7 Replies Latest reply on Jan 24, 2012 9:56 AM by Tami5449

    PDF ebook for Kurzweil text-to-speech software

    Donald_256 Level 1

      Is there a way to obtain PDF format ebooks to read and hear using Kurzweil text-to-speech software? It appears that the ebook, although it is in PDF format, can only be opened in Digital Editions and cannot be imported into Kurzweil. Kurzweil can open PDF, TXT, DOC, HTML as well as other formats, but not ebook PDF. 

       

      Does anyone know of a text-to-speech add-on for Digital Editions?

        • 1. Re: PDF ebook for Kurzweil text-to-speech software
          Tami5449 Level 1

          I have read Adobe Digital books using Read Write Gold (RWG) by texthelp.com,  they have a "screen capture"  option that you can draw a box around any text, and it will read to you.  I thought the latest verson of Kurzweil had it as well, but I don't have a copy to try.

           

           

          RWG is a tool bar that will float on top of your comptuer screen, unlike some of the other programs at make you open it in their software.

           

          Tami

          • 2. Re: PDF ebook for Kurzweil text-to-speech software
            Donald_256 Level 1

            Hello Tami:

             

             

             

            Thank you for your response.

             

             

             

            The challenge with using Adobe Digital Editions and Read-Write Gold or Kurzweil tool bars is that you need to manually drawing a text box around the text to be read. That works for small passages but imagine reading a novel or 50 pages of a university text book that way.

             

             

             

            RWG and Kurzweil have similar tool bar features but the functionality must go far beyond that.  You need to be able import whole books and read/hear them in a continuous manner without manual operations.

             

             

             

            Don

            • 3. Re: PDF ebook for Kurzweil text-to-speech software
              Tami5449 Level 1

              Yup, that is an issue,  but we are in a better place than we were a few years ago, we could not even do that.

               

              Have you checked to see if the book is available via bookshare.org?

               

              Or asked the publisher for unlocked copy?

               

              Tam

              • 4. Re: PDF ebook for Kurzweil text-to-speech software
                Donald_256 Level 1

                Hello Tami:

                 

                 

                 

                I have asked publishers to unlock textbooks for use by students with learning disabilities. I don’t even get a response.

                 

                 

                 

                Don

                • 5. Re: PDF ebook for Kurzweil text-to-speech software
                  Tami5449 Level 1

                  sad, we have had some success at the k-12 level with publishers, but bookshare is saving us know.

                   

                  I am assuming you are at the post secondary level.

                   

                  I will be at ATIA latter this week, I will keep my ears open to see of anyone has come up with a work around, a friend of mine is doing a session on accessibility at the post high school level, but I don't remember this topic coming up in discussion when she was telling about her session, only teacher made PDFs, which is a different. Issue all together.

                   

                  Also are you a member of QIAT boards, a great group that a have figured a lot of work arounds.

                   

                  Tami

                  • 6. Re: PDF ebook for Kurzweil text-to-speech software
                    Donald_256 Level 1

                    Hello Tami:

                     

                     

                     

                    I am currently involved in the post-secondary panel. I am not in the US. Canadian copyright law is different than in the Unites States.

                     

                     

                     

                    Publishers may be prepared to unlock security for educators in the United States but not outside of its borders. As an example, I wanted to get an electronic copy of “The Hand Maid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, a Canadian author so that my daughter could “read” it on Kurzweil. This is a text in the Ontario grade 12 curriculum. As a Canadian, I am not permitted to purchase the electronic version from Atwood’s American publisher.

                     

                     

                     

                    The Board of Education would not scan a copy of the book for students with learning disabilities stating it was against Canadian copyright law. The school representative stated that the school did not have the funds to scan books for students. This was interesting because my daughter had an IEP and the school was required, by law, to support her independent  learning.   

                     

                     

                     

                    Don

                    • 7. Re: PDF ebook for Kurzweil text-to-speech software
                      Tami5449 Level 1

                      Would your daughter qualify under Bookshare.org?  they have an Candian option....

                       

                      There is a fee involed but it may be worth it if she qualifies....

                       

                      and I always thought ya'll was ahead of us when it came to providing accessible materials.

                       

                      Good luck, it is still frustruating when you can't have text accessible. Maybe one day Adobe will make their digital editions accessible then it will resolve the issue.  Every year at ATIA I have the same questions for the Adobe booth and each year they say they are working on them.....

                       

                       

                      Tami