[Athen] other alternatives to Kurzweil?

Wershing, Alice D. adwershing at pstcc.edu
Tue Sep 11 05:53:01 PDT 2018

I’ve been looking into other voice options that are available to give to students. Neospeech, Acapela and Text Aloud offer voices for reasonable prices and there are test voices available on the web sites. I’ve also looked at Ivona voices from Amazon Polly which would be an additional service option.

Alice D. Wershing, M.Ed., A.T.P.<http://www.resna.org/atp-general-info>, C.P.A.A.C.<http://www.accessibilityassociation.org/cpacccertification>
Disability Services, Technology Specialist Pellissippi State Community College
865-539-7699 (fax)

East TN Region Accessibility Specialist<http://www.tnecampus.info/specialists>
Tenessee Board of Regents-TN eCampus

PSCC Access for All Blog<http://blogs.pstcc.edu/access4all/>
PSCC Accessible Format Facebook Page<https://m.facebook.com/psccdisabilityservices> (PSCC-Disability Services)
PSCC Access4All Twitter Feed<https://twitter.com/Access4allPSCC> (@Access4allPSCC)

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Zach
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2018 7:43 PM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network' <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] other alternatives to Kurzweil?

I know there is another product similar to Kurzweil made by Freedom Scientific (OpenBook), however if your student is having issues with computerized speech this may not be a solution. Another issue I would caution you in regards to is that neither Kurzweil nor OpenBook can reliably recognize math characters. It is also my experience that they can have issues with tables, particularly complicated ones, and figures are out of the question. I myself rely on the aid of visual transcribers for dealing with math and figures.


Zachary Mason
M.S. Student
Animal and Dairy Sciences
Mississippi State University

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu>> On Behalf Of JORDISON_SHAWN
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2018 7:29 PM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] other alternatives to Kurzweil?

Did you try the online version of Kurzweil? They’re voices are better IMO. The standalone/web licensing version uses the more robotic voices.

- Shawn

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Kevin Andrews
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2018 4:00 PM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] other alternatives to Kurzweil?

Hi all,

I met with a student who I've seen before. They are finding the voices very difficult with Kurzweil and from our discussion, they have tried a variety of voices, different rates of speech, etc, and reported disliking the robotic-sounding voices, not maintaining inflection appropriately, etc. We talked about Learning Ally, but just given a couple of the titles, I don't know this will be feasible since LA does not always carry the titles--as is the case for the one title they were able to give me already thus far.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? It seems computerized voices are problematic for the student. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated here.


Kevin Andrews
Pronouns: He/Him/His
Accessible Technology Coordinator,
Scribes and Readers Coordinator
Disability Resource Center
University of California, Santa Cruz
Website: drc.ucsc.edu<http://drc.ucsc.edu>

Direct Line: 831 459-1262

Please allow 24 hours for a response. For immediate needs, contact the DRC main line by phone at 831-459-2089.

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