Apps PDF handout includes a list of accessibility apps you can download to your smartphone.
This Tactile Library website has been improved to allow easier navigation, a new search facility and to include new images.
It is still free and there is no registration or licensing required. All the diagrams are kindly donated by those working with the blind and partially sighted. There is a contact page for comments or for those who would like to donate their own diagrams to the library.