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Screen readers

This site was designed and written to the web standards of the time and should have no problem being read by screen readers or text to speeck software, if however you encounter problems please complete the online form.

Devon & Cornwall Police do not endorse any of the products listed below.

A selection of screen readers and text to speech software for desktop and portable computers.

Most modern computers have adequate to excellent accessibility software built into their operating systems and these often include a screen reader and screen magnifier.


Windows has a text to speech feature built into its system called Narrator and a text / screen enlarger called Magnifier.

Windows XP
Window XP Narrator
Window XP Magnifer

Windows Vista has a built-in Magnifier and Narrator

Windows 7
Windows 7 has a built-in Magnifier and Narrator

Apple Macs

To hear Mac OS 9 read text aloud the sound options are used in Simple Text. The article below explains how. Simple text sound options

The Mac has a text to speech feature called VoiceOver and a screen magnifier.
Mac OS X onwards has a built in screen reader, VoiceOver which can be found under ‘System Preferences’ and then ‘Universal Access’.

Solaris and Linux

These operating systems use Orca. “Orca is a free, open source, flexible, and extensible screen reader that provides access to the graphical desktop via user-customizable combinations of speech and/or braille.”

Speakup for linux

Free or with voluntary donation screen reader applications

Non Visual Desktop Reader (NVDA)

Free text to speech application downloads for the PC


ClipSpeak it speaks text that is copied to the clipboard and can convert to mp3 files.

SpeakComputer it speaks highlighted text and can convert to .mp3 and .wav files

Browser add ons

"ATbar has been created as an open-source, cross-browser toolbar to help users customise the way they view and interact with web pages. The concept behind ATbar is simple: One toolbar to provide all of the functionality you would usually achieve through the use of different settings or products." (Taken from the homepage of their site)

Commercial products

The products below do have free demo versions so you can try before you buy.




Window eyes

Further reading

For more information on screen readers and text to speach software please visit lists a whole range of screen readers and a few for Linx and the Chrome operating systems. lists some software that’s free for both the Mac and PC.

Wac – web accessibility centre: ‘Free Assistive Technology Software (Yes, Free!)’

WebbIE - WebbIE links page for 'Other sites and Programs'.

Other useful sites we came across while researching screen readers. links to free accessibility software.

Adobe reader

"Using the Read Out Loud Text-to-Speech
This section will provide information for modifying the speech settings for the Read Out Loud tool in Adobe® Reader® 6.0 and detail the keystrokes for reading documents using Read Out Loud." The above passage taken form adobe site


WebbIE is a Browser that has been designed to work with screen readers.

WebbIE and web accessibility gives you some detailed background on why WebbIE exists and what it does..."

To find out more visit the WebbIE about page.

To download vistit the WebbIE download page which includes software to enable the reading of PDFs.

Quartizer Projects

"For visually impaired social media fans, the Qube is a free downloadable screen-reader application that turns Twitter text into talk." - BBC Click



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  • Created: 16/04/2009 16:55:09 |
  • Modified: 22/03/2013 10:23:58

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Devon & Cornwall Police, Police Headquarters, Middlemoor, Exeter, Devon, EX2 7HQ
Non-emergency number 101 for Devon & Cornwall Constabulary or Textphone 18001 101
Emergency number 999 or Text 80999 for deaf, hard of hearing and the speech impaired

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