Wednesday, December 28, 2016

BEST Websites for Assistive Tech: Text-to-Speech Tools and Related Resources

Part 2 in a series of articles about Assistive Technologies for Challenged Readers

Text-to-speech (TTS) is a form of speech synthesis that converts written text into a spoken voice output, or speech. Text-to-speech allows a computer, device, or application to speak by giving it a voice.

Text-to-speech was originally used to improve the accessibility of computers. This allowed visually-impaired and other challenged readers to listen to digital content that they were originally unable to read. It was also used to provide a voice for persons who had lost their own voices for a variety of reasons (injury, illness, etc.). Today, text-to-speech technology is used in medical devices, audio and announcement systems, emergency alerts, e-learning software, interactive voice response (IVR) systems and many other technological products. This same technology can be indispensable for readers with dyslexia, ADHD, autism and other issues that often impact reading success.

More recently, the demand for text-to-speech has grown rapidly. By combining text-to-speech and speech recognition capabilities, individuals are able to interact with technology as they would with another person through conversation. Because of the hands-free user interface this creates and employs, barriers are greatly eased or even eliminated for many challenged readers and learners.

Text-to-speech technology has become a significant part of the technical world and will increasingly become an even larger part of our daily lives. Through the text-to-speech tools from the websites and resource links provided below here, we hope you will discover just the right technology for your child, a struggling student or even yourself in order to enhance the reading and learning experience. In that way, an individual's quality of life will be significantly improved, too.

TextAloud MP3 for PC (FREE Trial)

GhostReader for Mac (FREE Trial)

ReadSpeaker (as used with this and all other articles in this blog-FREE Demo)

NaturalReader for Mac & PC (FREE Version Available)

NeoSpeech Text-to-Speech (FREE Demo)

VoiceOver and Speak Selected Text (included in Mac operating system)
Speak Selected Text:

Speak Selection and Speak Screen (included in iOS)
Speak Selection:
Speak Screen:

Speak command for Microsoft Word for PC (FREE to configure)

Bookshare Web Reader extension for Chrome on Mac, PC; Safari on Mac; Chromebook (Requires Bookshare Acct.)

Read2Go (iOS app for Bookshare books-$19.99)

Voice Dream Reader (iOS and Android app for Bookshare books and other text)
iOS ($14.99):
Android ($9.99):

GoRead (Android app for Bookshare books-FREE)

Darwin Reader (Android app for Bookshare books-$14.95))

iBooks for Mac, iOS - Use device's built-in text-to-speech

Acapela Text-To-Speech (FREE Demo)

Nuance: RealSpeak (FREE Trial)

Have Siri Read Articles To You on iPhone or iPad


My Assistive Technology Toolbox by Shelley Haven, ATP, RET

The Benefits of Text to Speech by ReadSpeaker

What Is Text-to-Speech: Text-to-Speech Definition by Neospeech

For more information about assistive technologies for challenged readers, please visit: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
Brennan Innovators, LLC at


  1. Are there any specifically that are helpful w acquired brain injury epilepsy autism for home use?

  2. Dear Julianna,

    Thank you for your very good question about AT resources for acquired brain injury, epilepsy, autism and other issues affecting brain function.

    For conditions such as aphasia, alexia and others related to TBI, epilepsy, etc., you might be interested in taking a look at this desktop app that provides improved FOCUS, TRACKING ASSISTANCE and more VISUAL COMFORT for many challenged readers: Reading Focus Cards desktop app.

    This app is fully customizable for the individual needs of the reader and inexpensive ($5.99 per download.)

    We hope you will consider taking a look at this inexpensive AT tools for Macs and Windows PCs. It could provide the support needed to help with TBIs (traumatic brain injury), epilepsy, autism and more.

    Thank you again for reading our article here AND sending along your good question. We hope our reply will be helpful to you and some one you know.

    Happy Reading!

    Joan M. Brennan
    Brennan Innovators, LLC