AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.

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iPad & iPhone - Text to Speech (Text Read Aloud)

Cost: Free with an iPad and iPhone as it is an inbuilt tool | Platforms: Apple products. 

The iPhones and iPads have a variety of inbuilt tools that help people with disabilities. This includes an inbuilt tool that reads out text from multiple types of sources such as emails, documents and websites for example.

Most useful for: People who find reading a challenge or people may be better listeners than readers. 

How do I use the speech to text tool? 

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Spoken Content.  

Adjust any of the following to make your experience more tailored to you:  

  • Speak Selection: To hear text you selected, tap the Speak button.  

  • Speak Screen: To hear the entire screen, swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen.  

  • Speech Controller: Show the controller for quick access to Speak Screen and Speak on Touch.  

  • Highlight Content: iPad can highlight words, sentences, or both as they’re spoken. You can change the highlight colour and style.  

  • Typing Feedback: You can configure typing feedback for the onscreen and external keyboards and choose to have iPad speak each character, entire words, auto-corrections, auto-capitalizations, and typing predictions.  

  • To hear typing predictions, you also need to go to Settings > General > Keyboards, then turn on Predictive.  

  • Voices: Choose a voice and dialect.  

  • Speaking Rate: Drag the slider to adjust the talking speed.  

  • Pronunciations: Dictate or spell out how you want certain phrases to be spoken. 

text to speech options in apple products that include voice type and voice speed.

Its key feature is: 

  • Reading text out loud so you can hear it instead of reading it. Give your eyes a break and let your ears do the thinking. 

Our Top Tips: 

  • At times you may need text read aloud as you may find it easier to understand information if you hear it instead of reading it.  

  • Having text read aloud can also make it easier to take notes as you don’t have to look at the screen. 

  • Different voices can be selected that read out text, so take the time to find a voice you are comfortable listening to for a long time. 

Demonstration of Text to Speech in an iPhone/iPad in Action 

Video source: JCPS Digital Learning Channel YouTube channel 

Go to the Apple Website> 

Get More Advice:  

  • If you are a student in Higher Education, speak to your Assistive Technology Officer or Disability Officer /Learning Support Officer.  

  • If you are a Student in the FET/ETB then it may be possible to speak to an Educational Needs Coordinator, Learning Support Coordinator, Student Access Officer, Student Support Coordinator or a Disability Support Officer for more information about assistive technology.  

  • If you are an Employee and are interested in this technology then speak to your Disability Liaison Officer (public service) or your Line Manager to start the conversation.