These guides explain ways to change how your computer or web browser operates, to make things easier for people who are visually impaired.
How to make your computer speak text aloud
You can make your computer talk in a number of ways, which can be a valuable facility for people who have difficulties with reading, for someone who can't see very well or at all, and for those who need to give their eyes a rest. These guides explain how to use the built-in speech function in your operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux). There are also third-party screen-readers and text-to-speech software applications available.
There are different ways you can make your web browser 'talk'. Some of these are embedded in the web pages themselves, so you only need to click on a 'listen' button, for instance. Other third-party software applications need to be installed on your computer, and may work only with websites that have registered with the maker of the talking browser.
One talking browser programme that is free for the user is BrowseAloud (which is available from the BrowseAloud Downloads page). When it is running, you simply need to move the mouse over some text on a web page, click on the icon that appears and the text is read out to you. It does, however, require some degree of vision and the ability to move the mouse pointer, and can only be used on websites that have registered with the service (see the list of sites supporting BrowseAloud).