Discussing the accessibility of Google Chrome on Mac OS X

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macOS & Mac Apps

Hi,
Anyone using Chrome on Mac with VoiceOver as primary browser, such as myself? Are there accessibility improvements that you feel are needed?
Thanks!

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Submitted by rdrobinson on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The county where I teach is considering the move toward using chromebooks. However, the plan for our students with visual impairments is that they will be able to continue using macs. Any information/tips I can glean that can help them would be fantastic.

Submitted by chad on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

hi just downloaded chrome and its totally not accessible for me all i get is a empty html content
i'm running 10.10.5

Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Why use Chrome anyway? Safari as done me fine and this is coming from someone who used firefox on Windows for years. I personally found Chrome really irritating to use, had a Chromebook for a few months and hated every single minute of it. We had a flood that wrecked it and I was glad to be shut of it. The ChromeOS Chromevox extension isn't that great and even once you learn how to use it, it's sluggish on a lot of sites.

Submitted by Ekaj on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I'll admit I haven't used Chrome that much, only because Safari works great for me. That said, I have on a few occasions done some things in Chrome. I recently went to my website in Chrome, and it seemed to read very well with VoiceOver. I have not yet written anything in my journal using Chrome though. I did, however, try to do a couple YouTube searches using the main YouTube site and was unable to do so. So I think it's a double-edged sword. I had Chromevox on here for a short time just after I got my MacBook, but it kept crashing on me.

Submitted by Mike Malarsie on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

So I have both browsers and use them regularly with no accessibility issues.
I primarily use Safari since my bookmarks sync from my iThings and that makes life easy. I originally installed Chrome so I wouldn't need to download and run Flash and it's great for that.
These days when browsing sites like Reddit I'll just copy a URL and paste it into Chrome so I don't lose my place in Safari. I know tabs or different windows can do this but I prefer the second browser experience myself.
It's also nice since I have different Google accounts logged in on each browser. No need to sign in and out, all I need to do is switch the browser and I'm good to go.
Definitely not a good solution for everyone but it works for me!

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

It's ok, but there is no way as far as I can tell to hit option plus tab and skip the links and go to the form fields instead. Also sometimes even though you know a form field is on the page, chrome doesn't see it with voiceover on, not even a find function will find it. I notice this in safari as well on certain sites so maybe it's a voiceover or website issue.

Submitted by kevinchao89 on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

@rdrobinson - If I'm not mistaken, there are visually impaired students successfully using ChromeBooks/OS with ChromeVox. Were there specific challenges that you and your students found that resulted in staying with Macs? I make regular use of ChromeVox, including right now...
@chad - Could you please provide more specific details with steps to reproduce? I know many that use Mac Chrome with VoiceOVer, so be glad to help figure out why it's not accessible for you and you're getting an "empty HTML content".
@Jake - I tried youtube.com (searched for videos, played, and seeked around using keyboard shortcuts) with Voiceover and ChromeVox, but didn't notice any issues or crashes. Are you still observing this? If so, could you provide steps to reproduce and specific details?
@KE7ZUM - are there example websites that you can share that exhibit this issue of form fields not showing up? Thanks!

I very much look forward to continuing the conversation/dialog with all of you!!!
It's greatly appreciated...

Submitted by Mani on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I just checked Chrome on El Capitane and it is broken. I tried to access the headlines on Google Newsstand the headings rotor does not work well. Maybe I am on an old version of Chrome. How do I upgrade it?

Submitted by rdrobinson on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

@kevinchao89 - right now I do not have any students needing to use VoiceOver or ChromeVox full time. The macs our system already has for these students have larger screens, which is important for our students with low vision. Staying with macs - Right now we only have a certain number of classrooms in a limited number of schools who are piloting chromebooks full time, and out of those only one class has a student with low vision. I liked these ease of putting some of the magnification settings into place, and I have found a few extensions that look promising. Since we haven't been using them for very long, that's about as far as we've gotten.

Submitted by kevinchao89 on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

@Mani - Can you please specify what URL you used to access Google Newsstand? Also, does this same issue happen in Safari?
THanks!

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The form fieldes show up but hitting option tab tab just acts like the tab key. Also edit fields are broken as well. This has been a known bug since el capitan as it works fine in yosemite. Go to any website for the edit fields bug. You will notice that voiceover ignores the keyboard setting you have, and editing is a chore as you can't hear what you are doing. I already brought all of this up to the google access list I'm a part of hence why I know this is a vo problem in el capitan. Now let's hope apple comes up with a fix.

Submitted by Mani on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

In reply to by kevinchao89

kevinchao89, I use Safari to access my news at news.google.com
I've used Chrome before but moved to Safari when Accessibility was broken. This was some time ago, perhaps during Mavericks. That is why I was wondering if Google fixed it in a later upgrade.
HTH
mani

Submitted by kevinchao89 on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

@KE7ZUM - The option-tab is a feature unique to Safari. Curious if there is an issue with using VoiceoVer web rotor or commands to move to next/previous form fields, etc.? Yes, the issue with contentEditables is unique to El Capitan and doesn't exist in Yosemite, which is why others and I are staying with OS X 10.10.5
@Mani - Thanks for clarifying the URL! I'm not clear what the issue is with headlines and VoiceoVer web rotor > headings. Could you provide mor details and steps to reproduce? (Chrome updates automatically, but you may need to restart Chrome for some of them to take affect).

Submitted by kevinchao89 on Monday, March 14, 2016

@KE7ZUM and All:

  • Google Chrome Canary fixed the text field/contentEditable issues with VoiceOver.
    • It's now possible again to navigate and edit text and have meaningful feedback with VoiceOver!