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The Codpast Demonstrates How Ears Can Be Better than Eyes with Text-to-Speech Software

For students and others who dread language tasks such as reading traditional print or composing text accurately, the embedded video above offers tech-based solutions for those challenges.

Tools described in the "Beginners Guide to Text-to-Speech [TTS] Software" embedded above can "massively improve your speed and accuracy," says the Codpast video host, Sean Douglas, who is based in London. The Codpast website and a YouTube Channel are created by individuals with language-based difficulties to support students and adults with dyslexia. The site offers numerous resources. 

LD? Dyslexia? Vision or Physical Impairments? 

AIM-VA's Cindy George likes the embedded video's straightforward message. She notes that alternative text formats produced by AIM-VA work with TSS tools like the ones that are described.

In combination, TTS and accessible book formats lead to success with language tasks at school, at home and in the community. That is why teachers are requesting alternatives to print for both textbooks and trade books for studies that cross the curriculum. Students with learning, sensory or physical disabilities will use the specialized learning materials, sometimes with assistive technology or their computer's built-in tools, because their education teams found the learners eligible for accessible educational/instructional materials (AEM/AIM). There is no cost for book conversions. 

Accessible Options Plus Self-Advocacy

There are 12 options for text conversions from print that students can use. All are explained on AIM-VA's "formats" page. Some students use more than one. One example of a student preference for multiple formats is the use at school of an audio format to by-pass decoding and reading rate difficulties, and a "PDF: Fully Accessible" version to reduce the reading and spelling burdens involved in completing a homework assignment. AIM-VA's available formats are:

Audio Recording * Braille * Braille Ready File (BRF) * DAISY * Electronic Publication (ePub) * HTML * Large Print * Word * NIMAS * PDF * PDF Fully AccessibleRich Text Format (RTF)

There is more, Cindy advises. She is an expert in assistive technology and special education, and is AIM-VA's production and accessible educational materials training coordinator. She advises that successful students learn to self-advocate and explain their technology preferences to their teachers early in their education careers. Who can help? Special and general educators related services personnel, guidance counselors, librarians, paraprofessionals, administrators and others such as school volunteers all play a role in establishing and encouraging self-advocacy skills. 

How Text-to-Speech Works

The Codpast video overview (4:52 min,) shows the following TTS tools and the most common features that come bundled with the software:

Other TTS packages worth checking are WordQ SpeakQ and Kurzweil 3000

News And Views On Dyslexia

The Codpast's multimedia online resources are aimed at older students and adults. The content is made up of dyslexic-friendly videos and podcasts. Text-based articles are mostly kept to fewer than 500 words. "We also have BrowseAloud built directly into the site for those who find the help of assistive tech such as screen readers useful."

"As well as being a place for help and advice The Codpast is where Dyslexics come to be inspired. We're sure you'll love our celebrity interviews, art reviews, tech reviews and in fact news on anything that's current, creative and dyslexic." Log in and linger on the Codpast website.

We Are AIM-VA

Accessible educational materials (AEM) help to create access to the curriculum for students with dyslexia, learning disabilities, vision or physical challenges, and others. A federally funded AEM program in every state assures that books in alternative formats are provided free of charge to eligible students with disabilities whose education teams take action. The AEM program operates under a legal exception to federal copyright law. Check out the AIM-VA home page to learn more about eligibility in Virginia. In other states, contact a special education teacher, a school administrator or download a list of AEM state contacts.External Link to AEM state contacts (New Window).

Follow AIM-VA on Facebook External Link to Facebook (New Window)Pinterest External Link to Pinterest (New Window), and Twitter at @AIMVirginia.External Link to @AIMVirginia (New Window) and/or follow me @aimnoncat.External Link to @aimnoncat (New Window). Subscribe to AIM-VA's new monthly newsletter. Sign up here.