Some people, for a large number of reasons, have an easier time understanding written content when it is read aloud. The course management systems are getting better at this—such as Canvas’s Immersive Reader—but they still have a ways to go. Immersive Reader, for example, at the time of this writing does not work with discussions or quizzes.
The web browser add-in Read Aloud for Firefox (download here) and Chrome (download here) does a pretty good job at reading text on a webpage. After Read Aloud is installed, navigate to any webpage and click the newly-added loud speaker icon on your browser’s add-in bar. The pop up will show you what Read Aloud will be reading. Press the play button to start.
Pressing the stop button at the top of the Read Aloud pop up will get you a smaller pop up where you can access settings.
Voice options include Google Translate, but don’t bother. When I chose Spanish, only the numbers and symbols were rendered in Spanish. Everything else was read aloud in English, albeit by a Spanish-accented speaker.
Set the speed, the pitch, and the volume according to your preferences. Text highlighting may or may not be aligned with what Read Aloud is reading. If you find the highlighting distracting, turn it off.