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Inclusive technology

a guide to finding inclusive technology to support your learning.

Windows Narrator

WHERE TO FIND IT :  Control Panel settings of any Windows PC.

Use the Search button on the Windows 10 taskbar - search for 'Narrator' or 'Ease of access'.

Narrator is a built-in screen reader in Windows that reads all text on the screen aloud and describes events like error messages so you can use your PC without a display.  The software uses the voices already installed on your computer. Once selected, Narrator will start automatically each time you log on.


Immersive Reader

WHERE TO FIND IT : Office 365

Immersive Reader is a reading enhancement tool available in Office 365 that will work with Word, OneNote and Outlook. Immersive Reader will speak text in a choice of voices and allows you to view the text in a variety of fonts, sizes and background colours. In Word online and OneNote Immersive reader can be accessed from the View menu. In Outlook a message can be viewed in Immersive Reader by looking under the More Actions menu.

In OneNote a PDF file inserted using the 'Insert as printout' option can be viewed using Immersive Reader, but anything else on same page will also be read, and the formatting of the PDF may be lost.

Microsoft Edge Read Aloud

WHERE TO FIND IT : Microsoft Edge browser

Clicking on 'Settings and more' in the top right corner of the Microsoft Edge browser will bring up the 'Read aloud' option which will enable you to have text from web pages read to you. Several voices are available to choose from.

Microsoft Word Speak Selected Text

WHERE TO FIND IT : Microsoft Word

Speak selected text: This is a button that can be added to the Microsoft Word Quick Access Toolbar by right-clicking on the Command Ribbon at the top of the screen and choosing Customize Quick Access Toolbar. Change the 'Choose commands from' option to 'All Commands'  and scroll down the list to find 'Speak'.

Once the button is added to your Quick Access Toolbar you can select text and click on the button to have it read out to you.

Android devices: TalkBack

TalkBack is an Accessibility Service for Android which helps blind and vision-impaired users interact with their devices more easily. The application adds spoken, audible and vibration feedback to your device. TalkBack provides spoken feedback as you navigate around the screen, by describing your actions and informing you of any notifications. It is a system application and comes pre-installed on most Android devices. The application is updated when the Accessibility Service is improved.

Apple devices: VoiceOver

VoiceOver is a fully featured screen reader for Mac, iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.  It is already built-in to the operating system, so you don't need to download any additional software.

VoiceOver reads aloud everything on the screen including documents and web pages. It enables the navigation of you computer or device by keyboard or touch alone.

NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access)

WHERE TO FIND IT : Download from the NVDA website

NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) is a free screen reader, available in a number of languages. 

It can read everything on the screen aloud in a synthesised voice enabling you to use your computer using just the keyboard or a combination of keyboard and mouse.

The software can also be installed and run from a USB pen drive and supports the use of a braille display.

The software is free to download, but a donation to support further development can be made.