Tuesday Tech Tip: The new, improved ChromeVox screen reader
February 11th, 2017 | Michael Sauers, Technology Manager
I’ve been using a Chromebook for almost two years now and that whole time I was completely unaware of thier built-in tools for those with visual imparments. The technology, known as ChromeVox has gone through a recent upgrade and and many new features.
Worldwide, 285 million people are visually impaired; 39 million are blind and 246 million experience low vision. As two people with visual impairments, we’ve experienced firsthand the transformational effects of assistive technology—specifically screen readers, which enable people to “read” the screen with synthesized speech or braille, and provide keyboard shortcuts to help people quickly navigate complex sites and apps. Today we’re introducing a new, more efficient and powerful version of ChromeVox, which is now the default screen reader on every Chromebook running on Chrome OS 56 or above. ChromeVox can be enabled at any time by pressing the key combination Ctrl + Alt + Z.
Our new version of ChromeVox makes the existing set of keyboard commands even easier, helping you navigate through sites, apps and the Chromebook interface without a mouse. The keyboard commands not only work in web pages, but also across other key parts of the interface, like the Chromebook status tray menu.
We’ve also added new ChromeVox menus that make it easy to find, learn and use all available commands. These menus feature a list of your open tabs, ChromeVox options, speech options, and lists of key items on the given page, such as links, headings or tables. Press Search + Period, or click on the ChromeVox icon in the upper-left corner to open the menus and explore.
You can read the full article on the Google Blog, get even more information on the ChromeVox site, and then try it out yourself by stopping by and checking out one our Chromebooks at the Tech Help Desk.