Did you know about 1 in 5 people have accessibility problems? [source] Color blindness, low vision and visual impairment are more common than generally thought. Fortunately, we have Chrome accessibility tools that can increase background contrast and font size, and even read out pages to you.
Designers tend to design a website like a crafting a piece of art, often ignoring the fact what type of users will be coming to the site. Though WWW consortium has specified guidelines for accessibility, designers and developers are not either not aware of them or simply ignore them for the sake of creativity.
Make Chrome More Useful with Accessibility Tools
Chrome provides us few accessibility options that can be enabled by entering “chrome://accessibility/” in address bar. However, for advance options, we have set of extensions that can help fighting this web inequality:
1. Chrome Vis: Highlight and magnify text
This extension is suitable for the users with low vision. It magnifies the highlighted text with contrasting colors making it easy to read small fonts.
After installing, select any test and press 0 to enable magnified highlighting. Press 0 again to disable this extesnion. Chrome Vis is highly customizable – you can change font size, colors, position and even the shortcut keys.
2. ChromeVox: Read out your screen
ChromeVox gives words to every user action. This screen reader is faster and safer than other third party softwares, but it is limited within Chrome browser.
3. Color Enhancer: Fight color blindness
Sites with red-green or blue-green themes can be confusing as a color blind person can perceive them same colors.
This extension changes the site’s color pallet by defining the most contrasting colors perceived by the user with separate backgrounds. One selected, the entire webpage is re-painted to differnetiate elemets with matching colors.
4. High Contrast: Invert the site colors
High Contrast acts as an eye reliever by providing different high contrast color filters. It makes the colors inverted or grayscale or just increases the contrasts.
An interesting feature for this extension unlike other extensions is that it changes all the colors present in the site, except that of images. You can also choose your setting to a particular site or all sites by selecting option button Toggle Globally/Toggle for this site only. This also enables you to change the default background color in Chrome.
Just like other extensions, these can be disabled and removed from Chrome Settings > Extensions page. Hoping that these extensions will help alleviate some of your problems.
Related: 11 Ways to Minimize Eyes Strain
Conventionally there are two ways of technology to assist visually impaired:
1. Screen Readers: The software that translate the content over screen into speech. Most of the Google Products are compatible with screen readers.
2. Refreshable Braille Displays: A device that allow to generate Braille characters getting input from the screen. All Android devices have this feature by enabling Braille back.
They are termed as Assistive Technology. Google Chrome browser supports this assistive technology like high contrast color and full page zoom. In addition to that Chrome extensions provide features and functionality to improve the accessibility for people with visual problems.
Previously, Google had a separate search page for visually impaired users. Now they have adapted the accessibility principles to all the products and platforms.