How to Add Accessibility Features to Google Chrome
If you have trouble reading text on websites, seeing specific colors, or have dyslexia, Google Chrome has accessibility features that can help. You manage them individually through various Chrome extensions available in the Web Store.
Official Google Accessibility Extensions
Google offers four official accessibility extensions that you can add to your browser from the Chrome Web Store:
- Color Enhancer: A customizable color filter applied to webpages that improve the perception of colors for people with partial colorblindness.
- Caret Browsing: An extension that lets you browse the text of a webpage using the arrow keys of your keyboard.
- High Contrast: Change or invert the color scheme of webpages to make it easier to read the text with the press of a button.
- Long Description in Context Menu: Add an item to your right-click context menu that opens an image’s long description link a special HTML attribute used by some assistive technologies to provide more information than an image’s alt-text.
To install one of these extensions, click the “Add to Chrome” button to the right of its name.
Read the extension’s permissions and then click “Add Extension.”
After a few seconds, the extension will be installed and ready to use.
Third-Party Accessibility Extensions
If you find that the few options from Google aren’t doing it for you, the Chrome Web Store has a bunch of third-party extensions to choose from as well. Installation is the same as for official Google extensions, but they’re sorted under a different category.
Head to the Chrome Web Store and then select “Accessibility” from the drop-down menu under Categories.
To view the full list of accessibility extensions, click on “View All.”
There are quite a few here to choose from, but here are a few that we think are pretty useful to get you started:
- An extension that reads text for you: Read Aloud is a text-to-speech extension that converts a web page’s text into audio, letting you choose between a variety of voices in 40+ languages. Connect your Google Wavenet or Amazon Polly to enable even more life-like synthetic speech. The perfect tool for anyone who has dyslexia, low visibility, or if you prefer to listen to content rather than read it.
- An extension that types what you say: VoiceIn Voice Typing is capable of using speech recognition into any textbox for almost any website. Based off of Google’s speech recognition engine, VoiceIn is one of the best Speech-to-text extensions available on the Chrome Web Store. With support for over 120 languages, you’ll never have to type anything ever again.
- An extension to browse with your keyboard: Vimium provides people who are unable to use a mouse or if you prefer the power user approach keyboard shortcuts for navigation and control on all webpages. Vimium is completely customizable and has an in-page help dialog in case you forget your shortcuts.
- An extension that helps you read: OpenDyslexic Font for Chrome uses the open source font designed to increase text readability for people with dyslexia. The extension overrides all text to the OpenDyslexic font style and formats pages, making them easier to read.
- An extension to help you see more colors: Vision gives people suffering from color vision deficiencies, Tritanopia (blue deficiency), Deuteranopia (green deficiency), and Protanopia (red deficiency), the ability to see more colors on the internet.