If you have an Apple device, you can turn it into an instant text to speech, speech generating device. Of course, AAC selection is a process and this instant text to speech is not a long term solution. But, it could be handy in a pinch for people with literacy skills who who find themselves in need of AAC. This can work on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
When is this useful? It could be an important tool in an emergency situation. For instance, if someone is unable to speak, perhaps due to smoke or chemical inhalation. It may also be an important tool for people on the autism spectrum, who may not be able to access to their voice in all situations.
How do we set this up? First, go into device settings:
Settings → General. Scroll down to Accessibility
Tap Accessibility and scroll down to → Vision
Choose Spoken Content.
Activate “Speak Screen”. You may also want to tap “Typing Feedback”. On this screen, you can activate “Speak Words”. This will speak each word aloud as you type.
Once these features are enabled, open the Notes app. You can tap the pencil icon to create a new note, so only new input is spoken.
You could also write an introduction in advance. It will depend on the situation. Begin typing your message. If you have enabled “Speak Words”, you will hear the text spoken on the completion of each new word. This may be useful to catch someone’s attention, so that they know you are trying to communicate with them.
Finish typing and swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen. You will hear your text and also see a set of controls. These controls allow you to slow down, or speed up, the rate at which your text is spoken.
Since this is the Notes app, you will also be able to share your message by text or email. You can also import a photo, draw a sketch, or share the note with a chosen group from your contacts list. Communication can be multimodal.