The web can be a tricky place for students to navigate at the best of times. Flashing images, tiny text and an array of small buttons make it very difficult for kids to find what they are looking for. Now imagine this for a student that is vision or motor impaired, where the challenges are multiplied due to the fact most web designers are not designing with accessibility in mind.
Thankfully, there are a number of developers working on ways to make browsing the web a better experience for students with disabilities. Here are 3 Chrome extensions you can install in seconds to help your students get more out of their browser:
Designed for users with color-blindness, Daltonize takes images on the page and re-calibrates colors to expose details that might not be seen otherwise.
The extension provides enhancement for people with Protanopia (red-green), Deuteranopia (red-green), or Tritanopia (blue-yellow). Each of these can be selected from the options menu as well as a “simulate” option to show how images appear through color blind eyes. You can see in the above picture the difference in the original image (top) and the daltonized image (bottom).
ChromeVis is an extension developed by Google to assist vision impaired users by enlarging and colorizing text that may be difficult to read. You can select text on a webpage using your mouse or with your keyboard. Activate the lens with the keyboard or by pressing the ChromeVis icon. That text will then be enlarged and displayed as a floating overlay on the page.
ChromeVis is part of the Axs-Chrome open-source project, which supports extensions that enhance the accessibility of Chrome.
metalmouth is an all encompassing extension that can help students with wide-ranging disabilities. The extension offers navigation by voice commands, web pages read out-loud, intuitive keyboard controls, interaction with page items, dynamic content support, video/audio support and plenty more.
Offering a lot of advantages that will hopefully become standard features for all browsers in the future, metalmouth opens the Internet up for many students that may have had a lot of difficulty in the past.
What other technology and tools is your school using to help students with disabilities?
Image courtesy of Flickr, WagsomeDog