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.
For a step-by-step tutorial about accessibility settings that are available in Windows, see Introducing Accessibility in Windows.
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 , 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 other useful products. For more information, go to the Microsoft Accessibility website.
Make the computer easier to see. Several settings are available to help make the information on the screen easier to see. For example, the display can be magnified, 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, and 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, and 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, and 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 or visual alternatives to sounds.
Make it easier to focus on reading and typing tasks. A number of settings 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 tasks.
In addition to the Ease of Access Center, Windows includes three programs that can make it easier to interact with your computer.
Magnifier. Magnifier is a program that magnifies a portion of your computer screen, making it easier to read. For more information about using Magnifier, see Make items on the screen appear bigger (Magnifier).
Narrator. Narrator is a program that reads the text on your screen aloud. For more information about using Narrator, see Hear text read aloud with Narrator.
On-Screen Keyboard. On-Screen Keyboard is a program that lets you use your mouse or other device to interact with a keyboard on the screen. For more information about using On-Screen Keyboard, see Type without using the keyboard (On-Screen Keyboard).