Best Screen Readers
There are lots of options on the market when it comes to screen reader software. Screen readers are available for all of the most popular operating systems such as Windows, Mac, and Linux. If you have a Chromebook there is already a screen reader called chromevox which is already built in. There is also a pretty large price range for screen readers.
You can find free screen readers and readers priced all the way up to over $1,000. It might be overwhelming trying to determine which screen reader is the best for your needs.
Speechify, JAWS, NVDA for Windows and Mac, and Apple Voiceover are the most commonly recommended screen readers.
Webanywhere is a free web-based screenreader that doesn’t require any special software to operate. Dolphin screen reader is another option which gives the user full access to Windows applications and Microsoft Office. There is also Mac OS X Voiceover and System Access. In this post, we will seek to make that process a little bit easier by providing you with some basic information that might help you make a better decision.
Benefits to Screen Readers
A good screen reading software will enable those with visual impairments the ability to do everything that a person with vision is able to do. Some who are blind or visually impaired are able to read the computer screen using an internal magnification that is built into the computer but others require a screen reader. With this software program you will have unlimited access to apps and documents and have the ability to navigate social media, shop, read blog posts and articles, scan and read documents and so much more. Screen readers can even be used to create documents, write emails, and communicate with others through instant messaging.
Speechify is a text-to-speech reader that is available as an Apple iPhone iOS or Android app and a Chrome extension for your laptop. Speechify is the most popular screen reader and the #1 rated app in its category.
Speech to Text is another option instead of using zoomtext or a magnifier.
The Speechify speech synthesizer is natural sounding and include 20+ languages. You can choose from Speechify Limited for free or Speechify Premium for $139 per year. The Premium version includes upgrades such as over 30 high-quality, natural reading voices, scan and listen to any printed text, listen at 5x faster speeds, advanced skipping and importing, powerful highlighting and note-taking tools.
NonVisual Desktop Access
NonVisual Desktop Access is an assistive technology for Windows operating systems that reads the text on the screen in a computerized voice. By using the arrow keys or the mouse the user can move the cursor to control what text is read. Touch commands can also be used if you are running NVDA on a touchscreen device. NVDA can also translate the text into braille as long as the user has a braille display. NonVisual Desktop Access is a completely free and open source screen reader but it is also very limited. There is support for add-ons, the Windows logon screen, User Account Control Screens, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome and there is very limited support for Microsoft Excel.
NVDA and Braille Display
NVDA supports many of the refreshable braille displays as well as input from braille keyboards. In many cases, it even supports an automatic detection feature via Bluetooth or the USB port.
Which is the best screen reader?
There are many text-to-speech apps available for Android, iOS, Chrome, and Safari. Speechify is rated #1 in this category. Speechify is a powerful tool for those with visual impairments and other reading difficulties as well as those who are looking to use a text-to-speech app to boost productivity, increase understanding and get through content more quickly. Speechify is a simple screen reader which reads the text on web pages, PDFs, emails, or docs.
How much do screen readers cost?
Screen readers come in a variety of price ranges. You can find many options that are free all the way up to $1200.
Can screen readers be used by people with different abilities?
Yes, screen readers can be used for a variety of reasons. Originally screen reader users were primarily blind people and those who have other disabilities, but they are becoming more popular for those with full sight for a variety of different reasons.