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Reading and researching

Explore tools to help with reading and research including text-to-speech and colour overlays.

Text-to-speech software at UAL

Read&Write Gold

  • Read documents, emails and web pages aloud.
  • Reduce visual stress with the Screen Masking tool.
  • Add Underline and Screen Tints to focus on the line you're reading.
  • Use the Study Skills tools to highlight text, take notes and add bibliography to your notes.

Use the Read&Write LibGuide or view the iView Learning video tutorials.

ClaroRead Pro

  • Read aloud text from MS Word, emails and web pages.
  • Save the text as audio file and listen to it later.
  • Change text and background colours to make reading on the screen easier.
  • Focus on the text you're reading with the Screen Ruler, underline and overlays.
  • Writing tools include a spell checker, homophone checker and predictive text.

Use the ClaroRead LibGuide or view the iView Learning video tutorials.

Access from UAL computers

  1. Log into the computer with your UAL credentials.
  2. Search for the app in the computer or find under Assistive Technology in ZENworks (Windows) or UAL Self Service (Mac).
  3. Double-click to download and install.

Note: The programs can take up to 20 minutes to install if they haven't been used before on the machines.

Dyslexia font

Some neurodiverse students find that dyslexia fonts improve readability. The font is available on UAL PCs from ZENWorks. Once you install the font, look for OpenDyslexicMono in the font menu toolbar (Word and Outlook desktop versions only).

Screen readers

  • NVDA is a screen reader available on all UAL PCs (download from ZENWorks). You can also download a free copy for your own PC or laptop.
  • Narrator reads text aloud. It's included in Windows 10 and works with Microsoft Office and Edge browser.

Access from home

If you are registered with the UAL Disability Service you might be eligible for ClaroRead Pro and Read&Write Gold as part of your DSA. Talk to your disability advisor or contact disability@arts.ac.uk.

If you want to buy a copy of ClaroRead for your personal PC or Mac you can get a discount. Contact the IT Service Desk for a code that will give you an 80% discount.

Text-to-speech and reading tools at home

Immersive Reader

Immersive Reader is a great tool that makes the text on the screen easier to read and to understand. It's available across Office 365 apps and can be used to:

  • remove graphs and other distractions and concentrate on the text
  • select your Text Preferences: text size, line spacing and font and background colour
  • use Line Focus to concentrate on the line you are reading
  • translate text
  • read emails or other text back to you.

Edge Browser

The Edge Browser has a Read Aloud function to read webpages or PDFs.

  1. Open the PDF or webpage in the Edge browser.
  2. Go to the three-dot menu on the toolbar.
  3. Select Read Aloud.

Browser extensions

There are free extensions such as ClaroRead Chrome that offer text to speech. It also has a basic colour overlay function that makes reading on the screen easier.

Mac Accessibility

Use Macs' built-in text to speech to hear your documents, emails and other text read back to you.

Mac in built Colour Filters

  1. From the Apple menu go to System Preferences > Accessibility  > Display.
  2. Select Color Filters.
  3. Select Enable Color Filters. Go to the “Filter type” drop-down menu and select  Color Tint. This applies a tint to the entire screen.
  4. You can change the colour and intensity of the filter.

To quickly turn Colour Filters on and off using the Accessibility Shortcuts panel, press Option-Command-F5 then select or deselect the Enable Display Filters option.

Read Out Loud PDFs

Adobe Reader and Adobe Pro have a Read Out Loud function. To listen to the text on your PDF:

  1. open the PDF and select the text
  2. select View
  3. click on Read Out Loud and then select Activate Read Out Loud.

Text-to-speech on your phone

Claro

ClaroSpeak and ClaroPDF are free apps that read text aloud on your android or iOS phone.

Get Claro Apps on your phone.

Native mobile options

iOS and Android mobile devices can read text back to you. Select the speech options on the Accessibility settings.

iPhone speak options
Voice Over is Apple’s built-in screen reader in Mac computers and iPhones. For best results use with Safari browser.

Android speech