Is TeacherMade compatible with screen readers?

TeacherMade supports many assistive devices for answering items, and is, in fact, a very useful adaptive tool for students who cannot use pen and paper. But the uploaded background of a TeacherMade activity is converted to an image, and therefore is not compatible with many off-the-shelf screen reader packages, since the original text is lost.

However, we have discovered a wonderful tool to allow you to read the text from TeacherMade activities! It allows a student to highlight any part of the screen, and have it converted to audio - even text contained in the TeacherMade backgrounds.

That tool is called Screenshot Reader, and is provided for free by the team at TextHelp. TextHelp is a long-standing leader in assistive technology, especially speech, so you can trust that the tool is robust and that it will be around for a long time. It also works as part of their Read & Write toolbar which offers further annotation, dictionary and other features.

How to Install Screenshot Reader.

Screenshot Reader is a Google Chrome add-on and will be installed using Chrome's "Extension" tools. Since extensions are tied to Google accounts, you'll want to make sure that your students are logged in under the correct Profile. And depending on your security setup, you may need to involve your IT group to help you install extensions.

  • Visit the Chrome Web Store page for Screenshot Reader which you can find here.
  • Click the blue "Add to Chrome" button.

  • Click "Add extension."

  • The extension will download and be installed.
  • Dismiss the confirmation box.

Refresh the Page

It's important that you refresh the page to give the new extension a chance to load.

Pin the Extension

Pinning the extension in Chrome makes the icon always visible and easily clickable. To pin the Screenshot Reader icon:

  • Click the "Extensions" tool in your Chrome browser. It looks like a puzzle piece.

  • Find Screenshot Recorder and click the "pin" icon to the right. 

  • Dismiss the "Extensions" box by clicking the "x" in the upper right corner.
  • Notice the purple Screenshot Reader icon is now permanently displayed in the Chrome toolbar.

How to Use Screenshot Reader

Now your students have instant access to a powerful screen reading tool directly in their Chrome Toolbar.

To hear text inside a TeacherMade assignment:

  • The mouse cursor will change to a crosshair.
  • Click above and the left of the text you want read.
  • Drag the mouse down and to the right to draw a box fully around the area, being careful not to include extraneous text.
  • The system will process the area for a second, and begin to read the text. It even highlights the text being read.

  • Use any of the four icons in the lower left of the box to control the playback.

  • Play - Begin playing again after pausing or stopping.
  • Pause - Stop playing until Play is selected.
  • Stop - Stop playing and reset the playback to the beginning.
  • Copy - Copies the selected text block into your copy-paste buffer.

Dismiss the Playback Box

When finished listening, click the "x" in the upper right to dismiss the playback box.

Note, you must dismiss the playback box if it obscures any of the TeacherMade interactive items before you interact with them.

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