Q&A with Rachel Berger: Tutorial for Microsoft’s Immersive Reader

Q&A with Rachel Berger: Tutorial for Microsoft’s Immersive Reader

Discover how Microsoft’s immersive reader offers a personalised text-to-speech feature to make reading more accessible to all learners

In their second video discussion, Dr. Michael Hart and Rachel Berger dive into Microsoft’s immersive reader by sharing a step-by-step tutorial for the text-to-speech function, which offers a variety of personalised features to make reading more accessible to all learners.

In the video, Rachel demonstrates the capabilities built into the immersive reader, starting with the basic read aloud function, which helps to address one of the biggest challenges for students with reading difficulties. In order to meet the needs of a variety of learners, the function also includes features to personalise how content is consumed, including syllabification (the visual breakdown of individual syllables) and customised text preferences for spacing, font size, and line focus. In addition, the immersive reader offers a picture dictionary, where a user can hover over a particular word to populate a visual image, which is critical for readers who are nonverbal or struggle with communication disorders. The assistive technology is currently available in 45 languages – including English, Arabic, German, Spanish, and Chinese – with more in development.

The video concludes with Rachel and Michael reflecting on the benefits offered by the immersive reading feature and Microsoft’s commitment to developing assistive technology that helps students with learning difficulties more easily access reading materials.

The immersive reader feature is built into Office 365 and Office 10 and is also available on Word Online via Microsoft Edge web browser and Bing, Microsoft’s search engine.

Learn more about Microsoft’s assistive technology by checking out last month’s video column here.

About Rachel Berger

Rachel Berger is a nonprofit organisation leader with a demonstrated history of working in the political organisation industry. Rachel is deeply involved in the dyslexia community and currently serves as Dyslexia and Learning Disabilities Community Consultant with Microsoft and the President and Executive Director of Decoding Dyslexia Minnesota. 

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