[Athen] Mac apps for reading

Wink Harner foreigntype at gmail.com
Mon Aug 31 12:46:51 PDT 2015

Hi Maria et al ATHENITES,

There are several free text to speech apps for Macs. One is available
through the accessibility features built into the Mac called just that:
text-to-speech. Some apps that help with reading disabilities:
- Ghost Reader: ($24.99 - not free)
- Natural Reader: http://www.naturalreaders.com/index.html
- Text 2 Speech:
- Cepstral: http://www.cepstral.com/

I've included links to make it easier to try them out. My suggestion is that
you give the student several to try and let them pick. Also included is the
link for the Cepstral voices. The student should try out both a male & a
female voice and adjust the speed pitch and volume of several before they
decide which one sits in the best. If you try this out while the student is
in the office you can watch their faces to determine which one is the best
fit. They will squinch (technical term) up their face & squeeze their
eyebrows together on voices that they find difficult to listen to, and with
voices that are pleasant, their faces relax. If you want to improve the
reading/listening experience, have them try several voices and choose the
one that is the least "painful" and the most "pleasant." They will be more
likely to listen and pay attention to the content and not the attention to
how much the voice may annoy them! If the student tries several of the free
voices and none of them work well, suggest they try some of the voices that
are for purchase. They can try them out for buying them, but the point is to
find one that really works well for their best reading environment.

I'm certain that others on the list will have other recommendations to add
to this, but this is a place to start.

I hope you find this information helpful. Best of luck!



Wink Harner
Adaptive Technology Consulting & Training
Alternative Text & Media Production
The Foreigntype

foreigntype at gmail.com
winkharner1113 at gmail.com

(Disclaimer: this email was dictated with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Please
forgive any quirks, mis-recognitions, or omissions.)

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On
Behalf Of Maria Bohn
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2015 11:51 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] Mac apps for reading

Can anyone recommend a reading app similar to Voice Dream that is compatible
with a mac? I had thought Voice dream was and just realized that is only for
iOS - back info student is Dyslexic and only has a mac for reading help with

Maria Bohn
Senior Resource Accommodation Specialist Assistive Technology Office of
Specialized Services Bergen Community College
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