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Tip of the Month – March 2018 – 2: Windows accessibility inbuilt features

Windows Accessibility Inbuilt Features

The ease of access centre provides a centralised location where you can adjust settings manually to make your computer easier to use.

Ease of access options can help make it easier to:

  • Use your computer without a display. Narrator lets you hear audio descriptions for whatever is on the screen e.g. text and buttons
  • See whats on the screen. Make the content on the screen bigger using magnifier, or high contrast mode.
  • Use your keyboard. Turn on Sticky Keys, Filter Keys, or the onscreen keyboard.
  • Use your mouse. Change the pointer size, or turn on the mouse keys to use your keyboard to move the mouse.

Setting up your PC to make it more accessible takes only a few steps. Most Ease of Access options are available in Settings. Select the Start button, then select Settings >Ease of Access.

Below is a quick guide to some Windows 10 inbuilt features. Click on the links to find out more:

Inbuilt Features to support Physical Limitations

Onscreen Keyboardallows user to use the mouse cursor to operate an onscreen keyboard. Often used in conjunction with alternative access methods, such as head mouse, joy stick, track ball etc.

This feature may be beneficial for users who have

  • limited hand function/dexterity



Keyboard SettingsOften adjusted for clients who have limited dexterity/mobility of the hands.

  • Mouse Keysenables the user to use the keyboard to control the mouse cursor i.e. numeric keypad or the arrow keys. Often clients who use mouth sticks use this feature.
  • Sticky Keysthis features is often used, when users are unable to press a combination of keys at one time, for example CTRL+ALT+DEL. This feature allows users to press keys one at a time. Turn on Sticky Keys quickly by pressing the ‘shift’ key 5 times.
  • Filter Keyswhen turned on Windows ignores when you press the same key rapidly or when you press keys for several seconds unintentionally.



Mouse Propertieswithin this setting you are able to change configuration of button set up, speed in which you double click and enable ‘ClickLock’ a helpful feature if you are unable to drag and hold.

There is also Pointer options, where you can change speed and visibility of the pointer.


Folder Optionsfor people who have difficulty with double clicking, you are able to go into ‘folder options’ and under ‘General’ you are able to select ‘single click to open an item’.

Inbuilt features to support Vision Impairment

Magnifierenlargers part of the screen.  This feature enables the user to choose between 3 views – full screen, lens or docked depending on the persons need. You can also alter how much magnification is required.



Contrast If it is hard to read text on your screen due to the colours, you can change the theme of your PC to a colour combination that is easier to read.



Cursor Optionsallows the user to change the colour and size of the cursor. There is also an option to invert the cursor (i.e. when on white page cursor is black and when on black page cursor is white).


Narratorreads aloud any text on the screen. Can be used to access the desktop, exploring the internet, reading emails and text in word documents.

These features may be beneficial for users who have

  • difficulties with vision (blind, have low vision)
  • difficulties reading



Inbuilt features to support Auditory Impairment

Windows can use visual cues rather than sounds in some applications.




Click here to download the Tip of the Month as a PDF.

Created by Amanda Roberton (OT) on 1/2/2018

Permanent link to this article: http://www.talklink.org.nz/index.php/2018/03/15/tip-of-the-month-march-2018-2-windows-accessibility-inbuilt-features/

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