Text to speech for aphasia
People with communication issues often struggle to express their thoughts, emotions, and desires. They also have limited possibilities for ingesting content, reading books, and acquiring new knowledge.
Fortunately, assistive technology tools like text to speech can help. People with aphasia and similar impairments can now boost their communication skills and lower the stress and anxiety caused by their disability.
What is aphasia?
Aphasia is a communication disorder affecting a person’s ability to use and understand language. The problem can occur with written and spoken language, and it’s most common following a traumatic brain injury or a stroke. Brain tumors and degenerative diseases can also cause aphasia.
The study of this language impairment is called aphasiology.
Common aphasia symptoms include:
Incomplete sentence speech
Speech that doesn’t make sense
Substituting one sound or one word for another
Using unrecognizable words
Finding words with difficulty
Not understanding a text
Writing sentences that don’t make sense
Not understanding the conversation other people have
What is text to speech technology?
Text to speech (TTS) is an assistive technology tool that reads written or printed text aloud on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. TTS is also known as “read aloud” technology because it can read aloud words and text.
The easy auditory information access offered by TTS is beneficial for people and children who have difficulties reading. TTS also helps with editing, writing, and focusing.
Today, any digital device can use TTS, and most texts can be run through TTS software. Many apps even have in-built tools that allow users to read their text aloud.
As a TTS user, you can read any web page, PDF file, e-mail, or even text message aloud.
How text to speech helps people with aphasia
TTS helps people read lengthy materials
Most people with aphasia encounter issues when participating in daily activities like reading. With a TTS app, they can process written material faster.
Aphasia apps available for iOS and Android devices can help people with reading impairments read lengthy materials, web pages, PDF documents, and more at a pace convenient for them.
People suffering from a brain injury or aphasia often have to learn how to read from scratch. Hearing the text as they read it can help with pronunciation, intonation, and other elements to help boost their language skills.
Clear dictation for those with speech difficulties
Many modern-day smartphones have accessibility features to help people with speech difficulties navigate their devices. Dictation or speech to text is a built-in feature in Android and iOS devices that lets users say words and sentences and receive them in the written version.
People who can’t type or struggle with spelling can also benefit from this functionality.
Many text to speech programs also support dictation functionalities.
TTS often provides a choice of voices
Text to speech technology keeps getting better. While basic tools only support computer-generated voices that are not always easy to understand, modern-day tools also have natural-sounding voices.
Users can choose from various voices (female or male) with different pitches for a fully customizable listening experience.
A wide range of tools available
Text to speech technology offers numerous tools for different use cases. Below is an overview of some popular software:
SmallTalk – AAC app that allows people with aphasia to communicate using pictures, words, and symbols
Lexico Cognition – App for vocabulary building, language understanding development, and memory skill practice through fun games and questions
Speechify – Text to speech app that converts any printed or digital text into audio files
Murf – A text to speech tool for creating voice overs for presentations, videos, and e-Learning suitable for people with learning disabilities and aphasia
Synthesys – Natural-sounding voice generator from texts
Try Speechify for aphasia
Speechify is a TTS app suitable for people with chronic aphasia, apraxia, autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other reading impairments and difficulties. Speech therapy caregivers and speech-language pathologists frequently use the app to help patients improve their reading skills.
So far, more than 20 million people have downloaded the app. The easy-to-use interface makes document upload and speech generation seamless for all users. It’s possible to download the files for offline use, adjust the playback speed, change narration voices, and more.
Currently, Speechify supports dozens of languages, including English, French, German, Arabic, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and many others.
The app is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and other mobile devices. You can get the free app from Google Play or App Store or by visiting the official website.
Can you text with aphasia?
The condition is different for each aphasia patient. While some can text without issues, others struggle to differentiate words and letters. Typing can also be harder than handwriting for individuals with severe aphasia.
What is the most realistic text to speech app?
Speechify is arguably the most realistic text to speech app. The software has dozens of natural-sounding voices to offer a more immersive experience for the listener. Other realistic apps include NaturalReader, Murf, and Voice Dream Reader.
What tool can be used to help patients with expressive aphasia communicate?
Smartphone and mobile device apps like Lingraphica, SmallTalk, The Comprehension Aphasia, My React2, and other augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) apps can be of great help.
What is the best text to speech software for aphasia?
Speechify, NaturalReader, and Amazon Polly are some of the best text to speech apps. They are also suitable for aphasia patients due to their ease of use, excellent playback control, and immersive experience.
What is the most beneficial app for people with aphasia?
It’s difficult to pick one app that all people with aphasia will find most beneficial. CommunicAide, Grid Player, and Verbally let aphasia patients communicate words and phrases using pictures.
Is there a way to change the voice of text to speech?
Yes, numerous online software allows users to create text to speech and change the voice of the recording. Speechify is one such tool.
What is the difference between speech recognition and text to speech?
Speech recognition translates verbal speech into a textual format. Text to speech does the exact opposite and turns text into speech.
What is the difference between aphasia and dysarthria?
Both conditions are caused by brain trauma like injury, stroke, or tumor. Aphasia happens when people can’t comprehend speech, while dysarthria prevents people from controlling their speech muscles.