I Can Read That! AT Supports for Struggling Readers

In this session with Diana Ree-Reeder, participants learned how to use the built-in accessibility supports in their mobile devices to support struggling readers, a free screen reader, as well as how to adjust settings in three library apps: Google Play Books, Kindle App, and Libby/Overdrive so that readers can confidently say, “I can read that!” (Get the PowerPoint in the download box).

Transcript: 

- [Moderator] Good afternoon everyone, thanks for joining us this afternoon for this CTD webinar, I Can Read That! AT Supports for Struggling Readers. In this session, participants will learn how to use the built-in accessibility supports in their mobile devices to support struggling readers, a free screen reader, as well as how to adjust settings in three library apps. Today we have Diana Ree-Reeder joining us. She is a former low incidence disabilities teacher turned assistive technology resource teacher. She has worked in Fairfax County Public Schools for 13 years, and for the last nine she has worked as an AT resource teacher. So I'm gonna go ahead and pass it off to Diana. Thanks everyone again for joining us.

- [Diana] All right, well thank you for joining. I'm Diana, nice to meet you all. We're gonna get started because I have a lot to cover. And oh goodness, sorry. Let me try that again. So we're gonna look at the built in screen readers starting off with an iPad and an Android device. And the reason we're looking at them is because oftentimes, struggling readers, and sometimes our auditory learners, comprehend best when print and sound are presented together; and they can also help support independence in the editing and revision step of the writing process. But we're gonna be mostly looking at reading. So I'm gonna switch screens and we're gonna go through iOS, some of the supports built into iOS devices, and we'll go from there to Android. So in my iOS device, I have an iPad, I'm using version 11. All of these features should be built in. There is one feature that you have to have iOS 10 for, so we'll just go ahead and go through that. Are you guys seeing my... You guys seeing my iPad?

- [Moderator] We're seeing the PowerPoint.

- [Diana] Okay. Let me see. How about now, does that look better? We're seeing the, yeah, okay cool. So we're gonna spend a lot of time in these settings of our iPad. And the first thing we're going to do is we're going to go into the Accessibility tab. And then you'll see that there are a variety of options under Vision. VoiceOver is for individuals who wanna use an iPad without using their sight. If you get into VoiceOver, you'll know because nothing seems to work and it will be a little bit scary. So we're not gonna go there. We're gonna go first to speech. And inside speech, we have a couple of options. The first is Speak Selection. And when you turn this on, you just tap the button to turn it green.

Okay, I told my Android to do not disturb, but apparently it hasn't figured that out. When you speak selection, that means that when you highlight text, you'll get a speak button. And the voice that I'm currently using on my iPad is an English voice, it's Alex. Alex is a high-quality voice with intonation, and he's supposed to know the difference between read and read, wind and wind. So between some of our homonyms? Homophones, sorry. Homophones. And also, you can hear him pause to take a breath between sentences, between periods and commas. So let's take a look at what that looks like. We're gonna go to have an article from the Washington Post, and it's about track work on the DC metro. So I did have this open, come on. So now what I can do, by simply turning on that setting, when I long press, let's go iPad, I can highlight and I'll take that whole sentence.

And then in my pop-up menu, I can click on Speak, and it's gonna talk. So let's take a moment. Hey, go back. Okay, sorry about that. That was Alex. One other thing about Alex is he is super fast. You always have to... Okay thank you iPad. You always have to slow Alex down. He is crazy fast and I'm not sure why he was doing that because he wasn't doing it earlier. Let's try that again. Cool. Technology is great, especially when it works. And sometimes it does not work with you. So I'm gonna switch my voice real quick, I'm gonna go to English and choose a different one. The other thing to know while you're in here, sorry I'm gonna take Samantha, is that you do have other choices for voices. So if your kids, if you don't have iOS 10, you may wanna explore other voices. Sometimes I personally find it easier to listen to a lower pitched voice. It works for me, but not everybody. So you know, it depends on where your hearing loss is and what you understand best. Let's try it one more time.

- [iOS reader] If you plan to use Metrorail today, add some extra time--

- [Diana] Okay, wow, okay. Technology is not having me today, sorry about that. Let me just make sure the pitch is... I don't know what's going on sometimes. These things happen. It was working when we tried it before. I'm gonna move on because I wanna respect your time. I apologize about that. So we can also do Speak Screen. And when you turn that on, I'm still under accessibility speech, let me go back one other place, it feels like my pitch is wrong. So now I'm in Speech, I'm going to Speak Screen. How you activate that is you swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen to hear what's on there. It is recommended that you start off the screen.

So start on the black part of your iPad and you can swipe down. So let's see what happens when we do that now, maybe technology will be on my side, I'm sorry. Okay, wow. Where did it go? Oh goodness. Okay, we're gonna stop that for a second. Okay, I'm sorry. You can hear, it was reading the screen. It was reading everything on the screen. In fact it was reading everything down the side, all those sharing. So it's reading the whole screen like it's a screen reader. That is an option. One time when I do like to use that is when I'm reading a book. So I'm gonna read a book and it'll read the whole screen and it turns the page. I apologize, these voices were working, I promise you, and now they are not. It will turn the page for you. If you have a lot of trouble trying to get speak screen, you can also say, Siri, speak screen and she'll read it for you too. Let's go, girl on the page, let's see if we can make technology work.

Otherwise, this is gonna be quite a day. So let's go to our page. I'm gonna speak this screen, hopefully it comes out a little bit better. Let's try that again. Or maybe they've changed their mind. Okay, so Maureen asked, can you flip it to reader view? Yes you can, I was actually gonna get to that in a few minutes. Nothing's working today. That's all right. The other thing you'll notice is that I had the content highlighting, and I think that's useful so kids can pair their, kids can pair what they're hearing with what they're seeing. So that's again under speech. I have highlight on. You can choose to highlight just words. You can choose to highlight just sentences or words and sentences. I prefer words and sentences. And I like doing the background color rather than just the underline. It's a little bit more overt. Thank you, there's my computer. And if you didn't like the orange and blue, you can change them to your preferred colors as well.

So again, helping kids pair text with meaning. If you have somebody who has a visual impairment and needs to see the whole screen consistently bigger, let's see if my screen's working. I feel like it's... Oh boy, okay, it's stuck. I feel like it's stuck a little bit here. There we go, let's try that again. Sorry. I can go to my Accessibility, I can go to Magnifier. Come on iPad. And you can turn on the magnifier in the Accessibility tab. Oh my goodness. See if it's going now. So magnifier, you simply turn it on and then that will go up from your home button, you need to triple click that and you can magnify at a consistent measure. So I can go back to my Washington Post article. And if I wanna magnify this, instead of just going pinch to zoom, if I triple click my home button, it's gonna ask me, because I have guided access also, it's gonna ask me what do I want. I want my magnifier.

And it's gonna allow me to magnify. Sorry, this is for magnifying paper. People often will say to me why do you want to magnify paper? And look at that, it's not coming through. Let me try this again. So if I wanna get my magnifier on, here's my magnifier, people say, well, why do you wanna use a magnifier? I can use my camera and take a picture. Well, we always need more space on our phones, right? So it's always good to have our-- With magnifier, what I can do is press my home button like I'm taking a picture, press that circle button. It's gonna clean it up for me so I didn't have to take a super, it was a little bit blurry, I didn't have to take a super great, super great picture, it cleans it up for me. I can then further magnify, which... Let me see if I can get this. Sometimes it's been coming through on the magnifier better when I restart.

Okay, let's try that again. Wow, I apologies there, this is not... Okay, there we go, there's my magnifier. I can further use that slider to change it. Also, in the corner you'll see the Venn diagram kind of view. And from there you can change the background from white on blue, yellow on blue, whatever your preference is. You can also adjust the brightness and the contrast. So that is the magnifier, you can use that to read paper or to read signs. And then the best part of it all is that when I push my on screen circle home button, I haven't taken a picture, oops, let me go back to normal, I haven't taken a picture and taking up space on my phone. Because how many pictures of menus do you really want or worksheets do you really want on your iPad? So that is the magnifier for your paper. And then the other thing that Maureen brought up is improving readability.

So you'll notice this Washington Post article has ads, it has other fun things on it. So what you can do is on certain websites you'll notice in the upper left corner of the address bar there is a little paragraph. If I tap that, it's going to rework the page, and now all the ads and everything are gone, which means reading it would be much easier. You also have the two A's in the upper right hand corner so you can adjust it to your reading settings. Black on white. You can do a little bit of sepia, you can do grey and you can do black. You can also change the font to your preferred font. So perhaps you really like Palatino better. And you can change the size of the font as well. So you can make it as big or as little as you would like. I think this is really nice when we're asking individuals to read something, especially if it's not fun, it kind of removes some of the temptation of doing other things like clicking on an ad or seeing something that a car that's animated, it kind of helps us focus.

If you really wanna help somebody focus, you could also, using the sharing arrow or the sharrow, see if it's gonna work for me, you could share it to iBooks and then it'll go into your iBooks, which is a native app and it's free, it should be in every iPad that's running iOS 8 or more. Or sorry, or better. And then you can just read it in your iBooks and not have to have the temptation of going into that address bar and typing in something more fun. So that is another option using the reader view. Reader view is not available on all websites. They need to look like an article. So the front page of The Washington Post or even this Opinions page, you'll notice it just has the left, the lock in the left-hand corner. Safari needs to be able to figure out, oh hey, this has a page with a lot of text, I can remove all the extraneous stuff. So those are some of the built-in features of an iOS device, an iPad or an iPhone, that you can use. We're gonna head over to an Android. I have just, for disclaimer's sake, I have a Pixel. It's running iOS 8. I'm sorry, it's running Android 8. And the features I'm gonna show you, most of them will be available in Android 7 and above.

So I know it can be kind of frustrating, but this is the way we Androids work. So to get into these, we need to go, to find all of our settings, we need to go into our settings gear, Settings app. I like to do this from my pull down menu, it's the gear. And I believe it's a gear also in Android 7. So I'm gonna scroll down until I find Accessibility. And Accessibility is the guy with its hands out waiting to help you. The Android material is not quite as robust as the iOS devices, but let's take a look and see what's in here. In Accessibility, you have two choices of screen readers. The first is Select to Speak, and that's gonna work just like it did on an iOS. Well, you select something and it's gonna read it to you. TalkBack is what you're gonna wanna use if you're interested in using your Android device with minimal sight. So let's take a look at select to speak. You can turn it off and on using the slider.

And the really nice thing, the thing that I appreciate that Google does is they give you a little bit of instructions on how to use it and a little bit of what this feature actually is. So it's turned on. And because it's turned on, you'll see my Accessibility icon has also shown up in the bottom, my little guy with his hands out ready to help me has now shown up in the bottom of my menu. So let's take a look at a website now. All right, we're going to go to... We'll go to another website. So wtop, we're gonna learn about our severe weather. So now I've still got this page with all these ads, which unfortunately I don't have a reader view in Chrome right now. So I'm gonna take my little accessibility guy with his hands out, and now you'll notice I've got a red dot with some accessibility options. We're going back to the days of our tape players and stuff, so when we open it up we have different, you know, the play and the pause and the stop. So I'm just gonna go ahead and we're gonna hear about our DC area storms that we're bracing for. So let's see if this guy's gonna work for us better.

- [Android reader] Homepage, news, traffic, weather, listen, Bravecto Chew, pie, underscore 9.11. JavaScript window, open window. Icon underscore tow bright. Home, local news. DC area braces for. DC area braces for more severe storms on Tuesday afternoon. By Rick Massimo, Patrick Roth and Jennifer Ortiz.

- [Diana] Okay, so we're gonna go ahead and stop. You'll notice it read the whole screen like it did before. It did highlight, which is really nice and I appreciate it, I appreciate that about it, it will also scroll down throughout the page. But what I cannot do, and it kind of drives me nuts, is that I can long press, but it doesn't let me speak it even if I long press and then I'm, okay, I just want this one word. If I go to my Accessibility, I can hit play.

- [Android reader] Copy, share, select all, web search, homepage--

- [Diana] It doesn't work like that. So I'm hoping that Android will pick it up soon, but you know, we're getting there. So we can be happy with that. You also have an on screen magnifier. So to get to that, we're gonna go back to our settings. We're gonna go back to Accessibility. And you have a magnifier option. So you can click on that, turn it on. I like to use the triple tap with this. You could also put it on the accessibility button, but I can turn it on, it tells me again flip the switch to do it. It tells me how to zoom within my magnifier and it tells me how to get out of my magnifier, which I also appreciate. So we're gonna go back to my home page. I'm going to triple tap, and you'll see that there's a little orange bar around the screen and it's magnified everything.

To pan around, I'm going to use two fingers. And I can have everything consistently magnified. If I need it bigger, I can continue to do the pinch to zoom a little bit and it'll let me get, it'll get bigger for me. That was a double tap right there. When you're done with the magnifier, you triple tap again to get out of it. So I like that this one on the screen I can have consistent magnification. I can make it pretty big. So let me triple tap out. Okay, let me try that again. One, two, three. Oh fingers. So if you're not good at doing, put it on the button and you can get out that way. One, two, three. All right, well we're just gonna get out and work the best we can. I apologize. Oh goodokay. Come on, pan, pan, keep going. There's my accessibility button. There we go. So maybe I will put that on my button instead of with my triple tap. I'm gonna turn that off. So you can magnify on the screen. You can also change the overall font and size of icons and visuals. Again, you need Android 7.0 and better.

So this is part of the accessibility, we were in Screen Readers, now we go to Display. We can change our font size. It's currently at the default and it's got a preview of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to show you your size. So I can make it bigger or as large as it'll go, or perhaps you'd like something smaller and move it down. So I'm gonna set it back to default, but that's a nice feature. You can change all of the fonts that would show up on your screens. So here's my normal size. We go back to Accessibility. We're gonna go to larger. You can see how the menus got bigger and my icon, the fonts underneath my icons got bigger. I'm gonna go back to my accessibility and I'm gonna change that back down to default. You can also make your icons larger or smaller. So if I go to my display size, here's a quick chat. And to give you an idea of the size, you can move them smaller and larger.

So if you have somebody who has issues reading their text messages, this is a great way to use it. It may however shuffle some of your apps on your screen. It may change your screen a little bit. It hasn't done that for me, I guess I didn't make them big enough. So those are some, I'm gonna go back in and fix that back to default. Those are some of the built-in features on your Androids that are 7.0 and larger. 7.0 and better, sorry. There is one other feature on an Android that I wanted to briefly point out, and that is using Google Play Books. If you buy a book from Google Play, we're gonna go ahead and open my app and I'm going to choose just any book that's in English. When I go in, I tap on the center to get my menu and I take those three dots, that drawer up in the upper right corner, you'll see where it says read aloud. And from read aloud, it's going to start reading. Oh goodness.

- [Android reader] Pretty thing, isn't she? I'm glad I didn't train her for farm labor. She's much--

- [Diana] So it will read and highlight for you. It is a default voice, there's no way of changing it. It's always this female voice. But I believe they rolled out this feature in 2015 and they have updated the voice since then. So it's not a bad voice. So it'll keep reading.

- [Android reader] She's much more ornamental here. A surge of anger almost suffocated--

- [Diana] And you can go ahead and do that. So that's built in and it's free. With Amazon books, they'll often say you can add narration for $5. This comes with your books in English. So I think that's a pretty neat little feature. And if you've got to read in the car, it's like having a book on CD. So I'm gonna have it stop reading aloud. So I wanted to highlight that. Another app that we're gonna go ahead and look at are the library apps because our communities provide us with... Our libraries provide us with great things for free. So there are two apps, at least that I found for libraries that Fairfax uses and I think they're fairly popular, the first one is OverDrive, and the other one is Libby. We're gonna go ahead and look at them on my iPad. So we'll go ahead and switch it back to the iPad.

OverDrive was the first library app that I learned about when I first got into getting books on my phone, on my iPad. It was OverDrive. So you can go into OverDrive, pick any book, and you can again change the fonts. So to do that, I tapped in the middle. I'm gonna go to my Aa button. I can choose the fonts, my preferred font. And they do have OpenDyslexic and OpenDyslexic Bold. And while there is no research that actually says that these help individuals with dyslexia, I do find they are somewhat easier to read. You'll notice every letter has its own unique shape and it's a little bit heavier on the bottom which helps the eye comprehend the letter. I can also change the size of it. So I can make it closer to my preferred size. Also sometimes just a little, fewer words on the page makes it a little less overwhelming to read.

So I can change the font, I can change that. I can change the brightness, I can also change the lighting. It is significantly easier to read white on black. And also, it sends less light into your eyes so when I'm reading at night I'm always reading white on black and I just find it easier. The other thing I can do to make it easier is I can change my text alignment, I could make it justified. So all the text goes from one end to the other. There aren't breaks except for when it's been indented or a new line. I can change the line spacing for somebody who has trouble following the text. The more space you can put in between, the easier it is for them to read, to track it. I can also change the margins and make them narrower or wider.

Again, like I spoke about earlier, sometimes having less text on a page makes it less overwhelming. So that is OverDrive and that's how you can fix some of those things up and make them a little bit easier, make it a little bit easier to read. I wanna take a look at Libby, and I feel like Libby was maybe designed for younger, for children or students. It's got a few more features than OverDrive. So I am just gonna go ahead and open my book on my iPad, and I can go ahead and change the settings. The settings in Libby are in the right drawer this time. So I'll go ahead and open those up. And I'm gonna go to Reading Settings. Inside of Reading Settings, I can change my text. Again, I can make the size. And they've got a little preview so you can see how big it will be, or it won't be for yourself. Again, you can change the lighting if you want it to be bright, if you want it to be dark, or sepia. You can also again change your font.

They do have OpenDyslexic in there so you can change it to that if you prefer a legible one. Excuse me, you can change it there. And then when I go into custom, I have a few other choices of fonts. I'm gonna bring this up. So if you don't like any of the choices that you were previously given, you can get Palatino or Georgia. You can choose to do a serif or a sans serif font. Actually we wanna do a sans serif so there's not extra things in there. Yu can again change the justification. So either it's aligned to the left, or if you justify it it might be easier for the eye to track. And again, you can change that line spacing. You can also make it bolder, which may also be easier to read. So that is in Libby.

And I should have mentioned this in the beginning, I apologize, I have all the directions for everything that I've shown you in the handout, so hopefully you can be sitting back and enjoying the book, enjoying the webinar, sorry, and not worrying about scribbling down directions. Because the Android side, it does look different. Things are located, settings are located in different locations. You use a little bit of different gestures and stuff because you know, we're all just a little bit different. But inside of Libby, the other thing that you can do is you can highlight and take notes. So I can long press and then I can go ahead and highlight that. It's gonna give me a choice of three different colors. So perhaps you might want a color code where orange is for, or yellow, sorry, is for important phrases and pink is for vocabulary, words you don't know; and green is for something else. So you can change the color. And then you can write a note. Perhaps I could say twice. Hey, sorry. Come back here you. I can say twice. That's a lot.

While you're doing your notes, you can run your dictation and just dictate it in. So you can do that, you can still use your word prediction that's built in as well. And then when I'm done, and then when I want to find my notes, sorry, when I want to find my notes, do you see on the bottom on the bar there's a little pink highlight right there? So if I were somewhere else in the book, let me go back, I can scroll back and say ooh, where was that, where are those, where was that pink highlight? Tap on it. Hi, thank you. Tap on it, and it'll take me to where my highlight is. And then if I tap on it again, I can see my notes. So that's a pretty neat feature. It's not built into OverDrive, so I think that's kind of useful. So that's in Libby only, sorry, turn the page. All right. You can also search the book. So let's say Euston, I'm gonna long press on that and I can go ahead and search. And it will show me every time Euston is mentioned.

So I'm getting the idea that Euston, or Euston sorry, I'm gonna say Euston, is a very important place because it's come up 10 times in the whole book. Or maybe if I only see it once, it's not important. I think this would be really great for determining if our character is important. Is this a vocabulary word that I need to spend my time understanding, or should I move on? So it will search it for you in the book. Or you're looking for a specific quote or you know they said something about Euston instead of having to page through all the book, all the instances to find Euston, you can have it search that word. I can say oh, it was number four. If I tapped number four, it's gonna take me exactly to where it was.

So that's another way that you can use Libby to support you, especially if we're having to write papers and provide evidence for things. So that is Libby. Looking at the Kindle app, we're gonna go ahead and take a peek on the Android. So the Kindle, just like in Libby and OverDrive, I can go ahead and change the fonts. I have my Aa and I can change the background color, white on black. I have it set to OpenDyslexic. I can take my margins and make them wide so there's less text on the page again with my spacing. I'm gonna go with normal. And I can change my text size as well. The other thing you can do is again highlight. So I'm gonna highlight. And this time I can actually highlight a little bit more. And I have colors in the corner. So I can choose to make this one blue. And then if I wan write my note about it, I can click on note and type in, and again I have my microphone prompt here, I can say this is interesting or whatever I want to right there.

And you'll notice it's now put a little blue piece of paper, it almost looks like the Google Doc icon. You'll notice it's put that up so you can tell that there's a note associating with that highlighting. You can also, when you want to find, okay where did that note go, I read, again I can go to my paper, see the little paper icon up there? And that's the notebook. And now I can sort through my note, it kind of compiles a notebook for every book you're reading. And I can see all the items in here. I can tell whether they're just a plain note or a highlight, like the one that says Mustang. It tells me the color it is too. If I want to go back to that, I can tap on it and it'll take me exactly to where I tapped on. I can also, from here, sorry, I can also, from here, make flashcards out of my notes.

So if I highlighted only vocabulary words, I can say make flashcards and it'll create a deck, a new flashcard for me. And there's my front. And then I can edit the back and say like this is important, or why this is important, or if these are my vocabulary words that I'm studying, now I've got a set of flashcards I can say, I can go through them. Oh Octavia, I can also, I can say whether I understood this one or not. It's self reporting, but I could say oh, Octavia, she's in charge of the whole solar system. Check myself and give it a check or not. It'll tell me, do you wanna start over or not? And I can study the incorrect ones or just the correct ones. So it's a nice little built-in feature there from your flashcards that you can make from your notes. The other cool thing that they have on Kindle for books that you have purchased in English, it will work on on Androids, and it works on some of the Kindles. It's called Word Wise.

So Word Wise is a feature that makes it easier to enjoy books because it's gonna talk, it's gonna help you understand the vocabulary. So what we do is we can click on Word Wise at the bottom. Not all books are Word Wise-enabled, but some are and I'll show you how to find them in just a second, but I can choose do I want fewer hints or more hints? I might do a little bit more. I'm gonna drag my slider over. And I hit show and you'll notice it has added, above swarm it says a moving group. And above hornets, it says a flying insect. So now it's giving me clues about what those words mean. So if my vocabulary is weak I can go ahead and get some support for that. So if I go to tap, I'm gonna tap on Word Wise, ooh, there we go. I can also choose to have fewer hints where it's only gonna pick harder words. So now I've got fewer of them.

You can see they don't happen as often. And then when I'm done with this, because maybe I don't wanna read like this anymore, I can go ahead and click hide and I have my regular text. I think it's just a neat feature and a really great way to support our individuals with vocabulary deficits or people who are just learning English. So the way to find out if your book has Word Wise, is to buy a book with Word Wise is by gonna Amazon. And when you search, we're gonna, instead of choosing all up here in the menu bar, move this guy out of the way, I'm gonna go ahead and look for the Kindle Store. And now I'm gonna search for my book. So maybe I am interested in Ready Player One because that movie was out recently.

I'm gonna type it in, and now what I can do is when I'm searching, when I'm looking for my options, if I scroll down a little bit, you'll see on the left it says Word Wise. So I'm gonna check that box and it's only gonna give me options that are Word Wise-enabled. So now I know that this copy of Ready Player One that I'd be buying is Word Wise enabled on the Kindle format. And you'll notice right here, I scrolled down a little bit some of the details and it says Word Wise enabled. If you don't wanna go through the hassle of all of that, what you would need to do, you would go to your department and I would want, perhaps I'm looking for The Circle by Dave Eggers, so here's The Circle, here's my book. You need to get it in Kindle format.

So if I click on Kindle, because that's a format I need it in, now I can scroll down and it will tell me Word Wise is enabled. I haven't quite figured out the rhyme or reason why you're getting some books in Word Wise and some not, but it is a feature to know to look out for if you've got some of your readers with vocabulary issues. But yeah, I think it's pretty cool and I don't know why it's not available on iOS. And I think their help page says we have plans to in the future, but they don't define the future as 2019 or anything at all. So that's hopefully something that's coming. Okay, so we're moving right along. Sometimes we need to hear what's on the screen. Maybe it's on a computer. I'm gonna show you a program, it's called Natural Reader and it's a free screen reader. You can download it from naturalreaders.com. They offer the software for free so that means students can have it at home.

They have a Mac version and a PC version, and there's their free version. And there are other, you can upgrade as well obviously. So I'm gonna go ahead and call that up on my computer. They're on version 15 right now and the updated versions, they update them from time to time and they've always had a free version, which is really nice. What you can do with Natural Reader is it will read anything that's on the screen that is selectable text. So one thing that you can do is add in a document. So if you have a Word document that you need to read, I can open up a... Let me find a Word document I have here. Basic features of AlphaSmart, I can go ahead and open it and it will read it to me. It uses the default voices built into your computer. So I have Windows 10 so it's using Microsoft David.

If you're using Windows 7, you're gonna get Microsoft Anna. And I'm not quite sure what you'll get with a Mac, but it's probably gonna sound pretty good. So all I have to do is again hit play. So it reads it for them very easily. You'll notice it did the highlighting. If you wanna change the speaker, you can change it to zero is another female voice, Susan or Steven. You can also change the speed. I typically prefer personally to listen on a negative one. That's just my processing. Some kids like to listen to it negative two. I'll let them go as low as negative four. After about negative four, it starts to distort. And I kind of do the same thing on the other end, I won't let them go too really past positive four unless they've had significant experience with screen readers because listening like this, listening to a screen reader is a skill. You can also just highlight what you want to hear and hit play and it'll... It normally just reads what I want it to read. So that is one way.

You could also, if you also wanna just type in your own text just to hear it, so if you're not sure, you can type it in and I can hit play and it'll read it for me. Also if you had text you found on the Internet, just a block of text, you can go ahead, copy and paste it into here. But if you're looking at things on the Internet, it would be a lot nicer if you could just go to the Internet and highlight and listen what you want to hear, right? So what I'm gonna do is go to, change this to the floating bar and now I'm gonna go to my Washington Post and I'm going to find, let's read about Tom Wolfe. So any text that is selectable, I'm gonna move this out of the way, any text that is selectable, I can highlight it and I'm gonna convert it for me. It's gonna read it to me. I'm just gonna go ahead and pause. And you know what, it's great to get that feedback. However, it might be a little bit more powerful if we could see, again matching those words.

So I've got this little drop-down right here where it says text in the right corner. And what it does is it takes the words you've highlighted and it throws them in this box, and now when I'm listening I can track along. So... So that is Natural Reader. We have a lot of kids who need read aloud for different online testing, and we have found that the screen reader, we have it available on every computer in the school system for every student special ed, general ed, eso, whatever, it's available for everyone, and kids will go ahead and use this. They'll highlight their question, listen to the question, highlight the answers, listen to the answers. And this prevents teachers from having to have 17 different groups of read aloud because some kids go slow and some kids go fast and some kids only need these few words read.

So it really gives you that independence to read things, to have things read to you. It is a free program, which is great. So you get what you're paying for, which means that this right here, in my ad where it's a Honda Clarity, I can't highlight that, which means I can't read it. So it's also a nice basic level of assistive technology when you're looking at least restricted to most restrictive for screen readers. If we can get by with just this screen reader, I don't need to give you something more, something more extensive. And it's just very simple. I can go back to my bigger page and work from there. So it's a pretty nice program. And again, like I said, it's free. They do have app versions. So let's go down They do have versions of apps that you can use on iOS and Android devices. Give me just a second, switching screens. Oh hold on, let me find that. Let me go Shift + F5.

So there is a free version available for both iOS and Android. They are limited in the amount of time you can use them daily. And then on iOS, for basically $10, a one-time $10 purchase, you can get the Pro version which will give you access to different voices than what's just built in on your iPad and unlimited use. For Android, for some reason they have a $4.99 subscription model, a monthly subscription model. And I've asked them about it and they're like that's just the way we do it. That's their business model and that's just the way they do it. But it is another option. And with those again you can go to, bring in web pages or your own text. And you get more if you pay for it obviously. So that is Natural Reader and it's just a nice little app to have or have on your computers because it's free. So again, everybody can have it. I think that's probably everything. I apologize for the technical stuff in the beginning. I'm sorry, I don't know why Alex was reading like a maniac. But technology is great, especially when it works.

So if you have any questions, I'd be happy to take them at this time. So the best app for taking pictures of text and having it read out loud. I think there's quite a lot of those. I think it's, are you looking at a free app? Are you looking at a paid app? Seeing AI, which is, at this point... Let me see if I can bring him up if my iPad is gonna work. Seeing AI, it's only available on iOS devices at this moment, and it's in beta version. That's one, it's free, it's made by Microsoft. So there's different choices that you can, what you wanna take a picture of. So if I have a short text, sorry now I'm looking for something to take a picture of or get text off of. I'm gonna tell that it's a document. All right, ooh. Sorry, I was not prepared for this. So let's see if it finds my calendarstand up.

So it's found the text. It's processing it. Oop, and it couldn't find it. You know, this is here. There's a piece of paper with text that's pretty, sorry, in your document. Come on. to focus. Oh my. find it here. Oh, technology. Come one, here we go, see if it will grab it. So it scanned it and I can hit play. And I'm not sure why it's not talking. The volume is on, but it will read it to you. I'm don't know if it's because it's mirroring or because we're also still in beta with this. So Seeing AI, it's developed for individuals with vision impairments. I don't know if it's better than Office Lens. I just started using that one. I find with Office Lens, and I mostly use Office Lens on my Android, Office Lens is great for taking a picture of something, I've never been able to get it to read back to me. But it will read it. And with Seeing AI, it will read things. It will also do product barcodes.

So if you had an individual who needed to scan something to find out what it was, whether they have intellectual disability or a visual impairment, that would be useful. If there's people around, you can take a picture of a person and it might say like a woman in her 30s and it'll tell you about the scene, it'll look at money. Color and handwriting are new, I have not explored those yet but Seeing AI is one. I really like, I like ClaroPDF, which I think is similar to Claro ScanPen. And you can take a picture of a worksheet. And with ClaroPDF, you can write on the worksheet. You can buy credits so that way it'll read it back to you so you can hear what you're doing. Snap&Read, which is by Don Johnston, has an iOS app which will also allow you to take a picture of something or go on a website on an iPad and it will read it back to you as well. But yeah, there's a bunch of different ones. It just depends on what you want. I'm gonna have to look at ScanPen. Are there any other questions?

- [Moderator] Looks like we have no more questions so we can go ahead and wrap up.

- [Diana] Okay. Thank you, I appreciate it. I'm sorry about that initial problem.

- [Moderator] Yes, we'll have the recording posted in a day or two, and we'll send an email out to everyone when that's posted. Thank you, Diana.

- [Diana] Thank you so much for having me.