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School Supported Software
Reader Apps and Text Converters
Free text to speech app. Available for iPhone, Android, Mac, Windows, Chrome, and on the web. The web option requires no setup or login and allows you to easily drag and drop the PDF file you'd like to listen to.
Free text to speech app. Available for iPhone, Android, Mac, and Chrome.
Claro PDF Pro
Free text to speech and PDF annotation app. There is also a paid version with more voices and credits for their integrated OCR service. Available for iPhone, Android, Chromebook, Mac, and PC.
Free text recognition app that allows you to take a picture of a document, sign, brochure, etc. and then copy or listen to the text. Available for iPhone.
A video tutorial created by the MassArt Library that explains how to use free text-to-speech technology to hear PDFs read aloud.
Built-in Accessibility Tools
Here are a few highlights of built-in tools included in these platforms. Please visit the links to see the full range of offerings available.
Mac Accessibility Tools
- Speech - activates speech-to-text functionality so you can have selected text read aloud.
- Dictation - activates text-to-speech functionality so you can use voice commands and dictation to write or edit text and control your computer.
- Display - adjusts how your screen looks by inverting colors, using grayscale, changing the display contrast, or activating Dark Mode.
- Zoom - controls your screen magnification settings.
Windows 10 Accessibility Tools
- Speech - activates text-to-speech functionality so you can use voice commands and dictation to write or edit text and control your computer.
- Display - adjusts how your screen looks by increasing the size of text and application windows, using grayscale or color blindness filters, or increasing contrast.
- Magnifier - controls your screen magnification settings.
Google G Suite Accessibility Tools
- Type with your Voice - activates text-to-speech functionality so you can use voice commands and dictation to write or edit text.
- Present Slides with Captions - allows you to display live captioning of a speaker while Slides are in presentation mode.
- Translate Document - translates your document into a different language.
- OCR (Optical Character Recognition) - open a PDF with Google Docs to perform text recognition.
Library Supported Audiobooks and eBooks
Libby / OverDrive
OverDrive is a service that allows you to easily borrow and access ebooks, audiobooks, digital magazines, and videos from public libraries. In their collections, you’ll find current best sellers, popular fiction and nonfiction, cookbooks, travel guides, graphic novels, and more. Checkout their mobile app, Libby!
Bookshare accounts are available to students who have registered for accommodations with ARC. This is one of the resources the library uses to help students gain access to digital formats of their textbooks and assigned readings.
Request Digital Books or Accessible PDFs from the Library
Students who have registered for accommodations with ARC can submit requests for accessible PDFs and digital books through our online form. We do make every attempt to get materials to you as quickly as possible, but please keep in mind that some requests can take 2-4 weeks to obtain or create.
Audiobooks and eBooks
Audible is an audio book subscription service. Each month users can listen to 1 audiobook and 2 Audible originals. They offer a 30 day free trial for you to check it out. After that period, there is a monthly subscription fee.
Boston Public Library
The Boston Public Library has numerous online resources that can be accessed with a regular Boston Public Library card or by signing up for an eCard online. This card will allow you to check out ebooks and audiobooks; view materials on Hoopla, Kanopy, and OverDrive; and use services like Lynda.com.
Get your ecard here.
Google Books searches the full text of over 25 million books and magazines in Google’s digital library. Depending on copyright status, you will have one of four access levels to the scanned text: full view (whole book), preview (a percentage of the book), snippet view (a few lines of text), or no preview.
HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world. https://www.hathitrust.org/
The Internet Archive is a free non-profit digital library of books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. It includes over a million digital books that can be borrowed by anyone, with instant access available to students who have registered for accommodations with ARC.
Librivox is a collection of over 13,000 free public domain audiobooks that were recorded by volunteers from around the world.
Open Library is a project from the Internet Archive that’s goal is to build a web page for every book ever published. It also functions as a digital lending library.
Project Gutenberg offers over 59,000 free ebooks. These are mostly works that have entered the public domain (Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, H.G. Wells, William Shakespeare, etc.)
Other Useful Resources
Save articles, websites, or stories from the internet. Read or listen to them on any device.
Collect, organize, cite, and share your research. Instantly create references or bibliographies.
Get examples, outlines, and writing tips for numerous types of essays, reports, and research papers.
Check your spelling and grammar anywhere you write on the web.
Input text or upload a document to have it translated into a different language.
Quick Easy Text-to-Speech!
Just drag and drop your PDF file to listen to it read aloud.
If you need assistance or would like to learn more about anything in this guide, please contact Chrissy Hartman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you know of a great app, website, or service that we should add to this list, please send it our way!