Text-to-Speech


Entries into each section on this wiki will be structured so that this basic information is available. We will include the TITLE of the application, with a link to the broad description and rating on iTunes. The ICON is simply a screen shot of what will show up on the device. WHO describes the student you have used this particular app with. WHERE indicates whether the app was used at home, school, or in therapy. HOW describes the manner in which you used it. This is also the place to elaborate on other ideas for application. WHY/WHY NOT provides the contributer an opportunity to indicate the value of the app, whether they would use it again, and rationale for the opinion. We invite anyone else who has used the app to comment on anything about it... different whos, hows and whys....


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TITLE
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APPLICATION
(WHO, WHERE, HOW)
VALUE
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Speak It! Text to Speech
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This app allows you to type in anything and hear it read back in a high quality synthesized voice. It is a very clean interface. I downloaded the Spanish voices and used it to demonstrate to parents who needed to choose between digitally recorded vs. synthesized options on a communication device for their 8 year old son. I was also able to type into another app that I find very helpful for translating from English to Spanish - iTranslate (free app). I could then copy the Spanish text, return to the SpeakIt! app and paste the text. When reading back it highlighted word-by-word. The add-on voice options included Rosa for United States (who also speaks English with a Spanish accent) and 2 male Spanish voices. I could save phrases right on the device in the SpeakIt! app to have ready for other times pre-recorded messages are needed. I also e-mailed the files to myself, and now have the recordings on my desktop. It is in .aiff version, so it can't be read by PRC devices or Boardmaker Plus; I'm not sure about Dynavox Series V or Desktop Chat. I was able to convert, however, using iTunes. I created a page with a few messages in Spanish on the Vantage PASS software, but it didn't sound right on my laptop. I need to try importing the sounds directly into a device to see if this technique will actually work. I wouldn't recommend it for doing many messages, since each message (whether it is a word or phrase) is an individual file. The phrases are saved as a list in the app and cannot be placed in separate folders.
Submitted by: Deanna K. Wagner
Additional ideas/comments from others:
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This is a nice clean interface for people who want to type in text (or paste text) and hear it read back. I will recommend it for a middle school student on the spectrum who is using mostly direct typing for communication. I also really like using it to hear the Spanish, but had difficulty figuring out how to type in characters like /ñ/ and /é/. (That was how I got the idea to use my iTranslate app.)
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$1.99+$ .99extra voices
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Verbally
This application is comprised of two main pages, accessed by the tabs at the top of the page.
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As is obvious from the tabs, you use individual words from the "words" page, and access phrases from the phrase page. Words show up in the message window, and are spoken when you hit the "speak" button. Word prediction is embedded and 4 words at a time predict what might come next.

We used this app with students who were readers or emergent readers, most often on the autism spectrum. They sometimes listened to the word being spoken, and would change it if they didn't like the word.

We also tried the application with an adult who had lost the ability to speak, and found it to be a nice way to quickly compose novel sentences. We found that even verbal kids liked using this to write, as they could hear the words as they put them in the message window.
Submitted by: Laurel Richardson and Marilyn Willcoxon
Additional ideas/comments from others:
Our biggest frustration was not being able to customize the preprogrammed messages or word prediction. It would not be great for a comprehensive communication device, as it simply wouldn't have enough stored phrases. For a free app, however, this is absolutely fantastic! We hope the company would continue to upgrade this app, and we would be willing to pay for a customizable version.
FREE!