Electronic Text/Text-To-Speech

In the accommodation letters sent to professors, this accommodation is called Course materials in accessible electronic format. The accommodation serves various purposes, depending on the needs of the student.


When used in combination with a software called Read&Write available to all UNM students, this accommodation enables students to listen to their assigned class readings instead of, or in addition to, reading the material visually. For any required textbook that the student wants to listen to, the student will need to provide ARC a receipt showing that they purchased the book; this is required because of copyright law. Receipts can be emailed to arcbooks@unm.edu. Then ARC will obtain the book as a computer file (PDF or EPUB) to share with the student. The student can then use Read&Write to open the file and hear the book read aloud to them.

Students are responsible for notifying ARC as early as possible regarding their Electronic Text needs. If at all possible, this should be done before the start of each semester to give ARC adequate time to obtain the accessible book files. Every effort will be made to provide Electronic Text within 15 working days of the request, as outlined in the University of New Mexico Policy 2310 Reasonable Accommodation for Students with Disabilities. The Electronic Text Agreement Form describes student responsibilities when using the accommodation.

Quick Overview Of The Read&Write Software

Read&Write has multiple voices the student can choose from, and the speed and pitch of the voices can be adjusted to the student’s liking. This software also highlights the text while it is being spoken, using multiple colors, which allows the student to easily follow along with the text visually if they wish to do so.

In addition to reading textbooks, students can use Read&Write to listen to other documents such as Word documents, emails, webpages, and PDF files.

How To Download The Read&Write Software
  • Open this link to download the software.
  • Look for a heading near the bottom of the page that says “Free 30-Day Trial” and click on the “Try Now” link.
  • Choose your operating system, and then the download will start.
  • When the option to sign in comes up, use Microsoft and your UNM email and password.
Read&Write Software tutorials

Here are links to YouTube channels that have lots of videos about how to use this software:

If you have any difficulty installing or using this software, you can send an email to arcbooks@unm.edu for additional help.

Electronic Text For Other Purposes

There are several other ways that electronic text can be helpful for our students. Those who are blind or visually impaired can use the accessible book files in combination with a screen reader such as JAWS to read the books, or they can use a text enlargement program such as ZoomText to adjust the size, color and contrast of the text on the screen.

For students with physical limitations that make it difficult or impossible to carry hard-copy textbooks with them, the accommodation allows students to haver ready access to the books through their computer or tablet.