New Chromebook accessibility feature aims to help people with dyslexia

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Your Chromebook wants you to read something.

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Google on Thursday said it was adding more “human-sounding” voices to its select-to-speak feature on chromebook. Select-to-Speak lets Chromebook users hear the selected text on their screen aloud. The new voices are intended to make that spoken text more fluid-sounding and easier to understand. They’re currently available in 25 languages ​​with different accents, with more on the way, Google says.

Reading on a screen can be difficult for people with dyslexia, someone learning a new language or those who struggle to focus on busy text, noted the search giant. To develop this feature, Google worked with people with dyslexia, as well as expert teachers for dyslexia.

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“They shared that listening to text read aloud leads to increased comprehension – especially in educational settings,” the company said in a blog post. “By bringing natural-sounding voices into the feature, for example a local accent you’re using, it’s easier to follow along with content that is read and highlighted on the screen.”

To try new sounds, Enable Select-to-speak Select the sound you want in Chromebook Settings. Then select the text you want to read aloud and press the Everything button or the Launcher key plus S.

The update follows the addition of other select-to-speak features earlier this year, including controls to speed up, slow down or stop the reading sound, and controls to easily jump to different sections of text. . Users can also choose to highlight spoken words and shade background text to increase focus.

In the past year, Google has updated Chromebooks as well. screen magnifierWith features like keyboard panning and shortcuts. The company has a free . also launched online training program with Academy for Vision Rehabilitation and Certification of Education Professionals, which includes Chromebook and Google Workspace accessibility features.

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