[Athen] looking for comment on ReadSpeaker software

Ron Stewart ron at altformatsolutions.com
Thu Jul 10 09:11:59 PDT 2014

Products like these really do little to insure the accessibility of the
content. My group has done several reviews across a variety of LMS systems
where this "built in" product was provided but the sites were actually not
fully accessible or properly structured in the first place. To insure the
fullest accessibility in the first place the sites need to be fully designed
to be conformant with WCAG 2.0 at the AA level as well as tested to insure
that they are actually usable with common assistive technologies.

What software like this is good for is for ELL and other similar groups that
can see and effectively navigate the site and would benefit from audio
reinforcement of the textual content. Now this does not speak to the course
content delivered through the site, that is something that a product like
this is not at all useful for since the material still needs to be properly
structured and annotated with accessibility elements like alternative and
descriptive text and appropriate document structure.

Ron Stewart

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On
Behalf Of Mitchell Stoddard
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2014 10:32 AM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] looking for comment on ReadSpeaker software

Hi Folks,

I wonder if any of you are familiar with ReadSpeaker, which is a text to
speech add-on for course management software? The people in our Teaching
and Learning Centre, who support our LMS system (CANVAS) are considering
purchasing the product and asking for input.

I have seen only a few comments on another listserve...one which raised the
question of the value of the software relative to use of a program such as
Read and Write Gold, and one which raised issues around how ReadSpeaker
handles LTI within the LMS system.

I would appreciate any comments or input you may have.

Warm regards,


Mitchell Stoddard, Ph.D., R. Psych.
Director, Centre for Students with Disabilities Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive (1250 MBC)
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6

Phone: 778-782-3313
Email: mitchell_stoddard at sfu.ca

If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow"
~John Dewey

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