Google Chrome Accessibility Extensions Part 1: Visual/Auditory

Article
Aug. 20, 2020Updated Oct. 11, 2022

Students with disabilities and the families who support them often find it more challenging to meet their educational goals at home without the assistance they usually receive at school. Fortunately, Google Chrome offers a variety of extensions and applications that can be downloaded to your home computer.

We’ve divided these resources into two parts: part 1 focuses on support for children who need help with visual/auditory comprehension and readability, and part 2 zeroes in on support for children who need help with reading comprehension, sustaining focus/attention, and navigation. We’ve noted pricing and other information such as reading level when available. Please let us know if anything on this list (or elsewhere) has been particularly helpful for your child!

Text-to-Speech Chrome Extensions

Read Aloud: A Text-to-Speech Voice Reader

This text-to-speech software can be used as an extension in both Google Chrome and Firefox and will read out loud any text with one click. It can be activated by clicking the Read Aloud icon on the Chrome menu, using shortcut keys, or selecting the text you want to be read aloud. There are many different voices to choose from, and reading speed and pitch can also be adjusted.

○ Cost: In-app purchases range from $0.99 to $2.99 per item

Read&Write for Google Chrome

Read&Write for Google Chrome allows the user to personalize documents, webpages, and files in Google Drive to be more accessible. Features include text-to-speech with dual-color highlighting, text and visual dictionaries, dictation, predictive text, collective highlighting, voice notes, and distraction-free ad removal.

○ Cost: FREE 30-day trial, then $145.00 per year for a single license. Teachers can access the software for free; reach out to your child’s teacher to find out if they can help you get free access.

Announcify

Announcify is a Google Chrome extension that allows the user to hear text read aloud without needing to highlight the text. It displays the text in a more readable format and grays out all surrounding text to allow for more clarity. The user can set the voice that reads the text, along with speed and pitch.

○ Cost: FREE

Snap&Read

Snap&Read is a multifunctional app that allows students to have both accessible and inaccessible text read aloud. It also levels vocabulary for comprehension and offers translation services. It is accessible through Google Chrome, iPad, Microsoft Edge, Kindle Cloud Reader, Bookshare, and any online document or PDF.

○ Cost: FREE trial; $60/year for individual access

Speech-to-Text Chrome Extensions

VoiceIn Voice Typing

VoiceIn is Dictanote’s speech-to-text software, made available in a handy Google Chrome extension. This extension is available in 40 languages and can be used for email dictation, voice typing, and even practicing language pronunciation.

○ Cost: FREE

Readability Chrome Extensions

Mercury Reader

Mercury Reader allows you to only view the important content of a site by blocking ads and all other distractions. You can also adjust the text and send articles to a Kindle device.

○ Cost: FREE

OpenDyslexic Font for Chrome

OpenDyslexic is an open source font that increases readability for those with dyslexia. This Google Chrome extension overrides all fonts on webpages with the OpenDyslexic font and formats pages to be more easily readable.

○ Cost: FREE

Dyslexia Friendly

This Google Chrome extension replaces the font on websites with OpenDyslexic or Comic Sans for easier readability, provides contrast between paragraphs, and includes a highlighted bar to help users stay on the correct line while reading.

○ Cost: FREE

BeeLine Reader

BeeLine Reader helps make reading faster and easier by using a color gradient to guide users’ eyes while they read. The simple technology has been honored by the United Nations, and independent research shows that it has greatly benefitted readers in special education.

○ Cost: FREE for two weeks; $1.99 per month with annual discounts. Teachers can apply for free access for K–12 students.

ATbar

Combining many accessibility tools into one toolbar, ATbar is available for most browsers and allows you to change the way you view and interact with webpages. You can change the look and feel, font size, have text read aloud, use colored overlays, and access a dictionary, spell check, and word prediction.

○ Cost: FREE

Visor

Acting as a screen dimmer and reading aid, this extension can help with fluency, eye strain, concentration, and comprehension while reading. Its features can be helpful for users with visual perceptual difficulties such as dyslexia, scotopic sensitivity syndrome, and visual stress. The point-of-focus feature is designed to help with the tendency to skip lines.

○ Cost: FREE

High Contrast

This tool allows you to choose from several high-contrast color filters that are designed to make text easier to read. After installation, all pages are inverted (so black becomes white and white becomes black). You can toggle it on and off and customize settings on a site-by-site basis.

○ Cost: FREE

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Contents


Overview

Text-to-Speech Chrome Extensions

Speech-to-Text Chrome Extensions

Readability Chrome Extensions

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