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Assistive Technology: ReadSpeaker

Assistive Technology resources for a variety of applications.

What is ReadSpeaker?

Brightspace users have access to new screen reader tools to further support accessibility, academic accommodations and reading comprehension. ReadSpeaker is a text-to-speech application that is fully integrated and available to everyone in Brightspace. It can be used to read aloud content while in a course or to download content to listen to offline.

ReadSpeaker tools include:

  • docReader – Read documents including Microsoft Office products (e.g., Word, Excel, PPT) and PDF.
  • webReader – Read HTML course content including quizzes and assignments
  • TextAid – Read areas not in main course content such as discussions as well as websites outside of Brightspace. To access and set-up TextAid, click on the link in the menu bar on the Brightspace home page or click on the TextAid widget within your course. Visit Activate TextAid for step by step activation instructions.

* All instructional videos are from ReadSpeaker Solutions: Speech Production YouTube Channel.

How to find ReadSpeaker

  • On the Brightspace Home page navigation bar, select Text Aid.   
  • From within course content, find:   docReader below imported content materials.  
  • Listen tool in the upper left corner of HTML content.  
Technical troubleshooting questions should be directed to the Technology Service Desk.

webReader

ReadSpeaker webReader is a screen reader tool that reads html pages in the main course content, quiz and assignment areas of Brightspace.

It will appear as a “Listen” button. The webReader tool includes features to allow you to change the reading speed, highlight text, download the mp3 file, enlarge the text, translate, look up a word, and more.

When you are in Brightspace webReader will appear as a Listen button.

The webReader tool includes features to allow you to:

  • change the reading speed
  • highlight text
  • download the mp3 file
  • enlarge the text
  • translate
  • look up a word
  • and more
  1. Select the 'X' at the end of the player.
  2. The player will collapse into the Listen button.
  1. In the lower left corner of the Listen player.
  2. Select button with 3 lines.
  3. This will display the Lower Toolbar.
  1. In the lower left corner of the Listen player.
  2. Select the first button with 'gears' called Settings.
  3. Select the button with 'Aa'
  4. Choose your text settings.

To change the volume of the audio:

  1. In the expanded Listen player.
  2. Select the Speaker button.
  3. Choose volume level.

There are also audio controls in the LowerToolbox

To skip forward or back 5 seconds:

  1. In the expanded Listen player.
  2. Select the double arrow buttons.
  1. In the expanded Listen player.
  2. Select the button that looks like a speedometer.
  1. In the lower left corner of the Listen player.
  2. Select the last button with '?' called Help.

docReader

What is docReader?

ReadSpeaker docReader is a screen reader tool that converts text to audio for the following document types:

  • EPUB (.epub)
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.pps, .ppt, .pptx)
  • Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx)
  • OpenOffice/OpenDocument Presentation (.odp)
  • OpenOffice/OpenDocument Spreadsheet (.ods)
  • OpenOffice/OpenDocument Text (.odt)
  • Portable Document Format (.pdf)

Activate docReader

  1. Login to a Brightspace course
  2. Go to Content
  3. Choose a module with a PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint file.
  4. Look for the Open with docReader button located below the document

TextAid

What is TextAid?

ReadSpeaker TextAid is a screen reader tool that reads areas that are not within main course content in Brightspace, such as Announcements or Discussions. It also works on pages that are not in Brightspace, such as external websites.

Activate TextAid

  1. Click on the TextAid link in the menu bar on the Brightspace home page or click on the TextAid widget within your course.
  2. As part of the activation process, you will be asked to agree to the terms and conditions.
  3. You will be taken to the TextAid website. Select the More dots on the left sidebar.
  4. Choose Web reading.
  5. Choose the Desktop tool.
  6. Then Other Browser.
  7. Drag the link to the bookmark toolbar.
  8. Do not log out of this Text Aid page. Use the back arrow to return to your Brightspace course. If you log out, you will need to log into this page each time you want to use the App.
  9. Your account will then be created and the TextAid application will display in a full browser window.