ReadSpeaker: Use ReadSpeaker and ReadSpeaker TextAid in Canvas

ReadSpeaker and ReadSpeaker TextAid

ReadSpeaker is a screen reader tool enabled in Canvas. The tool can highlight and read aloud text on a Canvas page. Readspeaker is available to all Canvas users. ReadSpeaker TextAid (or TextAid) is an additional accessibility tool that allows users to have nearly any text highlighted and read aloud, including documents, websites, text composed by a user, and more. TextAid must be enabled by instructors within a Canvas course module for student to have access to the tool.

These tools make course content more accessible to all learners by enabling multiple learning modalities, but the tools are especially beneficial for learners with any of a variety of different reading and learning disabilities, and for those with English as a second language.

Using ReadSpeaker

To get started with ReadSpeaker, click the ReadSpeaker icon in the lower left corner of the Canvas page. The icon has an image of an audio speaker covering the bottom portion of a page.
ReadSpeaker Icon

Clicking the icon will expand the ReadSpeaker toolbar. Click on the vertical double arrow to drag the toolbar up or down the side of the page.
ReadSpeaker Toolbar Partially Expanded

Clicking the Play and Pause buttons on the toolbar will expand the toolbar further and give you access to the Volume and Settings controls. Adjustable settings include text highlighting, word color, sentence color, text color, text visibility, speed, and automatic scrolling.
ReadSpeaker Toolbar Fully Expanded

Enabling and Using TextAid

To enable TextAid in a Canvas course:

  1. Create a module, or use an existing one, in your Canvas course site
  2. Click the "+" button on the module to add an item
  3. Select External Tool from the dropdown list
  4. Scroll through the list of tools and select ReadSpeaker TextAid
  5. Click Add Item to add TextAid to the module
  6. Publish the tool and the module by clicking the gray "Not" icons to the right of the tool and the module names
  7. Consider adding a Canvas content page to the module with general instructions on how to use TextAid. Feel free to use or adapt the following text and YouTube video:
    "You can use the ReadSpeaker tool at the lower left corner of the Canvas screen to have text on any Canvas page read aloud. To do this for documents, Web pages, your own writing, or other content, click the ‘ReadSpeaker TextAid’ link in the Canvas course module. TextAid opens a page within the Canvas course site with a full toolset to upload files and work with many types of content and have them read aloud, highlighted and more."
    ReadSpeaker YouTube video (5:09)

Once enabled, each user in the course can use TextAid to create or upload documents to their personal TextAid library and use TextAid for the following:

  • Read text aloud from a document or as you type
  • Mask surrounding text to focus on one line at a time
  • Save text as a portable audio file for listening on the go
  • Convert images of text to readable text
  • Read text aloud from a website
  • and more...

Watch a video on Enabling and Using ReadSpeaker TextAid (2:41)

Still have questions?

If you questions about this topic or related topics, please use one of the following methods to contact the Canvas team at Oregon State:

  • Add a comment/question to this article using the tools below the article
  • Send an email to


Article ID: 69905
Wed 1/9/19 9:05 AM
Fri 7/10/20 1:45 PM