Graphic Supported Text with Text to Speech using ClaroRead App

Do you still create and utilize graphic supported text for your students or clients for recipes, books, stories, directions or lists? Interested in being able to access them on your iPad?

Using programs that create graphic supported text such as Boardmaker or Picture It! are easy ways to modify text information to students or clients that require pictures to access print, directions and concepts.  Programs such as News- 2 – You  also provide graphic supported text units and themed materials however, what if you want or need customized graphic supported text and text to speech for a recipe or specific directions and video or a computer with the software is not an option?

Here is one possibility using Boardmaker or Picture It! software to create graphic supported text, then a few more steps prior to opening it with ClaroSpeak app using the text to speech feature to read it aloud on your iPad!

Here is how:

1. Parse text or create graphic supported text using a Boardmaker or Picture It! applications.

2. Use an existing PDF creating application installed on your computer. This can be done by installing software such as Free PDF Creator, CutePDF  or using existing software as Scan Soft PDF Create. After installation of a PDF creator files are created by printing the document to a PDF creator application.  (When finished parsing or creating in with Boardmaker or Picture It! go to Print from within the software and choose one of the PDF printer choices. Make sure you see where the file will be saved to.)

3. To get the PDF document onto your iPad you can email the document to an account that you have access to on your iPad or transfer it to cloud storage such as Dropbox.

4. If emailing the document, open your email on your iPad. Locate the email you sent with the PDF document. The PDF file will be embedded in the body of the text you sent and will look something like this:

5. Click the PDF file, it will open the PDF and provide you with options of what app you can open it in.

I chose ClaroSpeak app to open the PDF document which retains the pictures and text and provides the options of text to speech to read the text aloud. No highlighting is provided but when the text to speech is activated it reads through one document page at a time.

The text to speech can be paused and played using the arrow at the top right of the top menu. When the document is read through the end you must return to the first page of the document to allow it to read the text again. read you must return to the first page of the document the press the speak arrow.

Other options to display the PDF document on the iPad include opening the PDF file in iBooks. No text to speech will be provided since this is a PDF file. Other possible apps that would read a PDF file includes vBookz PDF Voice Reader  but which was not trialed due to cost (4.99/per voice) and ClaroSpeak available to use.   Voice Dream Reader was trialed however, images were not retained when the document was imported into the app. or other apps will allow you to have the images of graphic supported text but without text to speech. (I am sure there are other apps that could do this, but I used what apps I already had for cost containment!).

There are a number of steps to create, convert, email then open in an appropriate app to allow text to speech with a graphic supported text, however it may be worth it for the needs of specific students. ClaroSpeak app  is a low-cost app that provides text to speech capabilities for a number of file formats to allow individuals with reading difficulties a method of accessing print on a mobile device. Other methods of access may include video taping directions, providing talking picture books whether hard copy or an electronic book on the iPad or using an AAC program to write out directions using text or message boxes within the program.

Have you used any methods of providing graphic supported text on the iPad? Please share any thoughts, suggestions you might have!

More for your OT iTool Kit!


About Carol Leynse Harpold, MS, OTR/L, SCLV, ATP, CATIS

OTR/L with more than 35 years experience in pediatrics, school based therapy and adult rehabilitation. Masters of Science in Adaptive Education/Assistive Technology with 20 years experience in AT in education of elementary, middle school, secondary, post secondary students and work environments for adult clients. A RESNA Assistive Technology Practitioner with ACVREP CATIS credentials, AOTA Specialty Certification in Low Vision, USC Davis Executive Certificate in Home Modifications, servicing adults and students with disabilities in employment, education, and home environments. A 2020 graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham Low Vision Certification Program.
This entry was posted in Apps for Special Needs, Emergent Literacy, iBooks, iPad, Occupational Therapy, Reading, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Graphic Supported Text with Text to Speech using ClaroRead App

  1. Carol says:

    Wow-great post!

  2. Diane says:

    I believe voice over does now support PDF files opened in iBooks.
    “Other options to display the PDF document on the iPad include opening the PDF file in iBooks. No text to speech will be provided since this is a PDF file. ”
    I enjoy reading your blog.

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