Chrome’s Built-in Accessibility Extensions

A man in a wheelchair in an office setting in conversation with another man at a desk

Earlier in the month, we explored a variety of assistive technology apps that are available as Google Chrome Extensions. These apps were created by third party developers such as Ginger Software, TextHelp, Claro Software etc. and use Chrome as a platform to host their product. What many AT users might not realize is that Google has also created their very own accessibility extensions, and that those extensions are always available for free. The extensions that we’re looking at today can be found through the Chrome Web Store under the “Accessibility” category, or, by clicking here.

Adding Chrome extensions is easy:

  1. First, go to the Chrome Web Store and choose the extension that you wish to add.
  2. Click on the “Add to Chrome” button near the top right corner of your browser window.
  3. A pop-up window will ask you to confirm. Click on “Add extension”, and the extension will be installed to Chrome.

Caret Browsing (navigate using your keyboard)

This extension allows users to navigate webpages using their keyboard. To turn on the extension, click on the caret browsing extension located on the right side of the address bar.

  • To move word by word, press Ctrl + arrow key.
  • To move between focusable controls, press Tab.
  • To select text, press Shift + arrow key.
  • When a focusable control (like a list) requires arrow keys, exit it by pressing Esc and one of the arrow keys.

Color Enhancer (adjust webpage colors)

Color Enhancer allows users to manually adjust webpage colours. To turn on the extension, click on the Color Enhancer extension located on the right side of the address bar.

  • To adjust colors, click Setup and choose the color combination that works best for you. The moveable slider allows users to adjust the level of color correction.
  • When you’re satisfied with your choices, click OK.

High Contrast (adjust or remove colors)

Use this extension to make adjustments to color contrast, remove colors, flip black and white, and more.

  • To turn on the extension, click on the High Contrast extension located on the right side of the address bar, then, choose the color scheme that you want.
  • To disable High Contrast, click on the extension and select Disable.

Tags: apps, AT HelpDesk, technology

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