As more districts more toward the use of Chromebooks for 1:1 device use, there are always questions about how these devices can provide the accessibility supports needed by our students with physical and/or learning disabilities.  Since Chromebooks don’t allow for installation of software programs (the usual source of specialized reading/writing support), assistive tools must come from apps and extensions that can modify the user interface.  These tools, many of which are free,  are available from the Chrome Web Store and offer accommodations for visual needs, reading, writing, studying, note-taking, web navigation, etc. Be sure to check out user reviews and give a number of options a trial run before deciding which work best for the intended user.

Subscription based programs from reputable special education software companies, such as Read & Write for Google Chrome (by TextHelp) and Snap&Read Universal (by Don Johnston, Inc.) are also available there.  These high quality programs offer a suite of supports that can be configured into a toolbar to meet individual student-user needs through the Chrome OS.

Just like any other assistive technology tool, you’ll need to explore a number of options and help your student user to identify those that best suit his/her needs.  Just like apps for any OS, some are more well designed than others. If you don’t like an app after trying it, just delete it from your toolbox and move on. To get you started, check out The Chrome AT Toolbox . This site has arranged a nice list of apps and extensions by specific user type, as well as the following categories:

    • Accessibility
    • Cognitive
    • Language
    • Mathematics
    • Organization
    • Reading
    • Social
    • Vision
    • Writing

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Janice Reese

Janice Reese

Director of the AT Center at LTVEC
Assistive Technology Professional
Occupational Therapist

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About Me

My name is Janice Reese and I LOVE assistive technology! I worked as an Occupational Therapist for more than 15 years, earned a Master’s degree in Education Technology, and I’m RESNA certified as an Assistive Technology Profession (ATP).  I have worked in the school system for many years now and I love using technology to enhance the lives of children with disabilities. Since my first love is teaching, I’ve spent just as much time training wonderful teachers everywhere to use these tools in their classrooms.  AT4Kids, llc was founded in 2008 in an effort to provide quality instruction and resources for teachers, therapists, student users and parents who wanted to know more about using AT.

I currently serve as Director of the Center for Assistive Technology, a state-supported program of the Little TN Valley Educational Cooperative.  LTVEC is a non-profit agency whose goal is to provide rehabilitation services and accessibility supports for students with special needs in east Tennessee.  My AT4Kids blog is designed to be as a one-stop resource for ideas and information for those wanting to learn more about the use of AT with children in the special education setting.

I hope to offer helpful hints, program and product reviews, AT recommendations, links to great new finds on the web, and lists of resources for “all things AT”.

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