Blackboard and ReadSpeaker Partner

Blackboard and ReadSpeaker are furthering their partnership to help teachers improve the accessibility of course content for their students.

Currently, ReadSpeaker is Blackboard's exclusive text-to-speech (TTS) provider, but, as part of this extended collaboration, ReadSpeaker's TTS will also be integrated within Blackboard Ally as an offline audio alternative for course content. This allows students to automatically access an MP3 version of content added into the learning management system (LMS).

Blackboard Ally integrates with existing LMS and identifies common accessibility issues within course materials. The solution generates more accessible alternatives of the instructor's original content, including audio, Semantic HTML, ePub, and electronic Braille. Blackboard Ally also provides feedback to the instructor to help them make content more accessible. Blackboard Ally now supports integration with four major learning environments, including Blackboard Learn, Moodle, Moodlerooms and Instructure Canvas.

"ReadSpeaker enjoys a long-lasting partnership with Blackboard with our fully fledged integration into Blackboard Learn, used by Blackboard clients around the globe. The addition of part of our text-to-speech service to Blackboard Ally allows for better comprehension of text content for students," said Joop Heijenrath, chief commercial officer at ReadSpeaker, in a statement.

"Blackboard is committed to helping institutions around the world generate more accessible and usable course content that can benefit all students," said Phill Miller, vice president of teaching and learning at Blackboard, in a statement. "Our partnership with ReadSpeaker is an important part of this mission. We look forward to continuing to work with their team to bring the leading text-to-speech technology to even more courses around the world."

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