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‘Best’ will depend on the individual’s needs. In this case, does he need anything more than a good quality text-to-speech engine using one of the latest quality voices? Would accurate highlighting of the text as it is read out be helpful? Would modifications to the appearance of the text make a difference? Would access to a dictionary to explain meanings be necessary?

If you only need text read out then there will be little to choose between the built-in text-to-speech in Microsoft 365, Google docs and any Mac or iPad. All these are, in effect, free.

So the sensible place to start is asking what operating system he will be using. Will he do most of his reading in school or at home?

Make sure he knows how to select the voice he prefers listening to and that he is able to adjust the speed at which the voice reads.

Are there any difficulties in accessing digital versions of the texts he has to read? If so, I can provide the information you will need to overcome that problem.

Malcolm Litten
BDA Technology Advisory Committee