Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Did you know that your iPhone and iPad can read aloud for you? By enabling the Speak Selection feature on your device, you can set this in motion. Speak Selection is just one of the many useful Accessibility features that Apple have added.
While you may not need to avail of this feature personally, it is a great tool for clients with aphasia who have good auditory comprehension skills but require support with their reading. This feature allows the user to select text and then reads the text aloud for them. It can be used with iMessages, Notes, webpages, apps & iBooks.
How to Set Up Speak Selection (on iOS13)
Go to Settings > Accessibility > Spoken Content.
Turn Speak Selection on by sliding the button. It will be green when turned on.
Voices: Choose a voice and dialect. You may use the default voices or download the better quality ‘Enhanced’ voices.
Speaking Rate: Drag the slider. Apple have represented ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ nicely with tortoise and hare symbols
Pronunciations: Dictate or spell out how you want certain phrases to be spoken.
How to Use Speak Selection
Choose the text that you wish to be read aloud. This could be text from an iMessages, Notes, a website, apps or an iBook.
Tap on a word and hold for about a second. Then release. A button should appear above the word. Press 'Speak'
If you wish for all the text to be read aloud, tap on a word and hold for a second. Release. Drag the cursor over the text you wish to be read aloud.
Clients with reduced dexterity and those who are less familiar with touch screens may need some additional practice tapping and holding.
Speak Selection is a wonderfully enabling accessibility feature of iPhones and iPads. Why not try it out soon with your clients with aphasia in functional therapy practice?