[Athen] Biology or Microbiology - Is there any good text to speech" program?

Sean Keegan skeegan at stanford.edu
Thu Mar 19 09:59:08 PDT 2015

I think the type of text-to-speech program you will want will be one that allows for a custom dictionary so that you can modify the pronunciation of technical content. To a certain extent, though, I think it will depend on what science field your PhD student is studying. If it is something like theoretical physics, then that might be a bit more problematic compared to the biological sciences field in regards to a TTS solution.

What type of computer is the student using - Mac or Windows?

Both Read and Write Gold and Claro Read will provide support for custom word pronunciation as part of the TTS output. The paid versions of Natural Reader will also support the pronunciation modifications as well. I *think* Balabolka will also support a custom word dictionary, but it has been awhile since I last used it and don't have it available on my system right now (anyone else know?).

It may take a bit of time to make the customized changes, but it is not hard and many of the TTS engines have gotten better at speaking science based content.

Take care,

On Mar 18, 2015, at 8:35 AM, Leyna Bencomo <lbencomo at uccs.edu> wrote:

> I’ve gone the low tech route on this one. This past semester, I hired an advanced student in computer science and physics to read a textbook including all the equations and diagrams. We loaned him a microphone and he records the audio in mp3 format. He uses a drop box to send chapters to a blind student. There have been no problems with the arrangement in spite of the fact that this student is very particular about his accommodations. I am new in this position and I found it the easiest, cheapest and quickest way to take care of the complexities of having this data made available.


> Leyna Bencomo

> Assistive Technology Specialist, Information Technology

> University of Colorado Colorado Springs

> <image001.gif>

> lbencomo at uccs.edu

> (719) 255-4202





> From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Aura Mollick Hirschman

> Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 1:54 PM

> To: athen-list at u.washington.edu

> Subject: [Athen] Biology or Microbiology - Is there any good text to speech" program?


> Any progress or suggestions for text reading software for the sciences? I have a PhD candidate with eye fatigue and dizziness due to nystagmus and vision therapy aftermath. I am thinking that we may be best having the articles she needs for her prelims read out loud by another student, for accuracy. I will enlarge her text on the paper document, for one, as she cannot look at the computer screen too long, but she does listen to the text out loud when her eyes are worse so she can at least make some progress. Ideas?


> Aura M. Hirschman, M.S., C.R.C.

> Senior Counselor/Alternative Text Program Coordinator

> University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Accessibility Resource Center

> Mitchell Hall, Room 103

> 3203 North Downer Avenue

> Milwaukee, WI 53211-3153


> phone (414) 229-5660

> fax (414) 229-2237


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