This is a feature area of the website which provides information on the ways to enhance accessibility. The following details also highlight the features which are commonly 'built in' to the computer operating system you are already using.
Locating your Accessibility Tool Kit
Within Microsoft Windows™ Operating Systems, there are enhanced accessibility features built in. You can adjust the appearance and behavior of Windows to enhance accessibility for some vision-impaired, hearing-impaired, and mobility-impaired users without requiring additional software or hardware. The available options are located as follows:
- Choose 'Start' in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen
- Select 'Programs'
- Select 'Accessories > Accessibility'
- Select the desired tool-kit function from the list below
Magnifier is a display utility that makes the screen more readable for users who have low vision. Magnifier creates a separate window that displays a magnified portion of your screen. Magnifier is intended to provide a minimum level of functionality for users with slight visual impairments. When using Magnifier, you can:
- Change the magnification level
- Change the size of the magnification window
- Change the position of the magnification window on your desktop
- Invert the screen colors
- Use a high contrast setting
Magnifier also has a number of tracking options, including:
- Following the mouse pointer as it moves on your screen
- Following the keyboard focus which centers on the location of the cursor
- Following text editing
On-Screen Keyboard is a utility that displays a virtual keyboard on your screen and allows users with mobility impairments to type data using a pointing device or joystick. On-Screen Keyboard is intended to provide a minimum level of functionality for users with mobility impairments. It is also useful for users who do not know how to type.
On-Screen Keyboard has three typing modes you can use to type data:
- In clicking mode, you click the on-screen keys to type text.
- In scanning mode, On-Screen Keyboard continually scans the keyboard and highlights areas where you can type keyboard characters by pressing a hot key or using a switch-input device.
- In hovering mode, you use a mouse or joystick to point to a key for a pre-defined period of time, and the selected character is typed automatically.
In On-Screen Keyboard you can also:
- View an enhanced keyboard that includes the numeric keypad, or a standard keyboard without the numeric keypad.
- Display the keyboard with the keys in the standard layout, or in a block layout in which the keys are arranged in rectangular blocks. Block layout is especially useful in scanning mode.
- Display the U.S. standard keyboard (101 keys), the universal keyboard (102 keys), or a keyboard (106 keys) with additional Japanese language characters.
- Use Click Sound to add an audible click when you select a key.
- Use Always on Top to keep your keyboard displayed on your screen when you switch programs or windows.
Narrator is a text-to-speech utility for users who are blind or have low vision. Narrator reads what is displayed on your screen: the contents of the active window, menu options, or the text you have typed. Narrator is designed to work with Notepad, Wordpad, Control Panel programs, Internet Explorer, Windows desktop, and Windows setup. Because of the complexity and variation in operating systems and page content, Narrator may not read words aloud correctly in all programs.
Narrator has a number of options that allow you to customize the way screen elements are read:
- You can have new windows, menus, or shortcut menus read aloud when they are displayed.
- You can have typed characters read aloud.
- You can have the mouse pointer follow the active item on the screen.
- You can adjust the speed, volume, or pitch of the voice.
Information given on this page is offered as advice only. You are responsible for any and all changes made to your computer or Internet browser settings as a result of reading this information. Discover Suffolk and Suffolk County Council does not accept responsibility or liability for any errors or malfuncitons that may occur, and as such does not offer any technical support or guidance other than that which is written on the website. Discover Suffolk and Suffolk County Council does not warrant, recommend or guarantee any companies or software that are linked to from this website.