Chromebook and low vision accessibility

There are a few things one can do on a Chromebook to help compensate for vision problems.

Browser settings

Zoom in using the browser. Yes, I know this one is obvious so getting it out of the way.

Chromebook settings

Note: the exact steps may have changed. My Chromebook is expired and no longer gets updates

In the Settings app, expand Advanced and choose Accessibility. Then choose “manage accessibility features”. Here you have a number of options

  • ChromeVox – will read screen to you. This screenreader is meant for people who can see but with a vision impairment. (It’s not as powerful as Jaws which is intended for blind people)
  • Enable select o speak – highlight what want to hear and press search – s. I’m not sure if this is useful. It could be if you can see the area. But then you could zoom in a lot and read that part? Maybe if you can see sections of things but not read even giant letters?
  • High contrast mode – I found this harder to read. But my vision is fine.
  • Built in full screen magnifier – Press ctrl+search+m to turn off and ctrl+alt+arrow keys to move around. Interesting. I think the magnifying glass extension is better. It feels more intuitive to move the magnifying glass than the screen.
  • Enable docked magnifier. It takes the top third of your screen and shows whatever part of the screen you have your mouse over. I like this better than the full screen one because you get to move your mouse and still keep context.
  • Customize resolution on the whole computer or just text
  • Make the cursor larger – this one is neat. Avoids the game of cursor hide and seek.
  • Change the color of the cursor – if easier to see with a different color
  • Have a visual effect when moving the cursor or going to a form field

Magnifying glass extension

There are two similarly named MagnifyingGlass. On from HoverZoom and one from PDFWork. I like. Both work the same way. You have to click the little extension blob in the toolbar to activate it for a site and then it stays activate until you press escape. I wish there was a keyboard shortcut. PDFWork says alt-s works on an old doc page. It didn’t work for me, but isn’t in the current doc anyway.