Accessibility in System 7
Introduction: Microsoft has many accessibility functions built into their operating system: system 7. They also have a very similar set of accessibility features in their newest operating systems like Window 10. They have been working to keep their products accessible over the past decade or so.
Instruction: Go to the Start Menu, click on Control Panels, then Click on Ease of Access Center:
Once in the Ease of Access Center feel free to try all the settings, though if you don’t have one type of disability or another, changing your computer’s setting may be disconcerting at first. You will most immediately find four specific areas that are provide.
Start Magnifier: Starts the screen magnification software for those with low vision.
Start On-screen keyboard: Adds an on-screen keyboard for those using a pointing device to type on the screen rather than on a standard physical keyboard.
Start Narrator: A simple screenreading software which announces text based content to those who are blind or have vision loss.
Set up High Contrast: Alters the computers color settings for menus, icon, and the background or windows and the visual display to improve the clarity of objects on the screen so they can be read by those with concentration or vision problems.
Under the Explore all Setting Section
Use the computer without a display: In this section you can turn on narrator, audio description, set up text to speech, reduce animations and see what other assistive technologies are on the computer which provide access such as other screenreaders or text to speech products.
Make the computer easier to see: Allows those with vision lost to turn on a high contrast visual theme, turn on speech products like Narrator, make the sizing of text and icons larger, turn on Magnifier, improve the thickness of text input cursors, remove background images and eliminate animations. Again you can also tell what other assistive technologies are on the computer which may aid a person with vision loss.
Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard: For those who type on the computer using an on-screen keyboard and a pointing device or head operated mouse, this section is available. It also provides access to the Microsoft built-in text to speech, Speech Recognition software. Which is adequate but not nearly as well as Dragon Dictate’s product. This accessibility feature can help those who are developing carpal tunnel or repetitive stress disorder.
Make the mouse easier to use: It is always better for someone who has trouble seeing to adjust the size of the cursor or mouse pointer. Here are the selections you find. You can choose to control the mouse with the numerical keypad. Or make activating a window by hovering over it. There is a link to controls for how the mouse operates such as the speed at which one must click.
Make the keyboard easier to use: This section provides a set of choices for improving one’s ability to use the keyboard. It starts with making the keyboard a mouse with Mouse Keys. Next is Sticky keys, which allows someone to press one key at a time for multiple key commands such as Control key + V for paste. After that is Toggle Keys for sounding a tone when you press Caps lock, Num Lock or Scroll Lock. Filter Keys is another set of commands for adjusting the rate at which you must press a key to get a second letter, so that those with dexterity issues cannot type too many characters when they accidently hold down that key too long. Another feature is to add underlining to keyboard shortcut keys; this helps keyboard users to see what keystrokes are associated with a shortcut keystroke. Lastly there are other keyboard arrangements like the Dvorak keyboard, which helps improve the speed at which some can type.
Use text of visual alternative for sounds: For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, system alert sounds may not be something they are aware of, and so this feature provides a visual flash on the screen (Sound Sentry). One can enable several types of visual content to be set to flash when an audio alert is played: caption bar, active window or desktop. You can also turn on a feature that provides captions for spoken dialog (when available).
Make it easier to focus on tasks: For some, the computer is a difficult environment in which to focus. A variety of features are provided that may help someone. The features include turning on Narrator, removing background images, turning off animations, etc.