Posted in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Dyslexia, English as an Additional Language (EAL), ICT, Literacy and English, Visual impairment


Many pupils would benefit from having the text on their computer screen read out to them.

There are many programs that will do this for you, but the two easiest ways for Edinburgh staff to make this happen is to either a) use the inbuilt text-to-speech of Windows 7 (called Narrator) or b) install Ivona Minireader, a great wee free program that is very simple to use.  Many supportive software packages such as CoWriter or Clicker offer this functionality, but only within their own programs – using the options detailed below means that all text can be read out, e.g. from a web page.

Using Narrator

Full instructions can be found on Microsoft’s website.  If in any doubt, contact me!

Ivona MinireaderIvona Minireader

As you need to install some software to run this program, it can only easily be done by someone who has requested their admin rights for the day.  The Digital Learning Team have recommended that if you want this program on more than one computer in your school, that you contact them.

Installing Scottish voices

The Scottish voices Heather and Stuart were developed in Edinburgh by CereProc.  The Scottish Government has funded free licenses for every school in Scotland.  All BT-managed machines and machines that have been rebuilt by the Digital Learning Team post-refresh should have these voices installed as standard – if you are having trouble finding them, please do contact me or the Digital Learning Team, although we may need to refer you on to BT.

If you want to download these voices on to a machine that is not managed by BT or Edinburgh Council, visit the Scottish Voice website for information on how to do this.


Teacher at the Keycomm Resource Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland. Love my wee family, my cats, my friends. Passionate about inclusive education, nice red wine and travelling.

2 thoughts on “Text-to-speech

  1. I have found it so beneficial having software that reads large documents to me for university. Even if I read along as it reads it out, I take in far more than when I try to read for myself.

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