Text to Speech

This past year has had our kids accessing technology more than ever before. Even those who didn’t previously use Assistive Technology now find themselves with Chromebooks and other devices to do their school work at home.

But, a new environment can expose skill gaps. When school information is presented in a different format, a student may need new or different supports to access that information. Lately, many parents have been asking about Text to Speech apps and Voice to Text apps for their kids.

child using voice to text app on a tablet

Difference Between the Two

Voice to Text: This type of app types out what you say. Like when I tap the little microphone on my phone in my texting app, I can quickly tell my husband something that would take me several minutes to type out. However, some are better than others. The voice to text on my phone (Pixel 3) is awesome. The app that I use to transcribe podcasts to my blog is not and it requires a tremendous amount of editing.

Text to Voice: Think of this as a book on tape. (I know, dating myself) Ok, think of Alexa. Alexa is a computerized voice that reads text to you. But, she sounds pretty human, doesn’t she? Some devices let you pick a voice. I use Amazon AWS to read my blog to people who prefer that option. While it might seem cute and funny to read it in a British accent or in the voice of Cookie Monster, that may not be best for an educational setting.

Adding Voice/Text to your IEP

Like everything else, supports and services are needs-driven. Ask for an evaluation in this area, or ask for RTI type format (add intervention and take data). This wouldn’t necessarily need the whole IEP team to convene and could be done with an IEP no-meet addendum. Or, an abbreviated meeting with just a teacher and SLP and parent.

Choosing the Right Voice Text App

Here are some tips for choosing the best and most appropriate Speech to Text or Text to Voice app for your child.

  1. First, it needs to be compatible (duh). While most app developers these days make both ios and an Android version, not all do. So double-check that it is compatible with the device your child uses.
  2. Can they use it at home? If your child has a separate device at home or for personal use, I would try to choose the same app for consistency. This way, they only have to learn how to use one app.
  3. Does the app do both? Some do both Texts to Voice and Voice to Text, but not all do. Again, it depends on how many apps you want your child to learn.
  4. Talk with your IEP team. Particularly if your child needs SLP or Hearing Services, they may have some specific recommendations for your child.
  5. Ask for extra time and recordings. It takes extra time to transcribe something and read it, rather than just listening to it the first time. Same in reverse. Extra time on assignments might be warranted.
  6. For multi-lingual households, choose an app that meets those needs. Some are great at translating and some are not. Your ESOL teacher should be able to assist you with choosing the right translating voice to text app.
Bestseller No. 1
Text to Speech Pro
61 Reviews
Text to Speech Pro
  • Adjustable speed
  • Adjustable pitch
  • Easy to use
  • Material design
  • English (Publication Language)
Bestseller No. 2
Easy TTS - Text to Speech
101 Reviews
Easy TTS - Text to Speech
  • Text to voice conversion.
  • Multiple languages.
  • Highlight text while reading.
  • Pause and resume speech.
  • Change voice settings ( Pitch, Velocity and Volume).
Bestseller No. 3
Text To Speech
217 Reviews
Text To Speech
  • Simple user interface
  • Use for pronunciations of words
  • English (Publication Language)
Bestseller No. 4
JustTalk - Text to Speech
63 Reviews
JustTalk - Text to Speech
  • Just Talk is a text to speech App!
  • Note: Please download any missing language packages from market.Features
  • - Text to Voice
  • - Start/Stop
  • - Save text
Bestseller No. 5
Text To Speech_Talk Pro Free
105 Reviews
Text To Speech_Talk Pro Free
  • -Text to voice
  • -Read web pages
  • -Play / Pause / Stop
  • -Export audio as WAV file
  • -Lots of languages (internet connection required for some)
Bestseller No. 6
Text To Speech - TTS
66 Reviews
Text To Speech - TTS
  • -Text to voice
  • - one click clear data
  • - Set Voice Speed Rate
  • - Set Voice Pitch
  • - Direct go to Device TTS settings.
Bestseller No. 7
Classic Text to Speech
67 Reviews
Classic Text to Speech
  • classic
  • text to speech
  • free
  • English (Publication Language)
Bestseller No. 8
TTS- Text To Speech
1 Reviews
TTS- Text To Speech
  • - Language: English (US&UK).
  • - Good Plain GUI.
  • - Easy to Use.
  • - 100% ads free.
  • English (Publication Language)
Bestseller No. 9
Voice Monkey - Routine Triggers & Text To Speech
31 Reviews
Bestseller No. 10
Simple Text to Speech
3 Reviews
Simple Text to Speech
  • It supports 56 languages
  • Save input text in your external storage
  • Open txt file in input form
  • Play and stop button
  • English (Publication Language)

I’ve given you several free ones to choose from, but most apps are pretty inexpensive. While the ‘F’ in FAPE stands for free, I personally would just purchase a $5 or $10 app for my kid, rather than go through the process. Good luck and if you have an amazing text to speech or voice to text app that you’d like me to add to this list, let me know.

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