Eastern Michigan University

Alternative Media: Resources for Student

Accessing Alternative Media on Your Own

  • Bookshare:
    • Large searchable library of digital materials.
    • Materials can be read with text-to-speech software (see Software Options)
  • Learning Ally:
    • Large, searchable library of downloadable audio books for yearly fee of $99 per year effective September 1, 2011
    • Membership includes free download of software to enable listening to audiobooks
    • Students can loan Victor Reader Wave or Stream players from the DRC to listen to Learning Ally audio books
  • iTunes
    • Has a searchable library of audiobooks and enhanced books for purchase
  • Readability
    • Free software to install that allows you to adjust the format of the web text

Software Options

  • WordTalk
    • Free Windows text-to-speech plugin for Microsoft Word
    • Speaks the text of the document and highlights as it reads
    • Allows configuration of different voices, speed, volume, etc.
    • Contains a text-to-mp3 converter and a talking dictionary
  • Natural Reader
    • Free download available that reads aloud any text on the computer
    • Upgrade for a cost for more voices, ability to convert files to MP3, etc.
  • Readplease 3000
    • Free text-to-speech software with natural, human sounding voices to download
    • Allows users to copy and paste text into dialogue box for digitized recitation
    • Highlights words as they are read
    • Users can slow down or speed up reading and change font size
    • Instructions for using ReadPlease license through Eastern Michigan University:
      • Download ReadPlease Plus 2003 from the http://www.readplease.com site
      • Start Readplease Plus 2003
      • Enter the following into the registration screen that appears
      • Registration name: READPLEASE
      • Registration Code: 939718100231563
      • Press the register button and you should see a message indicating that your copy is now registrated
  • SpokenText.net
    • Converts text into speech
    • Download files as mp3 or m4b (audio books)
  • Apple
    • This website references Voiceover and other assistive technologies that can be helpful to students with disabilities
    • Many come standard on the Apple products
  • Kurzweil 1000 (for students who are blind or have visual impairments) and Kurzweil 3000(for students with learning difficulties)
    • Screen reading software along with other features
    • Available in the CATE Lab (CATE Lab will train students to use it) and can be purchased for personal use
  • Adobe Reader
    • Open and print all PDF document files
    • Read PDF documents out loud
  • JAWS
    • Screen reading software for computer users whose vision loss keeps them from reading what is on the screen. JAWS reads what is on the screen
    • Available in the CATE Lab (CATE Lab will train students to use it) and can be purchased for personal use

Please note: This is not an exhaustive list of software nor does inclusion on this list indicate an endorsement by the DRC. If you find a software that is not on this list to be particularly useful, please let us know.

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