May 6, 2022

Subscription Text-to-Speech Software

By Andrea Piazza, Disability Specialist, Office of Accessibility Resources and Services 

We’re always encouraging students to take advantage of free resources.  We have shared some free dictation and text-to-speech tools in previous newsletter articles.  If you haven’t tried the free software mentioned in a previous student newsletter article, please try this one out FIRST before making a financial investment in the program mentioned in this article.  

This month, we are sharing a subscription-based reader called Speechify. As always do your research to learn if these tools are right for you before making a purchase.  

Text-to-speech software can be helpful for many reasons.  Some students may find being able to listen to their text during their daily commutes beneficial.  Others may find this software helpful if they have difficulty with their vision. We know students have a lot of responsibilities in their life besides schoolwork and perhaps listening to text while they multitask may be helpful for some.  For some students, reading comprehension could also be improved when they listen with text-to-speech software while they follow along with the reading.  

Speechify can:   

  • Read text recognized as PDFs 
  • Scan notes and then listen to notes 
  • Scan textbook and read the text out loud to you 
  • Copy text on the web, insert it into the app, and have it read aloud 
  • Adjust reading speed from slow to fast depending on your needs 
  • Provide a large library of voice selection in the premium version 

Speechify has an application for iOS and Android.  There is a Chrome extension that allows you to listen to essays, articles, and online textbooks. You can take a photo of text pages and turn it into an audio book with the application. Speechify does have a basic account which IS free, but the selection of voices are limited. 

Users have found the program has difficulty processing words with hyphens. Keep this in mind if you are considering purchasing.  Readers should be mindful if citations are included in the text as this may change the reading order.  Readers may have to refer back to their text to reread the area with the citation. 

If you would like to speak with the office about the services and resources we offer for students with disabilities, please contact the office. 

Questions?

We’re here to help.

SUNY Empire State 1 Stop Student Services is a partner in your successful college experience. Check out their website at www.esc.edu/1stop, contact 1stop@esc.edu, or call them!

800-847-3000, ext. 2285