Windows 10: Built-in Accessibility Features

Windows 10 has many built-in features that allow students to adapt the screen to suit them.

NOTE: Depending on the administration features of your school, this content may not be accessible without the administrator password of your school network. 

Windows Accessibility Features can be accessed in the following ways:

1. Using Settings

  • Click the Windows logo key on the bottom left corner of the screen. 
  • Then click the gear icon on the left side panel for settings. 
  • Click on Ease of Access tab From here, you can access many features to suit your student’s needs.

2. From the Sign-in Screen

This is the screen that comes up when you first start your computer and depending on the computer’s settings, may be asked to input your password.

On this screen, select the Ease of Access button in the bottom right corner of the sign-in screen and then select the required accessibility feature.

NOTE: Through this method, limited accessibility features can be accessed. For the full range, go to Ease of Access via Settings as explained in the previous step. 

3. Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Each accessibility feature can be accessed using a different combination of keys. These are given under the features below. 

Accessibility Features

1. Narrator

Narrator lets the student hear every action they take in Windows as well as all text on the screen spoken out aloud. 

Keyboard shortcut for turning on/off: Windows logo key + Ctrl + Enter 

2. On-Screen Keyboard

If students find it difficult to look from the screen to a keyboard and back again, using an on-screen keyboard can help.

Keyboard shortcut for turning on/off: Windows logo key + Ctrl +

3. Magnifier

Students can use Magnifier to zoom in on parts of the screen. It can run in full screen, in a separate window or as a lens that follows the mouse pointer around the screen. 

To change the zoom level of the screen, students can use Windows logo key + Plus (+) to zoom in and Windows logo key + Minus (-) to zoom out. 

Keyboard shortcut for turning on/off: Windows logo key + Plus (+) to turn on Magnifier; Windows logo key + Esc to turn off Magnifier.

4. Colour Filter

If students find it difficult to see the elements on the screen, using a colour filter might help. This changes the colour palette on the screen and can help them distinguish between things that differ by colour. 

Keyboard shortcut for turning on/off: Windows logo key + Ctrl + C

5. Speech Recognition

Through the Speech function, students can dictate text to the computer instead of typing. It is supported for the following languages: English (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India, and Australia), French, German, Japanese, Mandarin (Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional), and Spanish.

However, this feature requires a bit of learning and practice to use it well. The following links show how to set up Speech Recognition on your Windows 10 computer. 

NOTE: We have found that even with the latest update, the Speech Recognition still does not function as efficiently as it should. Nonetheless, we encourage you to try it out if you like.

In addition to the above, other features can help students to adjust:

  • Contrast of background colours and text for ease of reading
  • Size of the cursor to make it easier to find 
  • Change the speed of the keys to ignore repeated keystrokes 
  • Reverse the selection buttons on the mouse for a left-handed student

Useful Resources

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