Growing up, I always dreaded going to the computer lab with my class. Most of my friends thought it was the greatest hour of their lives. However, I would’ve gladly chosen learning in the classroom over pretending to know how to navigate the internet. For those of us with learning disabilities (LD), navigating the internet can be our worst nightmare.
But, fear no more! Google Chrome has created free “extensions” (like apps that you add on to your browser) that make the internet more accessible and enjoyable. Here is a compilation of some of the most impressive Chrome extensions I’ve encountered:
I prefer studying the old-fashioned pen and paper way because I need to highlight and make notes in margins. However, Google Play Books may persuade me to give online studying a chance! The extension allows users to change text fonts and backgrounds. An especially exciting feature is how you can highlight words in the text for immediate translation. Additionally, users can take notes on the text they’re viewing. I challenge you or your loved one with LD to give internet reading a second chance with Google Play Books.
The internet gives us access to a plethora of useful resources. Unfortunately, they’re often overshadowed by countless diversions—and this can be a big challenge for those of us who have ADHD or trouble with executive function and struggle with attention to begin with. In an effort to monitor a user’s online productivity, Stay Focusd blocks distracting sites for an allotted period of time. Now, you can stop checking your friend’s Facebook photos and crack down on your work!
If blocking websites is not enough to stop you or a loved one from getting distracted, this next Chrome extension may be what you’ve been searching for. Readability Redux removes ads, side bars, and other diversions on the page you’re reading. Additionally, users can adjust text styles and sizes to their preferences. It’s a great way to read online more efficiently.
For those who are constantly searching for letters on keyboards, this Chrome extension is for you. The TypingClub provides free online typing tutors. The extension provides instant feedback and charts users’ progression. And don’t think this is just for kids—I may need to give this link to my parents!
Now you’ve installed all these helpful apps. So, how do you find them? With AppJump App Launcher and Organizer, you can group your installed Google extensions and apps into distinguishable categories. It’ll help you locate all of your programs promptly.
If you want to use these Chrome extensions, first, you must download the free Google Chrome browser. Then, you can download the extensions for free at the Chrome Web Store.
Jill Smilowitz is a NCLD intern from Plainview, New York. She is an undergraduate student at the University of Delaware Honors Program. Jill is a Human Services major with a Spanish minor.