Windows offers several programs and settings that can make the computer easier and more comfortable to use. Additional assistive technology products can be added to your computer if you need other accessibility features. More information about accessibility and assistive technology products is available on the Microsoft Accessibility website.

The Ease of Access Center is a central location that you can use to set up the accessibility settings and programs available in Windows. In the Ease of Access Center, you'll find quick access for setting up the accessibility settings and programs included in Windows. You'll also find a link to a questionnaire that Windows can use to help suggest settings that you might find useful.

  • Open Ease of Access Center by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Ease of Access, and then clicking Ease of Access Center.

Use the computer without a display

Windows comes with a basic screen reader called Narrator that will read aloud text that appears on the screen. Windows also has settings for providing audio descriptions for videos and controlling how dialog boxes appear. For more information, see Use the computer without a display.

Additionally, many other programs and hardware are compatible with Windows and available to help individuals who are blind, including screen readers, Braille output devices, and many other useful products. For more information, review the Microsoft Accessibility website.

Make the computer easier to see

Several settings are available to help make the information on the screen easier to understand. For example, the screen can be magnified, screen colors can be adjusted to make the screen easier to see and read, and unnecessary animations and background images can be removed. For more information, see Make the computer easier to see.

Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard

Windows includes an on-screen keyboard that you can use to type. You can also use Speech Recognition to control your computer with voice commands as well as dictate text into programs. For more information, see Use the computer without the mouse or keyboard.

Make the mouse easier to use

You can change the size and color of the mouse pointer, as well as use the keyboard to control the mouse. For more information, see Make the mouse easier to use.

Make the keyboard easier to use

You can adjust the way Windows responds to mouse or keyboard input so that key combinations are easier to press, typing is easier, or inadvertent key presses are ignored. For more information, see Make the keyboard easier to use.

Use text and visual alternatives for sounds

Windows can replace two types of audio information with visual equivalents. You can replace system sounds with visual alerts and you can display text captions for spoken dialog in multimedia programs. For more information, see Use text and visual alternatives to sounds.

Make it easier to focus on reading and typing tasks

There are a number of settings that can help make it easier to focus on reading and typing. You can have Narrator read information on the screen, adjust how the keyboard responds to certain keystrokes, and control whether certain visual elements are displayed. For more information, see Make it easier to focus on reading and typing.