How does ReadSpeaker work?

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ReadSpeaker is an integrated read-aloud tool in Brightspace for people who are blind or visually impared. The ReadSpeaker button can be found for many different types of text in Brightspace. When you press the button the text will be read out loud.


The ReadSpeaker looks like this:

The ReadSpeaker bar will show several options when you click the ReadSpeaker:

From left to right:

  • When you click Listen the ReadSpeaker will start reading from the top of the page again; 
  • Play/Pause;
  • Stop;
  • Rewind;
  • Forward;
  • Volume;
  • Speed;
  • Close the ReadSpeaker.

The text ReadSpeaker is currently reading will be coloured blue and green. This way you can read along, and quickly see to what part you are forwarding or rewinding.

ReadSpeaker does not work for feedback on Assignments.

Use docReader to read files out loud

It is also possible to have uploaded files be read out loud with the docReader. 

  • Navigate to a document within the course.

Scroll down until you see the button Open with docReader.

The docReader has several options:

  1. From left to right, the toolbar lets you:
    • hide the sidebar or make it visible;
    • navigate between the different pages of the document;
    • turn on ReadSpeaker. The text that is being read out loud is coloured green and blue;
    • pause;
    • stop;
    • choose between Layout mode (as seen in this example) or the Text Mode (version without layout, images, etc.);
    • click More Tools, allowing a second bar to appear where you can find Settings and the option to save the document, among other things.
  2. Choose the language.
  3. Navigate between different pages.


ReadSpeaker is not only useful when you are blind or visually impaired. It can help you concentrate while reading because of the moving read-aloud text line.

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