Accessibility Extensions for Chrome and Chrome OS (Google Chrome Tutorial)

Internet is the most effective communication tool nowadays, yet due to limitation in technologies, some people with varying degrees of accessibility issues may be unable to enjoy the internet as much as we do.  This article introduces a few accessibility extensions for Chrome and Chrome OS that helps these people to browse the web.

 

ChromeVis

Many info sites such as newspapers and blogs contain lot of words, to put as much information on the page as possible the texts are usually quite small.  ChromeVis is a a handy tool to address this issue.  It magnifies and highlights texts.  Simply choose an text, ChromeVis will display an enlarged version of it on top of the page.  You can choose the background and text colors to create a high contrast.

ChromeVis - Text Magnifier Extension for Chrome

ChromeVis in Chrome Web Store: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/halnfobaneppemjnonmmhngbfifnafgd

User Guide: http://google-axs-chrome.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/chromevis_tutorial/chromeVis_userManual.html

 

ChromeShades

ChromeShades is designed to help blind users.  It re-formats a web page in a way that simulates how a blind user would perceive it with a screen reader.  The final outcome is a much simplified web page without losing (most) interactive features.  For web developers who want to create accessible web pages, this tool helps them to identify issues before opening a screen reader or send it to a tester for testing (but it is not a full .  Below are a few illustrations I found in the user manual:

ChromeShades Example 1

ChromeShades Example 2

ChromeShades Example 3

 

ChromeShades in Web Store: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hlklboladblmgfpkenhlgbhoojdlfoao

User Guide: http://google-axs-chrome.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/chromeshades_docs/chromeshades_help.html

 

ChromeVox

ChromeVox takes one step further by directly reading out the texts on page.  There are many text-to-speech apps out there, what’s so special about this function?  Firstly, ChromeVox has a number of keyboard shortcuts to help users to navigate around the page.  For example, you can jump to the next heading directly.  Users can control the level of navigation, e.g. jumping between objects (for instance, bullet points), sentences, words and characters.

Secondly, this extension guides users by sound.  When finished loading the page, you hear a beep sound telling you that the page is ready for navigation.  It could read out the texts on the page and the menu items of Chrome.  Watch this video (with video descriptions) to know more:

 

 

ChromeVox in Web Store: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/kgejglhpjiefppelpmljglcjbhoiplfn

User guide: http://www.chromevox.com

 

Image source: Google

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