Browser extensions – Assistive technology tools
Many web browsers have extension tools that you can download and use online on most websites. These can be completely free, have a free version with limited tools or come at a cost.
Below are some example of useful browser extensions in the Chrome browser, but other browsers, such as Edge, have useful tools too.
Free text-to-speech tool that can read text from website pages out to you. Useful for those who prefer hearing information or have barriers with concentrating. It is also helpful for learning the sounds of new (technical) words. You can change the voice pitch, type and speed to suit your needs.
Free speech-to-text tool that can dictate and type what you say into websites, including online email. You can give verbal formatting and punctuation commands or add those in manually later.
Free extension that allows you to change the colour of the screen overlay. You can change shade to make it dimmer or brighter, and use green, blue, red or any combination of these in a tint. Very useful for those who struggle with the bright light of computer screens or those who struggle reading black writing on a white background.
Smart Reader – Bionic Reader
Free extension that will change the text on a website page into a ‘Bionic Reading’ format. This text style bolds certain letters to give an anchor point for the eyes. Especially useful for learners with ADHD whose brain may read faster than their eyes, so that they may miss letters or words when reading and need to re-read things multiple times. This font can reduce reading errors and save time.
Free trial with limited function. Cost for full version
You can get a free version with limited tools or pay for the full version. HelperBird was made by dyslexic people, for dyslexic people, but is useful for many people. With HelperBird you can customise the look and use of website pages to suit your needs. You can change font type, colour, size, spacing, change background colour, have rulers showing your place, highlight links (useful for those who are colourblind), reduce distractions, change the text into another language and much more.