Use Switch Access

Switch Access is an alternate input method for your Chromebook. When you use Switch Access, it scans the items on your screen until you use a switch to make a selection. Switches can be used with the built-in keyboard, or an external device that you connect via Bluetooth or USB.

Set up Switch Access

Important: If you want to use an external device for your switches, make sure it’s connected to your Chromebook before you set up Switch Access.
To turn on Switch Access:
  1. On your Chromebook, open Settings .
  2. Select Advanced and then Accessibility and then Manage accessibility features.
  3. Under “Keyboard and text input,” select Switch Access.
    • When you turn on Switch Access, a pop-up immediately directs you to assign your switches.
  4. Assign a switch to the “Select” action. You use this switch to select items on the screen.
  5. If you want to use multiple switches to move the selector between items on the screen, you can assign switches for the “Next” or “Previous” actions.
    • If you only have one switch, you can move between different items on the screen when you turn on Auto-scan.

Use auto or manual scan

Use Auto-scan

Auto-scan automatically moves the selector between different items on the screen until you make a selection. If you only have one switch, use Auto-scan.
To start scanning:
  1. Press the switch assigned to the “Select” action, which makes the selector automatically move between different selectable items.
  2. To select the highlighted item, press the switch again.

Use manual scanning

Important: Manual scanning requires more than one switch. If you only have one switch, use Auto-scan.
  1. To move the selector between different items on the screen, press the switch assigned to the “Next” button until the item you want is highlighted.
    • If you have 3 switches, you can also use the “Previous” switch to cycle backwards through the items.
  2. To select the highlighted item, press your Select switch.

Use point scanning

Point scan lets you locate specific areas on your screen that may not have a clear button to select or have too many options. You can turn point scan on at any time.
Turn on point scanning
Important: If you have Auto-scan turned on, the selector will automatically move between different selectable items in the action menu.
  1. Press the switch assigned to the “Select” action.
  2. When the action menu appears, press your Next switch to go to Point scanning.
  3. Press your Select switch to select Point scanning.
Select an item

When you select Point scanning, the scan begins.

  1. When horizontal range scan begins, press your Select switch when the range lands on the area you want to select.
  2. Press your Select switch again to lock the horizontal position.
  3. When vertical range scan begins, press your Select switch when the range lands on the area you want to select.
  4. Press your Select switch again to lock the vertical position.
  5. When the location is confirmed, in the action menu, focus on the “Left click” action and then press your Select switch to select the item.

Tip: After the click action is completed, scan resumes.

Change point scan speed
  1. On your Chromebook, open Settings .
  2. Select Advanced and then Accessibility and then Manage accessibility features.
  3. Select Switch Access options.
  4. Under “Point scanning speed,” move the slider between “Slow” and “Fast” to adjust.

Complete other common tasks

Select an item from a group
To improve efficiency, different menu options or items within a window are sometimes grouped together. If you can’t select an item, you may not be in the correct item group.

If the item you want to select is inside a group of items:

  1. Select the item group.
  2. Navigate to the item you want to select.

If the item you want to select is outside the currently selected group of items:

  1. To exit the item group, select Back .
  2. Select the correct item group.
  3. Navigate to the item you want to select.
Use the action menu
If you select an item that has multiple actions associated with it, Switch Access opens a context menu. This menu allows you to choose between actions.

To select an action from the menu:

  1. Cycle through the menu options.
  2. Press the switch.

To close the action menu:

  1. Cycle through the available options until you highlight Back .
  2. Select the button.
Edit text
  1. Select a text field.
  2. From the context menu:
    • Select Dictation to speak the text you want to enter.
    • Select On-screen keyboard to open the on-screen keyboard.
      • The selector scans keyboard rows. Once you select a row, the selector scans the individual letters in that row.
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