Do you prefere to listen to texts rather than read? Do you find it hard to take notes? Does writing take to much time? There are many different softwares and apps that might help you in your studies. Below are some tips on various aids that maybe will suite you.
Borrow and download books
Students with a disability that means they would benefit from using talking books can borrow adapted literature on the reading list from The Swedish Agency for Accessible Media, MTM. You can search, borrow and download books yourself that are in MTM’s catalogue, Legimus. If your book is not recorded yet you have to get started early as it can take up to eight weeks to record a talking book. To dowload and order talking books is free of charge.
You do not need to have a prior documented reading problem to get help from talking books. However, please contact SLU’s coordinator so that you can get the support to which you are entitled to.
You will need a reader software in order to be able to listen to talking books. Easy Reader is available on the student computers at SLU. You can also have the program installed on your own personal computer (if you have a PC). Contact IT support to get this software installed on your computer. As a student borrower at MTM you can download EasyReader if you have a PC or ReadHear Mac if you use a Mac.
Need help finding, downloading or listening to talking books? Then book an appointment with one of SLU:s librarians.
Read articles and compendiums using speech synthesis
MTM only records books that are on the compulsory reading list. Articles, reports, compendiums and websites can be read with the help of speech synthesis. If the material is only available in printed form, you will need to scan it in to a computer before you can listen to it. Scanners are located near the special resource computers at SLU’s study venues, often linked to the library. Read more about resource computers on the library web site.
Easy Reader converts text in Word into speech. Easy Reader is available on the student computers at SLU and you can also have the program installed on your own personal computer. Contact IT support to get this software installed on your computer.
Easy Producer can turn text in Word format into speech so that you can listen to scanned-in articles, for example (and even text you have written yourself). You can also save the sound files you have created.
ViTal is a speech synthesis program that turns documents in Word and PDF into speech.
SLU has several software programs that may be particularly useful for those with a disability. The software programs are available on all student computers. All students (whether or not they receive educational support) can also have these programs installed on their own personal computers. All software is suitable for PCs, and some also for Mac computers. They require a certain capacity of your computer .
You can have the following programs installed:
- VeritySpell Spell-checker for English text and English speaking users. Helps distinguish between easily confused words. Shows the suggested English words in short sentences. (You will find VeritySpell at the top meny in Microsoft Word; under "Oribi")
- TorTalk Speech synthesis wich reads out all text on the screen, also in pdf documents and web sites. Choose between different English and Swedish voices. Available both in PC and Mac version.
- Gustavas dictionaries Glossary with word search on audio image, for Swedish and English. Reads out words looked up and definitions.
- Easy Reader Reads audio books using a synthetic voice.
- Easy Producer Reads out text in Word documents using a synthetic voice and creates audio books from Word.
The library staff can give you an introduction to the software.
Contact IT support to get those softwares installed on your computer.
In addition to the software above, there are also some programs on special resource computers in the SLU library:
- ViTal Speech synthesis that is able to read both PDF and Word documents.
- Easy Converter Creates talking books from PDF documents.
- ScreenRuler Screen ruler which separates lines of text on the computer screen.
Read more about resource computers on the library web site.
There are also a number of free software programs on the Internet that may be of help.
Have you thought about looking for smartphone apps that might help you in your studies? There are sound recording apps which would let you record lectures (remember to ask the teacher first), apps that scan in text and use speech synthesis and others.
Talking books on your mobile
If you have a download account at MTM (The Swedish Agency for Accessible Media) and you have an Android phone or iPhone (iPad and iPod Touch also work), you may listen to talking books using the DAISY Reader app. Find out more about talking books on your mobile at the MTM website.
You can buy simple sound recording devices with an USB-port in electronics shops for around SEK 500. You can then use these to record lectures.
Generally speaking, SLU does not provide personal technical aids.