Benefits of Text-to-Speech-Technology and Audio-Visual Presentation
Evidence that illustrates the benefits of text-to-speech as well as audio-visual presentation are listed on the National Center for Universal Design and Learning website. The experimental evidence supporting the provision of alternatives for visual information can be found under the guideline “Provide Options for Perception.” The scholarly reviews and opinions offer classroom-based perspectives on the advantages of alternatives for visual information.
Individuals with sensory disabilities (blindness or deafness); learning disabilities (dyslexia); and language or cultural differences may all require different ways of approaching content. Others may simply grasp information more efficiently through visual or auditory means rather than printed text.
Narrated audio books have been around for a long time. Text-to-speech technology that turns text into audio on the fly allows the user to select the voice they prefer to hear when text is being read. There are numerous voices available to choose from, starting with default selections (Windows OS or phone, Chrome for example) to voices that are available for download. Users have a choice of gender - male or female and often an option to purchase a standalone software program. Many applications offer voices in alternative languages and often include specific accents to personalize the user's reading experience.
"Creating alternative formats to printed text is such a relevant topic for the British Dyslexia Association right now. DAISY is gaining a great deal of momentum in the UK, the States, Japan and Scandinavia and many countries in Eastern and Western Europe. Although it has been accepted for many years in the visual impaired community, its attraction for people with dyslexia is also very exciting as it allows the electronic text to be synchronised with audio to help people with reading difficulties. I also love the fact that the student can search for words or pages or chapters and once found, the text and audio is instantly synchronised." - Carol Youngs, British Dyslexia Association
Research conducted by Learning Ally (RFB&D) and John Hopkins University in 2003 discovered that: "Combining text & audio in course materials increased reading comprehension and fluency."
Text is available under the terms of the DAISY Consortium Intellectual Property Policy, Licensing, and Working Group Process.