Educational Technology

Lawrence University offers two text-to-speech software programs that can help assist students with reading and writing with confidence. 

Do you learn better by listening? Do you often find yourself struggling with reading independently? Do you wish you could read more in less time? If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you may benefit from using the Read&Write or Kurzweil software programs.

Read&Write, Kurzweil 3000, and Kurzweil 1000 are installed in the Center for Academic Success and computer labs on campus.  Please contact the Center for Academic Success at for more information and to set up an appointment to learn how to use the software.

Read&Write enables students to read, write and express themselves more confidently. Students can download the software directly onto their personal computer and use the toolbar to hear emails or documents read out loud, access picture dictionaries, and create vocabulary lists. The built-in literacy features, such as word prediction, help English Language Learners, as well as people with dyslexia or other learning difficulties. 

Kurzweil 3000 allows students to read advanced grade-level material at a faster rate and with less fatigue. This is accomplished using text-to-speech to increase reading accuracy and decrease time spent on decoding. As a result, students have more time for close reading to identify key concepts, make inferences within and between texts, and answer text-based questions. Additional background information, definitions, and translations can all be accessed instantly—helping to keep students engaged and increase their ability to comprehend.

How does text-to-speech technology improve students' reading skills?

  •     Students read more, at a steady pace, with audio and visual presentation of material
  •     Substitution and decoding errors are removed as barriers to reading and learning
  •     Human-quality text-to-speech voices reduce reading fatigue
  •     Compensates for deficiencies with sight words and academic vocabulary

Kurzweil 3000

"Kurzweil 3000 is award-winning educational software designed to provide literacy support for those who struggle with literacy in the classroom, at home, or in the workplace. Built-in features for reading, writing and study skills help students to become independent learners, active participants within inclusion classrooms or sheltered instruction programs; but most importantly, to keep up with peers and achieve their full academic potential. Students can use Kurzweil 3000 throughout their school career and beyond, utilize the literacy support for becoming lifelong learners." -

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Kurzweil 1000

Kurzweil 1000 is "award-winning scan and read software that makes printed or electronic text accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. Combining traditional reading machine technologies, such as scanning, image processing, and text-to-speech, with communication and productivity tools eases and enhances users' reading, writing, and learning experiences." -

"I use Kurzweil 1000 to scan my books, mail, even food boxes. I have found it to be the most efficient and user-friendly way for me to read almost anything without human assistance. Each new version of Kurzweil 1000 has increased scanning accuracy and added features that make scanning, finding, and reading material of all types faster and easier." - Sarah Van O, Kurzweil 1000 User,