ReadSpeaker webReader lets you listen to the text content on a website being read aloud. This may help you better understand information, and you can listen to it anywhere and at any time. You don’t have to download anything.
How does it work?
Listen to the Content
Simply click the Listen button to listen to the content of the page you are on:
An audio player appears (see image below). Then webReader starts reading the text of the web page out loud.
In the player, you can:
Pause/restart the reading (click on the Green arrow)
Stop the reading (click on the Red square)
Use the skip buttons (click on the double arrows) to rewind or forward the audio
Adjust the volume (click on the icon of a loudspeaker)
Adjust the reading speed (click on the icon of a clock)
Close the player (click on the Cross)
webReader pop-up windows
Some of webReaders features, such as Text Mode and Enlarged Text and Translation, will open a pop-up window. All webReader pop-up windows have a play button for listening to the content shown. You can play, pause, or stop the audio, alter the text formatting, adjust the reading speed and maximize the window size for easier and undistracted reading.
More features (these are not essential)
Features for Selected Text
To use extra features, select a word, phrase or phrases. Then select the desired feature from the pop-up menu that appears next to the selected text.
Read selected text
To listen to any part of a text, select the text. Then click the Listen button from the pop-up menu.
To look up a word in the dictionary, select the word. Then click the Dictionary button from the pop-up menu. A pop-up window will open, showing the dictionary entry for the selected word. This feature works best if only one word is selected.
To translate any part of a text, select the text. Then click the Translation button from the pop-up menu. A language picker will appear, where you can select the language you need. The translation will be shown in a pop-up window.
Use the Features in the Toolbar
Click the ‘expand button’ (three bars in the left hand corner of the Listen button) to open the toolbar. The toolbar (see image below) has many useful features which are explained below.
Pop-up Control Panel
Access key: Modifier + C
During audio playback, you will sometimes see a pop-up control panel. This lets you pause/play the audio and toggle the automatic scrolling of the page (on/off). This pop-up control panel will show when the webReader player is out of sight and/or when automatic scrolling is off.
webReader can be activated, i.e. focus can be set on the Listen button, with the access key “K”. The access key “L” will set focus on the player and also start the reading. Many of the webReader tools and features also have a dedicated access key.
Access keys are activated with modifier keys. These differ depending on your browser and the operating system you use (see list of modifier keys for different environments here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Access_key).
Inside the player and toolbar (i.e. when you have set focus on the player), tab/shift+tab can be used to navigate, and the enter key can be used to activate a certain button or option.
Put focus on Listen button: Modifier + K
Put focus on player and start the reading: Modifier + L
Open/close toolbar: Modifier + 1
The access keys for the individual features are mentioned in the respective sections below. For some features the access keys may only function if the toolbar is opened first.
Access key: Modifier + S
Click to personalise webReader according to your preferences. A pop-up window will open. Here you can adjust certain settings. Read about each setting below. Your personalised settings are saved between sessions.
From the settings window, you can change the following:
Text Highlighting On/Off
Choose to have the text highlighting feature on (enabled) or off.
Choose what type of highlighting you would like. The different options are:
Word and sentence
Choose the colour that will be used for highlighting words as they are read. Or you can choose to underline instead.
Choose the colour that will be used for highlighting sentences as they are read. Or you can choose to underline instead.
Choose the colour for the highlighted text.
Toggle automatic scrolling (on/off). When activated, the page will automatically scroll down to follow the highlighted text. This setting can also be toggled from the pop-up control panel, which will show when automatic scrolling is turned off.
Pop-up Menu for Selected Text
Turn on or off the pop-up menu that appears when text is selected.
Close pop-up menu for selected text
If you want the pop-up menu to close automatically, choose that option. Then set the number of seconds the pop-up menu should show.
Would you prefer the pop-up menu to remain visible until you either make a choice from the menu or select other content on the page? If so, choose the option “Do not close”.
Restore Default Settings
Restore all settings to default (i.e. as they were originally).
Read on Hover
Access key: Modifier + H
Click the button to activate or turn off this feature. A green dot on the button will show that it is working. When activated, webReader will start reading a paragraph when the cursor points to it. This allows you to listen to a paragraph you want to read, without having to select it first and click the Listen button. You simply hover over it.
Access key: Modifier + E
Click the button to activate or turn off this feature. A green dot on the button will show that it is working. When activated, webReader will display the sentence being read at the bottom of the page, with a larger font size and simultaneous text highlighting. You can play, pause or stop the audio, and increase or decrease the size of the text.
Access key: Modifier + V
This tool opens a pop-up window with the current page in a text oriented version. Images are also shown if they have a text associated with them. Click the play button to listen to the page content in text mode. You can play, pause, or stop the audio, alter the text formatting, adjust the reading speed and maximize the window size for easier and undistracted reading.
Access key: Modifier + M
This tool dims the screen except for a highlighted area that follows the mouse cursor, or the finger on touch devices. This makes it easier to focus on smaller portions of text at a time. To turn the page mask off, hit the escape key, or click the cross on the right edge of the page mask.
To enter (or exit) keyboard navigation mode when page mask is showing, hit the space key. A small keyboard icon will show just above the focus area when the keyboard navigation mode is working. When active, arrow keys can be used to move the focus area (or shift key + arrow key for faster movement). Plus and minus keys will change the size of the focus area.
Access key: Modifier + D
Click to download an mp3 file with an audio version of the web page or selected text.
Access key: Modifier + I
The help page gives you more information about the different tools in ReadSpeaker webReader. To learn more about ReadSpeaker, please visit www.readspeaker.com
Any visuals described in this help tool refer to the standard ReadSpeaker skin implementation of webReader and might not apply if the webReader tool has been given a customised skin.
The necessary components of a dementia responsive teaching video
DEEPNess (Isle of Lewis)
The group wanted to find out what type of video content works best for people with dementia. They were mainly interested in finding content to help people with dementia use technology. The group knew that much instructional video (e.g. on You Tube) is chaotic and wild and not dementia responsive.
Fourteen people with dementia took part in the project. They also acted as an Expert Advice Group. The Expert Advice Group were asked to watch three videos (made by DEEPNess) and then say which video was best for them, in response to a set of questions. The videos were of a young woman, an older woman and a middle-aged man. Discussions took place in a focus group.
The results showed that the content had to be clear, told slowly, and said more than once. The person on the video was not that important.
You can watch a video of Ron Coleman of DEEPNess talking about Alexa below
Thred (Liverpool) Thred built on their previous Dementia Enquirers projects to explore what would help people with dementia build their confidence to travel by public transport. They created a survey for people with dementia [...]
Budding Friends (Exeter) The group explored how the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns had affected the physical and mental wellbeing of people with dementia. They interviewed people with dementia from the group, people with dementia [...]