Screen Reading Extension App: Google

Google has created an accessibility app for people visual impairments that reads text in websites out loud to the user.

To download the app, go to the "Google Play Store" and follow the directions below:

1. Click Download

2.  Find the picture black circle in the upper right hand corner that looks similar to a speaker.

3. Click the speaker to toggle it on or off

Features:

The Screen Reading Extension Apps gives visually impaired users the opportunity to read website texts when they click on the desired words.  It also increases the contrast of images in websites.

Review:

Google has created an extension that serves the needs of people with visual impairments that still rely on their vision for reading by making the screen reader voice available to the user when they click the paragraph that they would like read to them.  This is good news for users who do not want every text on the screen read out loud to them. It also gives the user the option to turn this extension on or off.  However, there were some limitations for user with visual impairments that I would like to review:

1. The screen reader does not read online textbooks or PDF documents.

2. The toggle switch to turn this extension on/off is very small and could be challenging for someone with visual impairments to discriminate even with the Chrome magnification accessibility feature on.

3. Screen Reader Extension only uses voices that were previously installed within the Chrome operating system.  The voices sound robotic in nature.

Overall,  I think Screening Reading Extension App is a valuable app for users with visual impairments who still rely mostly on magnification to access their text but need may benefit from this screen reading app only if they experience visual fatigue. For users that depend on screen readers to access website text, I would recommend using ChromeVox, the screen reader installed within the Chromebook that automatically reads text the user crosses on the desktop and within websites.

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