Student Accessibility Services

Read & Write Gold

Read & Write Gold is a program designed to provide literacy support for users, including tools for reading and writing. The software has a text-to-speech function which enables individuals to have accessible documents read aloud to them. Read & Write Gold is available for all UNI students, faculty, and staff to download and utilize on their personal computers for free. Students who utilize alternate format textbooks through SAS need to download Read & Write Gold to have their textbooks and other accessible course materials read aloud to them.

Installing Read & Write Gold

Step 1. (Window users) Download Adobe Acrobat Reader DC if it is not already installed on your computer. Most new Windows computers do not have Adobe Reader pre-installed. Read & Write Gold will not work properly without doing this step prior to installing Read & Write Gold. 

Step 2. Download Read & Write Gold

For technical support with installing these programs, students should contact the Service Hub through IT Services

Read & Write Gold demonstration and instructional videos.

PDF Aloud Plug-In

If the Adobe software is installed after Read & Write Gold or upgraded to a newer version, individuals will need to install PDF Aloud separately.

To install PDF Aloud separately (if Read & Write Gold was installed before Adobe Reader):

Step 1. Go to the Texthelp Essentials page.
Step 2. Login using the serial number 376404-1528-7654-7755.
Step 3. Select “Re-Install PDF Aloud (For Adobe)” in the left hand column.
Step 4. Select “Download PDF Aloud Installer (8MB).”
Step 5. Run the installation program to download PDF Aloud.
Step 6. Once the installation is completed, open Adobe Acrobat.
Step 7. Select “Edit” from the toolbar at the top of the page, and select “Preferences.”
Step 8. The Preferences window will open. Select “Security (Enhanced)” in the left hand column.
Step 9. ​Unselect “Enable Protected Mode At Startup," and select "OK."

Utilizing Read & Write Gold

Reading PDFs with PDF Aloud

Once Read & Write Gold is installed on a student’s computer, they can begin utilizing the program to have their alternate format textbooks read aloud. Individuals should utilize the PDF Aloud feature in the Read & Write Gold toolbar to read textbooks and other course materials in text PDF format.

To know if a PDF can be read by Read & Write Gold, or other similar programs, determine whether sections of text can be highlighted with the cursor. An image PDF, made when a page from a book or an article is scanned, will have the entire page selected when it is clicked on. A text PDF, made from a Word document or within another program, enables the user to select specific words or sentences.

To read a text PDF with PDF Aloud:

Step 1. Open Read & Write Gold. If a window opens up asking to “Please activate Read&Write below,” select “Activate.”
Step 2. Drag the toolbar to the top of the screen.
Step 3. Select “PDF Aloud” from the toolbar.
Step 4. A window will open to select and open a PDF.
Step 5. Once the PDF opens in Read & Write Gold, select “Tools” from the toolbar at the top of the page.
Step 6. Scroll down the list of tools within Adobe, and select “Enable” under “PDF Aloud” at the bottom of the page.

The PDF Aloud toolbar will open up in the right side column. Users can select Play, Pause, and Stop from the PDF Aloud toolbar to have the document read aloud to them. The Click To Speak function enables users to click anywhere within the document to have the program begin reading at that specific point.

Reading Internet Pages in Google Chrome

You can utilize Read & Write Gold in Google Chrome to read webpages. You will need to download the "Read & Write for Google Chrome" extension.

To download the Read & Write for Google extension:

Step 1. Open Google Chrome and navigate to the Chrome Web Store.
Step 2. Type "read and write" in the search box in the top left corner of the page.
Step 3. Locate "Read&Write for Google Chrome" under "Extensions," and then select the "Add to Chrome" button.
Step 4. Select the "Add extension" button in the window which appears near the Chrome address bar.
Step 5. Select the Read&Write icon (a purple puzzle piece) in the top right corner of Chrome.
Step 6. You will be prompted to sign in to your Google account - you can utilize your UNI CatID. After you sign in, select the "Allow" button.

A video highlighting the steps of downloading the Read&Write for Google extension and utilizing it to read aloud any webpages is available on the Bookshare website.

​Resources for Utilizing Read & Write Gold

Texthelp has videos to help users navigate the Read & Write Gold Toolbar and the PDF Aloud Feature in Read & Write Gold. Individuals can also utilize this series of videos for a detailed review of the various functions within Read & Write Gold, including Spell Check, Dictionary, and Prediction.

Support for Read & Write Gold

Students who need additional support with installing and understanding how to utilize Read & Write Gold to have their alternative textbooks and course materials read aloud should submit a ticket through the IT Service Hub. Carolyn Dorr, IT Accessibility Coordinator, provides assistive technology support on campus.