Google’s Chrome OS has several helpful accessibility features, including ‘Select-to-speak,’ a screen reader that lets you select specific text for the OS to read aloud. And while it’s a great feature, today, Google announced some updates that’ll make it even better for those with Dyslexia or learning disabilities.
Earlier this year, Google added playback controls to the select-to-speak accessibility feature, and now, the company added 25 languages in more human-sounding voices. As a result, the voices should sound more natural and human-like, including several with accents or different nuances.
According to the blog post, Google worked with people who live with dyslexia, educators, and more to develop new voices that are easier to understand. This should help with reading comprehension, especially in classrooms where Chromebooks are deployed.
Select-to-speak is available in the settings menu on Chrome OS, and once enabled, users can highlight a section of text and control the dictation in one of several languages. With today’s update, the feature is available in 25 languages and various accents, with more to come.
Plus, Google mentioned improvements to the screen magnifier, keyboard shortcuts, panning, point-scanning, and more, which have slowly been added throughout the past year as Google continues its efforts to improve accessibility features for Chromebooks and Chrome OS.