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: