Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Accessibility Tools for Windows

You probably already know about these tools.  As a teacher, I knew they were there; I just never used them!  I was helping an instructional support teacher recently and really started to dig in them deeper.  These are accessibility options on any desktop computer running Windows.  To find this menu, I went to the pearl (start circle on lower left-hand side of the screen) and typed in EASE OF ACCESS CENTER.  Here’s a description of what they’ll do:

  • ·         Start magnifier- magnifies what you hover over with your mouse
  • ·         Set up high contrast- for kids with visual issues, changes the whites to blacks and blacks to whites.  To select, click on SET UP HIGH CONTRAST and it tells you the short cut buttons to push. (It’s left alt, left shift, print screen buttons all at the same time.)
  • ·         Start on-screen keyboard- just that; It lays an on-screen keyboard on the screen so the kids can click to select keys.  Useful for kids that have a hard time tracking form the screen down to the keyboard.)
  • ·         Start narrator- reads what is on your screen for non-readers or emergent readers
  • ·         Make the mouse easier to use- sets the sensitivity for the mouse
  • ·         You can go into more details settings by click through the EXPLORE ALL SETTINGS options. 

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