Assessor Information

Student Finance England approved Sensory Readable for Windows in June 2023. The confirmation text from Student Finance England was as follows – “This product, Sensory Readable for Windows, can now be recommended by Needs Assessors to be funded via the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA)” as of 16th June 2023. 

As an installed accessibility software, Sensory Readable can also be described as a “general purpose text to speech software product”, that is installed on the Windows PC and is not reliant on an internet connection for operation. For “General purpose text-to-speech, speech-to-text” usage, the WKH specification Windows PC is recommended, according to the most recent Disabled Students Allowance Computer Equipment Specfication document (at this date).

Further guidance about text to speech software for assessors is contained in the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) Guidance for Academic Year 24/25. Section 4.4.3 gives the following guidance.“Other disabled students may require a computer with a higher specification than an entry-level computer in order to effectively use more demanding software – for example, speech-to-text software and/or text-to-speech software. This is termed as a standard computer in the DSA context. The specification for a standard computer for DSA purposes is set out as a ‘Classic/WKH’ in the Computer Specification Matrix.”

Assessment Video

Following several requests from assessors, we have created a 2 minute overview of Sensory Readable for Windows, that can be shown as part of the assessment process is helpful. This is an alternative to providing a live demonstration of the software. You can download the video onto your own computer if needed. Sensory Readable is a cost effective choice for providing enhanced text to speech support software.

To download this video for your computer, Press the triple dot icon (bottom right of media player) and select download

Text To Speech (TTS) Support for Writing & Reviewing

  • Text-to-speech (TTS) technology offers several advantages for writing and reviewing your written work. TTS enables writers with certain impairments, dyslexia, or other disabilities and difficulties to engage more effectively in the writing process.
  • Hearing your typed text read aloud can help identify errors, awkward phrasing, and grammatical mistakes that may be missed during silent proof-reading. Silent proof-reading is particularly challenging for many people with reading difficulties or who may be easily distracted. Proof-reading with speech is the most accurate and efficient way to produce higher quality writing for most people.
  • Listening to your own writing being read aloud can provide valuable feedback. Writers can assess the flow, coherence, and overall structure of their work more effectively, leading to revisions that could enhance readability and comprehension.
  • TTS can highlight instances of “wordiness”, redundancy, or repetition in writing. By listening to the text, writers can identify and revise areas where language can be streamlined and made more concise.
  • Text to speech is especially important for reviewing text content created by speech dictation software, which can introduce word errors due to acoustic and speech quality reasons
  • Listening to text being read aloud can help writers maintain focus and concentration, particularly during long writing sessions. This can lead to increased productivity and better writing outcomes.
  • TTS technology can provide assistance during the use of word processor tools such as spellcheck, grammar check, dictionary, thesaurus and text generation and summarisation tools.
  • In summary, text-to-speech technology provides valuable support for writing and reviewing academic work

Sensory Readable Support for Writing & Reviewing - summary

  • Text-to-speech (TTS) technology offers several advantages for writing and reviewing your written work. TTS enables writers with certain impairments, dyslexia, or other disabilities and difficulties to engage more effectively in the writing process.
  • Hearing your typed text read aloud can help identify errors, awkward phrasing, and grammatical mistakes that may be missed during silent proof-reading. The most popular writing tool is Microsoft Word, and Sensory Readable integrates with Microsoft Office and Windows to provide enhanced accessibility and text to speech functions. When writing in Word, Outlook, Notepad and more, Readable can speak from a range of high-quality UK voices. You can quickly select text to speak, “click and play” or speak sections of text under the mouse cursor.
  • Listening to your own writing being read aloud can provide valuable feedback. Sensory Readable has a novel visual tracking method called “underline highlight” that is synchronised with the speech. This means you can track the position in the document that is being spoken, allowing easy editing. Stop the speech, make the changes, press play to continue.
  • TTS can highlight instances of “wordiness”, redundancy, or repetition in writing. By listening to the text, writers can identify improvements and revise text. Sensory Readable can help improve the overall quality of written work through independent working. Readable is your digital proof-reader.
  • Text to speech is especially important for reviewing important written work created by speech dictation software. Sensory Readable provides responsive text to speech of the text created with tools such as Microsoft Word speech dictation or Dragon dictation. This allows for quick identification and correction of mis-recognised words .
  • Listening to text being read aloud can help writers maintain focus and concentration, particularly during long writing sessions. Many people can read but struggle with focus, concentration, fatigue or visual issues. Sensory Readable text to speech can assist, as can the included Sensory Ruler and Tint tools. Sensory Ruler is an enhanced screen ruler. Sensory Tint can change the screen display colours, including a mono and night-time mode.
  • Sensory Readable is an enhanced accessibility tool integrated with Microsoft Windows. You can hear all suggestions by the Microsoft Word spell check, grammar check, thesaurus, dictionary, Co-Pilot suggestions, file names and more.

Text to Speech (TTS) Support for Research & Reading

  • Some individuals comprehend information better when it’s presented auditorily rather than visually. TTS provides an alternative method of consuming content, catering to different learning preferences.
  • Listening to text can help identify errors or awkward phrasings in your typed notes that may be overlooked when proofreading silently. It assists in proofreading and enhances the overall quality of written work.
  • TTS technology will help students review and absorb content in University Learning systems.
  • TTS technology allows users to adjust the reading speed according to their preference, enabling them to consume content at a faster pace than traditional reading methods.
  • Access to Texts in Various Formats for conversion to speech. TTS can convert a wide range of text formats, including articles, books, PDFs, and web pages, into speech.
  • Long hours of reading can lead to eye strain and fatigue. TTS provides a reprieve by allowing users to listen to text instead of continuously reading visually, reducing strain and enhancing endurance.
  • TTS enables hands-free operation, which is particularly useful for researchers who need to reference texts while working on experiments, writing, reviewing paper materials and graphics or conducting other tasks.
  • In summary, text-to-speech technology provides valuable support for research and reading academic content by improving proof-reading, providing auditory feedback, enhancing language proficiency, and increasing accessibility.

Sensory Readable Support for Research & Reading - summary

  • Some individuals comprehend information better when it’s presented auditorily rather than visually. Sensory Readable is an enhanced accessibility tool for Microsoft Windows PC. With an easy-to-use toolbar, it supports with TTS in most content. Readable is particularly effective with Microsoft Office, Edge (and Chrome) browser and PDF files. It is installed locally on the PC and requires no internet connection to work.
  • Listening to text can help identify errors or awkward phrasings in your typed notes that may be overlooked when proofreading silently. It assists in proofreading and enhances the overall quality of written work.
  • Sensory Readable will add simple, quality, effective text to speech function into Education Learning systems using Edge or Chrome browser.

  • Sensory Readable allows a user to select from a range of high-quality UK English voices. The speaking speed can be easily varied to suit a user’s preference. Sensory Readable also has a novel visual tracking method called “underline highlight”.

  • Most digital content is now accessible so Sensory Readable will be able to speak it. Sensory Readable includes a “text extractor” function to convert inaccessible text into speech. Sensory Readable also includes an accessible PDF Reader for listening to PDF files. 

  • Long hours of reading can lead to eye strain and fatigue. Sensory Readable text to speech can assist, as can the included Sensory Ruler and Tint tools. Ruler is an enhanced screen ruler. Tint can change the screen display colours, including a mono and night-time mode.
  • With Sensory Readable you can listen to a Word document, webpage article or PDF whilst doing other tasks. You could be reviewing related images, a related article or doing something completely different. Readable has an option to allow you to type text whilst listening to another article with text to speech and will work on an extra display screen. 

System Specifications for Sensory Readable Suite for Windows with Vocalizer TTS Voices

Sensory Readable assistive software integrates and operates with Microsoft Windows system, Microsoft Office, and other programs open on the PC. It may also need to operate alongside other assistive technology such as screen magnifiers or Dragon speech recognition dictation software. Sensory App House recommends that users have a computer suitable to perform their study and work, whilst being supported by assistive technology . Our recommended minimum specification for the Sensory Readable for Windows Suite is as follows.

Recommended Minimum Specification for Sensory Readable Suite for Windows: Intel i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB HDD

If a user only requires certain elements of the Readable Suite, such as Sensory PDF Reader, then the following minimum specification is recommended.

Recommended Minimum Specification: Intel i3, 4GB RAM, HDD 128GB HDD

If you have computers on your organisation network, with lower specifications than the recommendations above, please contact us at [email protected] – we can offer advice and support you to undertake performance testing of Sensory Readable in your computing environment.