In addition to dedicated talking word processors that read their own files as well as copied text, there are other "readers" available. As students get older and work in multiple programs, including web browsers and e-mail, we need to look at other options.
Text Readers are software programs that read all the text in any given document or application and often include other assistive features such as word prediction and spell check. Those with a reading disability, but with adequate vision most often use them.
Read & Write (textHELP)
TextAssist (Mindmaker, Inc.)
TextAloud MP3 (NextUp Technologies)
Wynn 2 (Freedom Scientific)
Screen readers read ALL the text elements on the screen, including menu bars, buttons and dialogue boxes and may include screen magnification features. They provide access to program navigation and written text for students with visual impairments.
Reading text aloud benefits anyone having difficulty reading information on the screen or for whom simultaneously hearing and reading text aids comprehension. Any the reading programs can also assist reading speed. Features within programs vary and should be investigated for each user.
JAWS (Freedom Scientific)
ScreenReader (textHELP! Systems)
ZoomText Xtra Level 2 (AI Squared)