4 Chromebook Accessibility Features Every Teacher Should Know about

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As a teacher using Chromebook in instruction, you need to make sure you are knowledgable about the required tips and features that will enable you to make the best of this device in education. Understanding the internal functioning of the gadget comes before your search for EdTech apps to install on it. As is the case with any piece of gadgetry you intend to use  in  class with students, a higher degree of familiarity with its built-in features is of utmost importance, for that can save you a lot of time and open up your eyes to diverse and creative ways to effectively leverage the educational potential of the device in your teaching.

That being said, in today’s post, we are drawing your attention to these handy accessibility features built in the advanced settings of your Chromebook. These are features you can especially use with students with learning disabilities. More specifically, you will get to learn how to access and activate text to speech functionality, how to tap and drag your fingers to move objects, how to click objects automatically, and how to use keyboard shortcuts with one hand. All of the instructions below are taken from Google’s Chromebook Help.

To access accessibility features in your Chromebook, open your Chromebook and click on your account photo and at the bottom click on Advanced. In the ‘Accessibility’ section, click Manage accessibility features then activate any of the following functionalities:

1- Hear text read aloud:
'To have pages read aloud to you, turn on your Chromebook’s built-in screen reader. Follow the steps above, then turn on Enable ChromeVox. Learn more about the screen reader.

To have only part of a page read to you:
  • Follow the steps above, then turn on Enable select-to-speak.
  • Select the part of the screen you’d like read to you:
  • On your keyboard, press and hold Search .
  • Click a line of text, or click and drag across an area of the screen.
  • Your Chromebook will read the section aloud.
  • Optional: To stop select-to-speak while it’s reading something, press Ctrl.'
2- Tap and drag your finger to move objects
  • 'Under "Mouse and touchpad," turn on Enable tap dragging.
  • Click Open mouse and touchpad device settings.
  • Turn on Enable tap-to-click.
  • To use tap-to-click, double-tap the object and hold, then drag it to move.'
3- Click objects automatically
  • 'Under "Mouse and touchpad," turn on Automatically click when the mouse pointer stops.
  • In the "Delay before click" drop-down, choose how long you’d like your Chromebook to pause before clicking.
  • To click without physically pressing your mouse or touchpad, hover over the object you'd like to click.'
4- Use keyboard shortcuts with one hand
'First, under "Keyboard," turn on Enable sticky keys (to perform keyboard shortcuts by typing them sequentially).

To use sticky keys, press Search, Shift, Alt, or Ctrl, whichever key starts the keyboard shortcut.
  • To keep a key pressed until you finish the keyboard shortcut, press the key twice.
  • To unpress a key, press it a third time.'
Image screenshot take from Chromebook