This week we are doing something a bit different! Often we talk in general terms about software and assistive tech that we love. This week we are deep diving into one of our FAVORITES, Speechify!
Before we go any further, this post is not sponsored, but we have a special link for our community that will get you 15% off your subscription (if you want to upgrade from the free version). We don't get a penny off of this Speechify was just nice enough to offer our community a discount!
What is Speechify?
Speechify is a text-to-speech software company founded by dyslexic Cliff Weitzman. What they do is in the name; they turn text into speech, so instead of reading, you can listen. They translate text from PDFs, pictures, websites, emails, and more, all into audio, quickly and across all your devices (instantly syncing from your phone to your computer).
Why is Speechify good for those with dyslexia?
Speechify is AMAZING for dyslexics because it takes one of our dyslexic struggles and turns it into a strength. Ok, what do we mean? Reading for us is slow, and we struggle with retaining what we read. Listening, however, allows us to build dynamic mental pictures that our strong narrative reasoning can grab onto it and remember.
Speechify also helps us gain back time! Instead of spending hours reading, remembering, and comprehending, we can listen. Giving us back our precious time and helping us feel like we are on the same level as non-dyslexics. Fun note for dyslexics, this software qualifies as assistive tech or a reasonable accommodation.
What do we love about Speechify?
There is a lot of love here, but we're going to talk you through our top 4 favorite features!
Speechify uses REAL voices! We don't mean real-sounding voices; we mean actual human voices, like Gweneth Paltrow, Snoop Dogg, and 8 other standard-reading voices (there are more if you get a paid plan)! The pacing seems natural (unlike the robot-sounding options out there), and there are several different accents and genders to choose from.
Reading speed can be adjusted! We sound silly, but this is a feature we did not know we needed! Speechify allows you to slow down or speed up what it is reading. No more staccato, slow-motion reading when you are in a hurry. Or the reverse in a rush, or you need to listen for the key points to speed things up!
Text highlight while reading, another small but well throughout detail of Speechify that is perfect for dyslexics! We all know multi-sensory learning helps dyslexics retain more information; when using Speechify, they highlight the words the voice is reading, helping things stick better for you!
Their Youtube Channel! Speechify has quick easy-to-watch how-to videos on their youtube channel that help you get the most out of their software.
A final thought before we close things out... one of the main reasons we love Speechify is because of Cliff Weitzman, founder, and CEO. He is open about his dyslexia and has pushed the company to be vocal advocates for dyslexics across the globe. Their support of our community makes them a 10 out of 10.
If you want to try out speechify, they have a free option; for anyone willing to commit to a year subscription, be sure to use THIS link to get 15% off! Oh, be sure to drop share with a friend or fellow dyslexic!