Windows Accessibility for Low Vision

Low Vision Windows users benefit more than Mac users from third party softwares such as zoomtext or jaws to help them access their machines, however some low vision users do not require specialized software if they only need a certain level of magnification/high contrast to access their screens. 

The following will guide you through setting up the most commonly used settings quickly and easily, as well as how to access the ease of access menu in order to deeply customise your windows operating system for your student. 


Ease of Access Menu

For an easy way to explore and configure settings that make a computer easy to use press the start button, go to control panel and then click on the ease of access menu

For an excellent guidein what options are available here and how to use them click onthis guide

Ease of Access.mp4

High Contrast Mode

the easiest way to to enable high contrast mode is to use the keyboard shortcut "left alt left shift print screen" and select "Yes"

otherwise press thewindows key, gotocontrol panel, selectpersonalization andselect one of the highcontrast theme from the personalization menu.

Windows Magnifier

The easiest way to turn on windows magnifier and beginmagnifying is byholding the windows key and the pressing the  + key this will begin zooming, use the windows key and the - key to zoom out.

click the optionsbutton in magnifier to trigger options suchas following the textas you type or inverting colors which is appropriate for glare difficulties. 

Enlarged Mouse Cursor

the easiest way to alter mouse settings is to press thewindows button,type mouse into the search field and click the mouse button. 

From the mouse menu go to the menu named "pointers", you will have a variety of mouse schemes such as "Windows Black Extra Large".

Make the text on your screen larger or smaller

The link to the right contains an excellent guide from microsoft for how to set the default text on your screen- all the menus, icons and captions to a larger size. 

Use checkboxes to select items

Many of our VI students have trouble with the traditionally visual tasks of dragging and dropping and selecting multiple files when using magnification or screen-reading software.

To enable checkboxes on all icons and folders;

  1. Click on Start Button and type Explorer
  2. select explorer from the start menu
  3. press the Alt key to view the file menu
  4. from the file menu select 'tools'
  5. Select folder options
  6. Select the 'View' tab
  7. Scroll down through the advanced settings to the item 'Use checkboxes to select items"
  8. enable this option