Software with text-to-speech capabilities can read aloud text on a computer screen. With the help of a creative clinician, this multi-sensory input is very helpful for helping people with all communication and cognitive challenges. It's visually engaging and increases reading speed, comprehension, retention, speech and written expression.
There are quite a few text-to-speech products on the market that vary in the features they offer. Reading features may include the ability to control auditory features and visual presentation, and the ability to save the documents as auditory files that can be downloaded to handheld devices. Options such as voice, rate of speech, highlighting, and screen display may be individualized, depending on the software. Text can be read back a letter, word, line, sentence, or paragraph at a time. Words can be magnified as they are read aloud. Many text reading programs can work with e-mail, Web sites, and Microsoft Word and PDF documents.
A few of the programs for Windows-based systems which are affordable and that I use frequently in my practice are:
Computers today come with basic text-to-speech software built in and are worth a try!
Submitted by Joan Green, MA, CCC-SLP, founder of Innovative Speech Therapy in Potomac, Maryland and author of Technology for Communication and Cognitive Treatment: The Clinician's Guide.