Central Access Reader

Central Access Reader Logo

Download Central Access Reader

Central Access Reader (CAR) is a free, open source, text-to-speech application designed specifically for students with print-related disabilities. CAR reads Microsoft Word documents and pasted text using the voice installed on your computer. CAR has an intuitive interface and many customizable features.

Print Disability means a disability that prevents a user from effectively utilizing print material and may include blindness, other serious visual impairments, specific learning disabilities or the inability to hold a book.

Windows Operating System Logo

CAR DownloadWindows (64-bit only)

Macintosh Operating System Logo

CAR Download Mac (Mojave)



Microsoft Word Logo

Opens Word Documents

Load a word document or copy and paste text into the reader for massively improved accessibility in higher education, specifically within the STEM fields.

An icon of math operators, a plus sign, a minus sign, a multiplication sign and an equals sign.

Reads Math and Logic Equations

CAR supports multiple disciplines of math materials, accurately representing equations and relationships to the user through its math-reader interface.

 Icon of an audio file

Flexible MP3 Output

Obtain files that work for your specific needs, all configured within Central Access Reader.

An icon for the program settings

Customizable Speech

CAR uses your built-in, system voices, but allows you to customize the speech to tailor it to your needs.


Color Control

Maximize your ease of use and the accessibility of your educational materials with a customized color interface.

A copy and paste icon

Paste From Clipboard

Pull text content from anywhere and make it accessible simply by copying and pasting the text into CAR.

An icon of the world wide web on a computer screen

Export to HTML

Use your CAR-created, fully-accessible HTML files with any screen reader software.

An icon of a human eye

Synchronized Dual Highlighting

Achieve greater clarity and unparalleled accessibility for those with print related disabilities.

Central Access Reader

Advanced Features & Specs
  • Additional Features
    • Easy-to-use updater
    • Supports OMML (Word’s Equation Editor) and MathType math formats
    • Multiple math disciplines supported:
      • General/Algebra
      • Calculus
      • Logic
    • Search feature
    • Keyboard shortcuts for all common tasks
    • Uses SAPI 5 voices
    • HTML Export

    CAR is not screen-reader compatible. However, CAR can export documents as a fully accessible HTML file. We are currently working on an interface that will allow blind users to export content to HTML and MP3 independently.

  • Specifications


    • 64-bit Windows 8, 7, and Vista.
    • Minimum RAM: 2GB
    • Processor: Single-core, 1 GHz


    • Mac OS X 10.Yosemite
    • Minimum RAM: 2GB
    • Processor: Single-core, 1 GHz

  • License

    Central Access Reader is Open-Source; however, GNU LESSER GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE does apply.

  • Source Code

    Central Access Reader's code is available online. The GNU Lesser General Public License applies.

Who Developed Central Access Reader?

Spencer Graffe - Developer

A portrait of Spencer Graffe

Graffe initially developed the Central Access Reader (CAR) as a senior capstone project in Central Washington University’s Computer Science program. Besides the general program structure, Graffe also developed the math parsing algorithm used by CAR to read math fluently. After the project was completed, Spencer was hired on as CAR’s developer and maintainer. He aspires to work in Research and Development at an influential software company.

Justin Wilson - Assistant Developer

A portrait of Justin Wilson

Wilson has helped expand CAR's math and logic reading abilities. A recent addition to Central Access, Wilson is currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science at Central Washington University.

Central Access Reader

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Central Access Reader

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

CWU News

CWU professor to speak at February 27 Cultural Conversations event

February 21, 2024


Reserve your tickets for the President’s Diversity Awards by March 1

February 21, 2024


More News