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-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 the “Select” switch.

Grouped items

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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