Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Assistive Technology and Listening

Photo of adolescent boy wearing headphones and sitting at a computer









Digital Talking Books

Digital Talking Books (DTB) are a multimedia presentation of a print publication, rendered in audio with a human voice.  These include:

They can be played on a variety of players, including stand-alone devices and software players. 

To learn more, see the TSBVI webpage: Using Digital Talking Books (DTB) with Students.

Using Text-to-Speech Software

Text-to-speech provides major access to content for all kinds of people, as an ever-increasing amount of information that is in print is made accessible.  This is not an automatic panacea for students who are blind or visually impaired, however, and specific skills are required to be able to make use of text to speech programs.  Listening to a text book or  is different from listening in a conversation.  For example, using DAISY markup is complex cognitive skill, which requires understanding titles, outlines, and headings.

Audio-Assisted Reading

Changing Channels - AudioAssisted Reading: Access to Curriculum for Students with Print Disabilities
by Carol Evans

This article describes a technique for using recorded materials along with text to enhance reading skills.

Additional Resources

IEP Objectives
This is a page of links to a variety of IEP objectives from Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, including digital talking books, listening skills, and Talking Book Machine skillsThese resources have been compiled from various schools and districts around the country and may not be formatted to conform to Texas State guidelines for IEP goals.

Accessible Textbooks Clearinghouse
This page from the TSBVI website serves as a clearinghouse of information related to textbook accessibility for students with disabilities.

VI Technology Training
TSBVI has compiled these links to information related to a variety of topics, including teaching the use of technology that makes text accessible through hearing.