4 Google Docs Accessibility Features Teachers Should Know about

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Google Docs editor embeds a number of important accessibility features that you can use with your students in class. Drawing on information from Docs Help I summarized the four main accessibility features namely voice typing, screen magnification, Braille display, and screen readers. I also outlined steps on how to access each of these functionalities from within your documents. Some of these features work on Google Slides and Sheets.

1- Screen reader
Docs allows you to use the screen reader software of your choice (e.g., ChromeVox, NVDA, JAWS, VoiceOver, etc). To turn on screen reader support:
  •  Open a document in Google Docs.
  •  Click on Tools.
  •  Select Accessibility settings. Follow the instructions provided by the screen reader software you use.  
2- Screen magnifier
The screen magnifier feature, which is available on Mac and Chrome OS, lets you "zoom in to make everything bigger on your screen". Here is how to turn on Screen magnifier on Google Docs:
  •  Open a document in Google Docs.
  •  Click on Tools.
  •  Select Accessibility settings.
  •  Click on Turn on screen magnifier support.
3- Type with your voice
Voice typing is a feature that is only available on Chrome browsers. To start using this feature make sure your microphone is working then:
  • Open a document on Google Docs.
  • Click on Tools and select Voice typing.
  • Click on the microphone to speak.
There is also the voice command feature which you can use to edit and format your documents. Check out this page for a list of such commands.

4- Braille display
Docs editor support Braille display enabling users to easily read and edit documents. Here is how to turn it on:
  •  Open a document in Google Docs.
  •  Click on Tools.
  •  Select Accessibility settings.
  •  Check the 'Turn on screen reader support' box
  •  Check the 'Turn on braille support' box.