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37th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

Braille, LV, Speech, and Switch Access for the Chromebook

Date & Time
Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 10:20 AM PST  
Grand ABCD  

COVID has accelerated the trend of 1-to-1 devices for students nationwide. Most of the devices that have been purchased during COVID have been Chromebooks.

Chromebooks are very widely used in the states of Texas and Washington. This presentation will discuss assistive technology uses of these devices and how we implement Chromebooks in our respective states.


TypingClub is very accessible using a Chromebook and ChromeVox. TypingClub is the only standard and universally designed keyboarding program used in many public schools in the United States. This program has accessibility options for the blind, low vision, physically handicapped, dyslexia, and deaf/hard of hearing.

TypingClub is a self-voicing program. It silences ChromeVox when TypingClub is speaking and allows ChromeVox to start without any user intervention when the student is navigating the program.

Low Vision Accessibility Options

Options include the following: configuring the screen magnifier, zoom, high contrast, and screen resolution; configuring the text caret and large mouse cursor; and text-to-speech. Keystrokes are available for enabling these options.

Consider purchasing a 15.6-inch touchscreen Chromebook or a larger size if one becomes available. A Chromebook can be connected to an external (larger) monitor if a student requires a monitor larger than 15.6 inches. Screen sharing should always be implemented.

IPEVO Video Magnifier

The IPEVO Video Magnifier is an option for the Chromebook for near and distance viewing. We suggest purchasing the VZ – X Wireless, HDMI, & USB camera. The wireless option works well with the Chromebook; it also uses USB when the wireless connection is needed for other purposes. The IPEVO currently only has digital magnification.

Switch Access

Use a USB switch interface that does not require drivers with a Chromebook. Bluetooth switch interfaces are also accessible.

Tar Heel Reader and Tar Heel Gameplay are accessible with a Chromebook switch interface.

Cough Drop is an AAC app that we think should be explored. Cough Drop is device-independent, switch accessible, and can be used on any device.


ChromeVox is the built-in screen reader for the Chromebook. Students use a combination ChromeVox commands, operating system shortcuts, and application shortcuts.

We suggest that IT departments create an Organizational Unit for low vision and blind students in their school district so that Chromebooks can be configured for their specific needs.

The APH Mantis Q40 is our preference for using the Chromebook due to its QWERTY keyboard and 40-cell Braille display.

During the presentation, we will demonstrate the new ChromeVox tutorial. Additionally, participants will learn tips for Chromebook keyboard navigation using Google Drive and OCR. Also, creating files and folders, accessing external devices such as the APH Mantis Q40 will be addressed.

Other demonstration includes sample writing activities in Google Docs; renaming, navigation, spell check, formatting, inserting/deleting, collaborating, and using Google Docs with a braille display.

Obtaining a Braille Copy from a Google Doc. Save the file in Google Drive as a Microsoft Word file. Open the Google Files app and transfer the file to a USB drive. Place the USB drive in an Index V5 or current HumanWare embosser and emboss. Or use a Braille translation program.

Voice Typing with ChromeVox; supported punctuation, selecting text, editing, speech, for accessibility.

Navigating the Web, using the ChromeVox panel, Jump Commands, setting Bookmarks, Navigating with a Braille display.

This Presentation Link (PPTX) is provided by the Presenter(s) and not hosted by the Center on Disabilities at CSUN. The Center on Disabilities has confirmed, as of March 14, 2022, content linked is relevant to the presentation, but has not been reviewed for accessibility nor will the Center on Disabilities attempt to remediate any accessibility issues in the linked content. Please contact the Presenter(s) with any accessibility concerns.

  • Higher Education
  • Disability Specific
  • K-12 Education
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
Typing Club, universally designed for all. Low vision options. IPEVO video magnifier. ChromeVox frequently used commands, configuring ChromeVox, Google Drive for OCR, files, and folders, obtaining a Braille file from a Google Doc & more. VoiceTyping. Chrome, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Drive, Gmail, & Slides with ChromeVox.  
Session Type
General Track  
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Education


  • Bruce McClanahan
    WA State School for the Blind

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