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What is webReader?


ReadSpeaker webReader is a is a tool designed to enhance website accessibility by making online content accessible to people with visual impairments, learning difficulties, or those who prefer listening to reading.
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When enabled on a webpage, ReadSpeaker webReader presents a "Listen" button. Clicking on this button will expand the player and begin reading the page's text content aloud from the top. As it reads, webReader highlights both the current sentence and word in different colors. The hamburger menu in the lower-left corner of the Listen button provides access to additional options, including:

  1. Stopping the audio and starting over
  2. Pausing and resuming reading from where it was paused
  3. Skipping ahead to later content using fast-forward buttons
  4. Returning to earlier content using rewind buttons
  5. Adjusting the volume
  6. Changing the reading speed
  7. Closing the player (which stops the reading)
    webReader menu showing hamburger menu option next to listen. Numbered icons show various actions to select.

When a user selects text on a webpage, only the selected text will be read aloud when they click on the Listen button. This is in contrast to reading the entire content of the page. To have the selected text read out loud, the user can click the Listen button from the pop-up menu or the main Listen button.
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As a cloud-based tool, webReader seamlessly integrates with the Brightspace learning management system and does not require any software downloads or installations by students. The tool is automatically displayed as a menu or play button on pages where it is intended to be used and is hidden on pages where it is not allowed. Specifically, within Brightspace, webReader is designed to work on HTML pages included in lesson folders, on lessons linked within CourseArc, and on pages that display assignment instructions or quizzes.
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webReader is device-agnostic and can be used on a wide range of online devices, including PCs, laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, smartphones, and more. It is also compatible with all major operating systems, such as Windows, Chrome, Android, iOS, macOS, and others. Additionally, webReader can be used with various browsers, including IE7+, Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari on laptops and PCs, and Safari and Chrome on iOS devices, Chrome on Android devices, and Chrome and Edge on Windows Phone.

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