This video is 19 minutes long but it has a full set of subtitles included.
It is the Ultimate Guide to the Ease of Access Centre in Windows 10.
This video concentrates on the software in the Ease of Access Centre that will enhance the use of a Windows computer for a person with a visual impairment.
In this video, the following questions will be answered;
1. What is the Ease of Access Centre?
2. How do I start and stop the magnification tool (Magnifier)?
3. What are Magnifier's main features?
4. What are the most important keyboard shortcuts to use?
5. How do I start and stop the screen reader (Narrator)?
6. What are Narrator's main features?
7. What are the most important keyboard shortcuts to use?
8. What do the different high contrast themes look like?
9. How do I turn high contrast on and off?
A full transcript from the video can be read below
Start of Video Transcript
Windows 10 laptop.
The Ease of Access Center is the place on a Windows PC or laptop where you can modify the accessibility settings in order to make your computer easier to see, to hear and to use.
For this video, I am going to be demonstrating the Ease of Access Center on a laptop running Windows 10 but the Ease of Access Centre was part of Windows 8 as well and I have created a video about that and you can find the link below this video.
The Ease of Access Centre is the place to go for people who have a wide range of disabilities in order to modify how their computer works. My specific concern in this video is those settings that make a computer easier to use for people who have a visual impairment.
To open the Ease of Access Centre we press the Windows key and the “U” key.
So let us look at each element in the centre in turn, starting with the common tools; magnifier, narrator, on screen keyboard and high contrast.
Magnifier is a feature that makes the whole screen or parts of it bigger.
To start it you can press the Windows key and the “+” key. A magnifying glass appears on your screen like this and that shows that we have started the Magnifier.
You can make things bigger by pressing the Windows key and the “+” key and you can see there that my mouse cursor, my mouse pointer are magnifying I am zooming in and making things bigger.
You make things smaller by pressing the Windows key and the “-” key repeatedly.
Once you have set the ideal magnification level for yourself you then have a choice between using the magnifier in one of three modes; full screen (which we have it on now), lens, docked.
In full screen mode the whole of the desktop is magnified. To select full screen mode press the Ctrl and Alt and F keys together.
The centre, the focus of the magnification is where the mouse pointer is. You can see as I move my mouse pointer around then the magnification moves with it.
To select “lens” mode, press the Ctrl and Alt and L keys together. A rectangular lens appears on the screen. Anything within the lens is magnified and the lens follows your mouse pointer. So, here we go, you can see there is the rectangular magnification and as I move it around, anything that the rectangle hovers over is magnified.
To select “docked” mode, press the Ctrl and Alt and D keys together. A rectangular strip appears at the top of your screen (and you can see it here) which is stationary and magnifies the area around your mouse pointer.
And there you have it- my quick tour of Windows magnifier.
Now to come out of Windows magnifier we press the Windows key and the escape key.
As magnifiers go, this one which is built into Windows is pretty limited and poor. It compares very badly to the magnification tool that is built into Apple Macs.
Other, better magnifiers are available. Some are free to download, some are very sophisticated and cost lots of money.
So in the next part of my tour of the Ease of Access Centre, I will give you an overview of Narrator- windows built in screen reader.
So let’s get the ease of access centre open by pressing the Windows key and the U key together.
Now a screen reader is a voice that informs you what is happening on screen. It is predominantly used by people with a visual impairment.
To open the screen reader, which is called Narrator, you press the Windows key and the Enter key. You will hear a voice. And I don't know if that voice is going to come out on this recording because I've got a headset on.
The voice works together with a variety of shortcut keys in order to help you to control your computer and know what is going on.
You can access a list of the shortcut keys by pressing the Caps Lock key and the F1 key together when you have Narrator on.
There are about 70 shortcut keys that help you to control your computer and have a voice to guide you. And you can see that I've got some of the shortcut keys on the screen now.
The shortcut keys cover 3 main areas- basic commands, navigation commands and text and table commands.
At the bottom of this box of all of the shortcut keys there is a box label scoping and in here you can choose which ones of those commands that you want up. Basic commands, navigation commands and text and table commands.
So let’s get basic commands up.
Basic commands are the shortcut keys that allow you to control the voice.
For instance, to stop Narrator reading press the Control Key. And there you’ve got it there.
To increase the speaking rate of Narrator we press the caps lock and “+” key which is this command here you can it highlighted in blue on your screen.
To increase the volume of Narrator, press the “caps lock” key and the “Page Up” key and you can see that highlighted in blue on your screen.
Navigation commands are shortcut keys that enable a user to move the focus of Narrator around the screen. And let's go down to the scoping box and get the navigation commands up.
For instance to move to the next item press the “caps lock” key and the “right arrow” key which is highlighted in blue on your screen.
To move to a linked item press the “caps lock” key and the “insert” key which is there highlighted in blue on your screen.
As I have just said you can access the full list of navigation commands by pressing the caps lock key and the F1 key and then in the scoping drop down menu select navigation commands.
Text and table commands are shortcut keys that enable a user to use Narrator to read text and tables.
For instance, to read a document, press the “caps lock key” and the “h” key.
To read a page, press the “caps lock” key and the “control key” and the “u” key.
To read the current row in a table, press the “caps lock” key and the F8 key.
You can access the full list of text and table commands by pressing the caps lock key and the F1 key and then in the scoping drop down menu select text and table commands and there they are in front of you.
To exit Narrator, press the “caps lock” key and the “escape” key.
And there you have it- my quick tour of Windows Narrator.
As screen readers go, this one which is built into Windows is pretty limited and poor. It compares very badly to the screen reader that is built into Apple Macs.
Other, better screen readers are available. Some are free to download, some are very sophisticated and cost lots of money.
Next on my tour I will be looking at the High Contrast feature. These are settings that use contrasting colours in order to make the screen easier to see.
Before I turn on the High Contrast setting, I want to show you the different colour schemes that are available.
To do this, click on “Set Up High Contrast”, and then near the top of the page select “Choose a high contrast theme”
There are four standard high contrast colour schemes in Windows 10 and you can see them in the High Contrast Themes section on this page.
Three of them use different colours on a black background- blue and yellow, light blue and green and white and purple, whilst the fourth is black on a white background.
This is what they look like on the desktop, in a web browser and in Word.
Firstly the blue and yellow on black theme; this is your desktop, in your browser and this is what it looks like in Word.
Next let’s go to the light blue and green on black theme; so this is what it looks like on your desktop, this is what it looks like on your browser, and that’s what it looks like in Word.
Next the white and purple on black theme; so this is what your desktop looks like, just refresh this this is what your browser looks like and this is what Word looks like.
And finally the black on white theme and so here we go this is a bit of a difference. This is your desktop, this is your browser and this is your Word document.
Once you have chosen your favourite colour setting from all of these make sure that you select it. And I am going to leave it on the high contrast white.
That means that when you turn High Contrast, it displays your selected colour scheme. And so let’s just demonstrate that.
So I have turned the high contrast scheme off and now if I turn it on there you go it goes immediately to black and white.
And sorry to turn on the High Contrast scheme the shortcut keys are the left shift key, the left alt key and the print screen key all pressed down together.
And there you go that is my quick tour of the high contrast mode and also the end my video demonstrating the Ease of Access Centre.
Thank you for watching. If you would like to leave a comment, join the discussion or ask me a question then do so below.
Do you use other magnifiers or screen readers? If so, which ones?
And what are your favourite colour combinations for using High Contrast please let me know.
End of Video Transcript