Assistive Technology Announcements

Android Free Text to Speech Capability Review

November 06, 2018

Google recently updated their built in TTS, in the latest versions of Android it’s now called Select to Speak; Here is how to activate it.

And here is a demo, using a slightly older version, notice the icon looks slightly different:

Some people get this to work to read PDFs using the built in PDF reader on a Google Device like Pixel.

Unfortunately many Android device manufacturers, such as Samsung put their own skin/theme on top of Android. So when the above was tested on a Samsung Galaxy S8, Select to speak was no where to be found (likely because Samsung doesn't update to the latest version of Android).

In addition, this Google TTS is said to work in Google Play books to read a PDF. According to the following instructions, you can upload your own PDFs into it Google Play and have it read. (that works, but then following the following example for how you should be able to use Google’s TTS to listen to your books in Play Books)

The TTS didn’t work for the PDFs we uploaded, but it did work for some free books downloaded from the Google Play book store.

Keep in mind that a PDF needs to be text version or text in it needs to be selectable.

Good luck and let us know AT@athabascau.ca how it worked for you.

AU App Matrix

November 03, 2016

As a result of the support of the AU research community since 2014, the ASD iPad project has been a great success. In 2016 we developed the "App Matrix" . An app discovery tool that allows students to select apps that may facilitate learning via identified learning skills. Student peers have chosen and ranked items, blogged and commented on their experience of borrowed apps from AU in their learning here.

There is continued deployment of AU owned apps to students who have their own devices and ASD has a few loaner iPads for those who cannot acquire their own.

We encourage you to review the resource, register and engage with us as part of the App Matrix social community.

Future endeavors may explore the borrowing and deployment of Windows, OSX, and Android apps to AU students registered with ASD. This is all reliant on funding that can be obtained for the apps and deployment tool license.

For more information or to find out how you can help in assistive technology initiatives, please contact the AU’s Assistive Technologist

ASD is Actively Involved in Published Research

November 03, 2016

The ASD Assistive Technologist, Carrie Anton and Dr. Linda Chmiliar conducted a research project that is published in various journals including The Journal on Technology and Persons with Disabilities.

Findings were related to the use of the iPad as a Mobile Learning Tool for Students with Disabilities in post-secondary education. The iPad Project was very useful in the determination of a variety of apps chosen by students to be the most useful.

Updated February 26 2019 by Student & Academic Services