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Read the Words

ReadTheWords.com is a free, web based service that assists people with written material using text-to-speech. Users can generate an audio file from almost any written material. Users have the option of writing a text, copying text from another file, uploading a file (MS Office, PDF, txt, and HTML documents), or indicating a website address or RSS feed URL.

Content Area: reading
Grade Level: intermediate elementary, middle school, secondary, transition
IDEA Disability Category: autism, emotional disturbance, major-other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, visual impairment
Operating Systems: Web-based
English Language Arts: Reading: Foundational Skills
Math
Read:OutLoud

Read:OutLoud 6 can help provide access to the new electronic books required in IDEA, and the included web browser makes the internet fully accessible. Read:OutLoud provides accessibility supports like text-to-speech and study tools that help you read with comprehension. Read:OutLoud 6 includes an improved accessible web browser that is now compatible on Mac and Windows. Includes support for NIMAS and DAISY files as well as one-click access to Bookshare.

Content Area: reading
Grade Level: intermediate elementary, middle school, secondary, transition
IDEA Disability Category: autism, emotional disturbance, major-other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, visual impairment
Operating Systems: Macintosh, Windows (MS 98 and newer)
English Language Arts: Language, Reading: Foundational Skills, Reading: Informational Text, Reading: Literature
Math

The ReadingPen®2 is designed specifically to help readers improve their reading skills. This fully portable scanning device helps with reading fluency and comprehension by providing immediate definitions for scanned text. Scanned text and definitions can be read aloud, allowing readers to maintain their reading flow, even when encountering unfamiliar words.

Content Area: reading
Grade Level: early elementary, intermediate elementary, middle school, secondary, transition
IDEA Disability Category: autism, emotional disturbance, major-other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, visual impairment
English Language Arts: Language, Reading: Foundational Skills, Reading: Informational Text, Reading: Literature
Math
Microsoft Reader

Use this free reader to create a library of e-books to provide reading supports through spoken text as well as a variety of other study features (annotations, highlighting, dictionary, bookmarks). Can convert any digital text or students' Word documents into an e-book. Cover images can also be added.

Content Area: reading
Grade Level: early elementary, intermediate elementary, middle school, secondary, transition
IDEA Disability Category: autism, emotional disturbance, major-other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, visual impairment
Operating Systems: Web-based, Windows (MS 98 and newer)
English Language Arts: Reading: Foundational Skills
Math

The focus is on the use of reading machines, i.e. Kurzweil 3000, to compensate for poor reading skills. As a follow-up to a previous study of the effects of the Xerox BookWise reader on middle school students and adults, the article also discusses how such computer reading machines help post-secondary students with poor reading skills read better.

Content Area: reading
Grade Level: middle school, secondary, transition
IDEA Disability Category: emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment
English Language Arts: Reading: Foundational Skills
Math
Bookshare

World's largest online accessible library of copyrighted content for people with print disabilities. Collection has over 90,000 digital books including textbooks, children's books, literature, popular books, special collections, newspapers and magazines that can be easily downloaded in DAISY or BRF formats. Membership is free for U.S. students with qualified print disabilities, and members get free reading software for PC and Mac.

Content Area: reading
Grade Level: early elementary, intermediate elementary, middle school, secondary, transition
IDEA Disability Category: multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment
Operating Systems: Macintosh, Windows (MS 98 and newer)
English Language Arts: Language, Reading: Foundational Skills, Reading: Informational Text, Reading: Literature
Math
Audible

Use Audible to find and download spoken audio books, information, educational programming, and other spoken media (radio, TV programs, magazines and newspapers). Audible audio files are compatible with many audio players, mobile phones and streaming media devices, files can also be downloaded using Windows PC or Macintosh computers, and burned to a CD. Using the Audible App allows the user to download, play and store multiple titles on their mobile device. Various subscription levels and pricing are available. 

Content Area: reading
Grade Level: early elementary, intermediate elementary, middle school, secondary, transition
IDEA Disability Category: specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, visual impairment
Operating Systems: Android, iPad, iPhone, Macintosh, Web-based, Windows (MS 98 and newer)
English Language Arts: Language, Reading: Foundational Skills, Reading: Informational Text, Reading: Literature, Speaking & Listening
Math

The pen is a pocket scanner with text-to-speech for reading single words and lines of text aloud. Embedded dictionary and thesaurus can be turned on or off (for testing mode). Weighs 3 ounces.

Content Area: reading
Grade Level: early elementary, intermediate elementary, middle school, secondary, transition
IDEA Disability Category: autism, emotional disturbance, major-other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, visual impairment
English Language Arts: Language, Reading: Foundational Skills, Reading: Informational Text, Reading: Literature
Math

The present study assessed the compensatory effectiveness of four assistive software tools (speech synthesis, spellchecker, homophone tool, and dictionary) on literacy. Secondary-level students (N = 93) with reading difficulties completed computer-based tests of literacy skills. Training on their respective software followed for those assigned to the Assistive Software and the Microsoft Word Control groups. Posttests revealed an improvement for the Assistive Software group on reading comprehension, homophone error detection, spelling error detection, and word meanings.

Content Area: reading, writing
Grade Level: secondary, transition
IDEA Disability Category: autism, emotional disturbance, major-other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment
English Language Arts: Language, Reading: Foundational Skills, Reading: Informational Text, Reading: Literature
Math
E-Text Reader

Use the E-Text reader for reading digital text. Students can highlight their notes in one color and important information in another. Then extract just the highlighted information to a new file and have it read aloud.

Content Area: reading
Grade Level: intermediate elementary, middle school, secondary, transition
IDEA Disability Category: autism, emotional disturbance, intellectual disability, major-other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment
Operating Systems: Windows (MS 98 and newer)
English Language Arts: Reading: Foundational Skills
Math

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