Want to listen rather than read?
Listen to an audio version of this blog post. Did you know that you can listen to academic resources rather than reading them? There are lots of reasons you may choose to do this. You might find it easier to take in information by listening to it rather than reading it. Perhaps you want a break from looking at a screen. Or you might be short of time and want to multitask; you could listen to audio versions of eBooks and journal articles whilst travelling, exercising or doing other things. And if you have dyslexia or another disability, you might need to listen to audio versions of resources due to difficulties reading printed text. There are lots of options for listening to resources.
Reading an eBook?
Check which collection it is from and have a look at the relevant ‘Accessibility help’ link on the eBook collections page. This will tell you all the options for having that title read aloud, which often include browser tools, plugins and software freely available for use at home. These tools can also be used to read other resources, such as journal articles
Read & Write software
While access to the Library is reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions, we can offer Read & Write software for free for you to install on your home computer until the end of social distancing guidance. This has a text-to-speech tool for reading webpages aloud and a PDF reader for PDF files. It also has an Audio Maker tool for converting text into an MP3 file, which you could transfer to a mobile device and listen to it on the go. If you would like to install the software please email the Library Disability Support Team. There is also a freely available Read & Write toolbar for Google Chrome web browser which you can use to read the content of web pages, Google Docs and Office 365 files aloud.
Microsoft Edge web browser has an inbuilt tool for reading webpages aloud – see the Read Aloud section on this page Use Immersive Reader in Microsoft Edge for instructions.
You can have downloaded PDF files read aloud using freely available Adobe Reader software.
VLebooks inbuilt reader tool
Reading an eBook from the VLebooks collection? This has a handy inbuilt ReadALoud tool. All you need to do is go to the page that you want to read and click on the ReadALoud icon in the top right hand corner. The text will automatically be read aloud, and a box will open on the page which allows you to adjust the volume, rewind, forward and pause.
The Library also subscribes to SensusAccess - a web-based tool which you can use, subject to the conditions of use and copyright law, to convert documents into more accessible formats, including MP3 files.
If you have any queries or need any advice, please contact us and we will be happy to help.