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Computers are an essential piece of equipment for most people, but they are even more important Assistive Devices for persons with disabilities, including persons with various types of Intellectual Impairments. With the advent of the Internet and the multitude of businesses supported online, one's imagination is the only limit. You can do just about anything from your home computer, including operating a business, doing research, socializing, listening to music, watching TV and movies, playing games, reading books, purchasing products, doing banking and taking part in discussions.
Therapeutic treatments and support groups are also available on-line to assist persons with Intellectual Impairments who are also assisted through the various Assistive technology, software and adaptions that are available to purchase in South Africa to make your computer accessible.
The availability of this computer equipment and Assistive Devices is increasing thanks to various Organizations and Companies such as Edit Microsystems who have made concerted efforts to make sure that this equipment is easily available for persons with disabilities in South Africa. To find out more about these Computers, Electronic Aids and Assistive Devices and the companies that provide them, please read the article below and click on the links provided.
Edit Microsystems: Edit Microsystems (Pty) Ltd is an award-winning company that is devoted to finding alternative and state-of-the-art technical solutions to improve curriculum delivery in educational institutions and effective communication in business with a focus on high-speed functional connectivity and on-going support. They have a proud tradition of innovation and are on the cutting edge of technological advances in education. Many of their products are designed to enhance interactivity in a classroom or lecture theatre. Edit Microsystems are also a leader in finding and providing specially adapted hardware and software for Learners with Special Educational Needs throughout South Africa.
Edit Microsystems can be contacted on: 086 111 3973 and have their Head Office in Cape Town at: 13 Boy De Goede Circle, Table View, 7441. They also have an online shop and branches in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Gauteng.
To contact these other branches or find out more about Edit Microsystems and the products they supply, visit their web site at: www.editmicro.co.za or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choosing A Computer
Before purchasing a computer, you will need to decide whether a Desktop, notepad or laptop would be best suited for your needs. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your needs and what they will be used for, so you would firstly need to look at the reason for purchasing a computer and then weigh up the advantages and benefits of the various options listed below, which would then determine which one would suit your needs.
Desktop computers offer a variety of benefits, they are not as portable as a laptops, but can be a more affordable and powerful option, with more features than Laptop computers, therefor ideal for a classroom, office or organisation. There are also a variety of other advantages that Desktops have over Laptop, which include:
- Desktop computers are generally easier, and less expensive, to upgrade.
- Desktop computers are generally less expensive overall and offer a better overall value.
- Desktop computers have a more comfortable keyboard and a much easier to use mouse, however those using Laptops can purchase a comfortable Keyboard and Mouse or Trackball.
- Desktop computers generally have larger monitors, but bigger monitors can also be connected to Laptops.
- Desktop computers have a lower risk of theft, which means less chance of losing your data and having to pay to replace your computer.
There are a variety of different types of Desktops which are available from various companies in South Africa, including:
Desktop Computers From Edit Microsystems: Edit Microsystems can supply desktop computers from all brands to your unique specification requirements. If you know what you are looking for, you can send them your specifications and they will quote you. If you are unsure about your computing needs, you can contact them, so that one of their highly trained sales staff can assist you to find the ideal solution based on what you would like to use the computer for. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.
There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.
Laptops & Notepads
A Laptop, sometimes called a Notpad or Notebook, is a portable personal computer, which has a Keyboard and screen that can be folded shut for transportation. Laptops are portable and lightweight and are extremely useful for working on while traveling or for people who have to spend time in bed or hospital, or students with learning disabilities with handwriting or reading difficulties.
Being able to take notes on a laptop or computerized device (such as an iPad) can improve the quantity and quality of the notes. Using a word processor can help students to complete work that is more organized and includes less spelling errors than handwritten work. Some students may also identify and correct more errors when using spell check than when editing by hand.
Personal access to laptops and computerized devices however does not ensure engagement and increased academic success. For many students, laptop computers and computerized devices can also be distracting. Teachers and students need to be trained in how to meaningfully integrate technology into academic contexts so that the devices don’t detract from learning. Visit the Windows Accessibility section below to find out more about this.
Other advantages of a Laptop computer, as compared to a Desktop computer include:
- Laptop computers are highly portable and allow you to use your computer almost anywhere.
- If you are a student, a laptop computer will be much easier to transport from home to school and back again.
- Laptop computers take up less room on a desk or table and can be put away when not in use.
- Laptop computers have a single cord to contend with, rather than the multiple cords associated with desktop computer use.
- A more comfortable Keyboard and Mouse or Trackball can be purchased to use instead of those used by the Laptop.
- Desktop computers generally have larger monitors, but bigger monitors can also be connected to Laptops to use when at home.
While the list of advantages of a laptop computer may seem sparse when compared to a desktop computer, essentially, the choice comes down to portability versus functionality and cost. While desktop computers are less expensive, more powerful and more user-friendly, there is a lot to be said for being able to work, check emails, chat online, write papers and play video games anytime and anywhere you like. This is particularly true if you are a person with disabilities. An External Hard Drive can also be used to store and backup work if space is an issue.
There are a variety of different types of Laptops which are available from various companies in South Africa, such as:
Laptops from Edit Microsystems: Edit Microsystems can supply Laptop computers from all brands to your unique specification requirements. If you know what you are looking for, you can send them your specifications and they will quote you. If you are unsure about your computing needs, you can contact them, so that one of their highly trained sales staff can assist you to find the ideal solution based on what you would like to use the Laptop for. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.
Tobii Dynavox Speech Case for iPad: The Tobii Dynavox Speech Case for iPad (pictured right) is designed specifically for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) the Speech Case for iPad is equipped with extra loud speakers, an ergonomic and durable design and more. It provides a reliable communication solution for iOS users by transforming your iPad into an AAC device. When combined, your 9.7” iPad and the Speech Case work together to create a great solution for communication. The Speech Case gives users the freedom to choose technology they already know, teachers and parents can rest assured knowing the user is comfortable with their device, and can be confident in recommending a great solution.
These products are available from various companies in South Africa, including Edit Microsytems, please feel free to contact them to find out more about these types of products, including there features, or to receive a quote.
Companies such as Edit Microsytems also supply Desks for both Desktops and Laptops, as well a wide variety of other Accessories, such as Laptop Bags and Laptop Carts. Visit Edit Microsytems to find out more, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa.
All computers comprise of a Monitor, whether they are Desktops or Laptops. A Monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial form, it usually comprises the display device, circuitry, casing, and power supply. The display device in modern monitors is typically a thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) with LED back lighting.
Touch screen Monitors are also available for certain types of software, particularly those that do not require pixel-accurate pointing. These monitors use touching of the screen as an input method, items can be selected or moved with a finger, and finger gestures may be used to convey commands. The screen will need frequent cleaning due to image degradation from fingerprints.
There are several types available, but you should try to avoid using 'add on' touch-screens such as those that fasten over your standard monitor, as these devices lack the accuracy and robustness of modern touch monitors and can cause problems as some learners are more interested in trying to pull them off than using them appropriately.
There are a variety of different types of Monitors which are available from various companies in South Africa, such as:
Monitors From Edit Microsystems: Edit Microsystems can also supply LCD or LED monitors in a wide range of sizes and connectivity options. Their monitor range includes touch screen monitors, which are ideal in a special education needs environment. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.
There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa.
Key Boards & Alternative Solutions
Standard keyboards and a mouse are functional ways of interacting with your computer or other devices like tablets. However, these standard devices can pose difficulties for many people, especially those users with physical, sensory, or cognitive challenges. There are lots of other options available but, being physically comfortable when using your technology is extremely important and extends beyond having a keyboard or mouse that is comfortable to use.
There are different types of Keyboards that are available to assist Persons with various types of Intellectual Impairments, including children. Many of these specially adapted keyboards are available in South Africa from Organizations and Companies such as Edit Microsystems, who stock the following types of keyboards for children and persons learning the computer:
Accuratus Monster 2 – Mixed Colour Lower Case Childrens Keyboard for Learning with Large Keys (pictured right), is for young children and is the perfect entry into computing, with large oversized keys grouped in different colours making learning easy and fun. The lowercase keys are especially designed for early readers who are not yet familiar with capital letters. The keyboard features and specifications include a USB connection; black case with modern gloss piano black beveled edge; large 1 inch square keys (24mm); mixed, high visibility or high contrast keys (only 1 style per carton) and much more. Contact Edit Microsystems to find out what other features they offer and to receive a quote.
There are also various alternatives to the standard keyboards which can assist children learning the keyboard, or those with Visual or Mobility Impairments. These are listed below and include:
- Ergonomic Keyboards
- Keyboards With Larger Keys
- High-Contrast Keyboards
- Early Learning Keyboards
- Smaller, Compact Keyboards
- Keyguards & Other Specialist Keyboards
- Typing Without A Keyboard
Please feel free to click on the links above to find out more, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa
The regular Mouse which is purchased and used with most computers can be difficult to use by young children and persons with Impairments who have limited use of their hands, as well as some persons with Intellectual Impairments. Trackballs and some other mouse alternatives are also handy when desk space is at a premium and are also easier to use and require less overall effort. They are recommended if you are already suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and experience pain when moving your forearm. There are many different types of Alternative Mice/Mouse available, depending on your disability, impairment, or difficulty. It is important to choose one that fits the hand well, feels comfortable and is easy to use, it often takes a little while to get used to using a new type of mouse and can feel a little clumsy at first.
Alternatives to the standard mouse which is ideal for some persons with Intellectual Impairments include:
Large Trackball Mouse
The Large Trackball Mice are easy to use and may be particularly helpful for users who lack fine motor skills, including children and people with limited hand use, or learning difficulties, tremors or arthritis. Also, like the BIGtrack mouse (with switches) shown here, they can be strong and are often suitable for being operated by elbows or feet. They can be used for easy precision and requires less fine motor control than a standard trackball and it is ruggedly built. There are various types of large Trackballs which are generally cheaper than normal Trackballs and are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following types:
The BIGtrack2: The Bigrack 2 (pictured right) is a USB mouse that includes a large 3-inch or 7.62-cm trackball which has an updated design that includes two switch jacks for left and right click with color differentiated right and left click buttons. It has a USB connection (USB Type A receptacle required). and a sturdy base which allows the user to easily move and position the mouse cursor on the computer screen while using fine or gross motor movements of the hand, arm, or foot. Once the mouse cursor is positioned, two over-sized buttons are available for left and right clicking.
The drag lock feature enables a user to move objects on the screen without having to hold the mouse click button down. To activate the drag lock feature, position the mouse cursor over the item you would like to move. Once the cursor is positioned, double right click to lock onto the item. Once locked, the user can move the item with the trackball. Once a desired location is reached, activate either the right or left click button one time to release the object.
The BIGtrack 2 also includes two 1/8-inch or 3.5-mm mono (TS) switch jacks. Plugging in a switch on the left side of BIGtrack 2 will enable the left click via the switch. Plugging in a switch on the right side of BIGtrack 2 will enable the right click via the switch. These Switches are not included and sold separate.
The BIGtrack 2 is compatible with most laptops, desktops, and tablet computers that can use a standard mouse. One USB Type A receptacle is required. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about these products and to receive a quote.
Edit Microsystems also provide a variety of other Mouse Alternatives and Large Trackballs including the BIGtrack Trackball Switch adapted.
Please feel free to contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about this product, or click on the links below to see the various other Mouse Alternatives generally used by persons with Mobility Impairments, but which might also be able to assist some persons with Intellectual Impairments:
If you still require assistance, please feel free to Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa.
Voice/Speech-Recognition Software enables you to run your computer entirely with your voice, it converts speech to text and allows users to perform commands and even move the mouse without touching anything. Voice recognition is a practical way of controlling your computer and a very efficient means of getting information down.
It is useful for people who find typing difficult, painful or impossible, such as someone with a physical disability, but can also be helpful for those persons who battle spelling or grammar, such as those people with learning differences like dyslexia.
There are a variety of options available including Dragon Naturally Speaking also known as Dragon for PC and a free option that comes with Office 365.(Please feel free to visit our section below under Windows Accessibility: Use voice typing to talk instead of type on your PC.
These speech recognition software packages, runs on your Windows personal computer and it requires a fair amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) to run well and a good quality microphone. Companies such as Edit Microsystems sell various types of this software that can assist persons with various types of Intellectual Impairments, they include:
Dragon Naturally Speaking: Dragon (pictured right) is the world’s best-selling speech recognition software. You can use Dragon to convert your speech into digital, editable text, making your computing tasks simpler and faster. From capturing your thoughts and creating documents or reports, to email and searching the web, to using simple voice commands to control many of the popular programs you use every day - Dragon Naturally Speaking is the speech recognition software of choice. Dragon has been used successfully in many schools for alternative assessment of learners with special education needs, where the (English-speaking) learner cannot write for themselves. This replaces the need for a scribe. There are several different licensing options of dragon, depending on your user profile and functional requirements. Dragon is available to purchase from various companies including Edit Microsytems, please contact them to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.
Edit Microsytems also provide a variety of other types of Software that can assist persons with Intellectual Impairments in similar ways including the following software:
Write: Outloud 6: Write: Outloud 6 (pictured right), is a software program that allows for easy to use talking word processor suitable for struggling writers. The software program speaks out letters, words sentences and even paragraphs in any combination as the user types. This provides immediate feedback. Features include a talking Franklin spell checker and dictionary and speaking homophone checker to assist the user to easily revise their work. It allows the user to edit their work. The software is user friendly and easily export completed documents to any other word processing program. Write: Outloud 6 is available to purchase from various companies including Edit Microsytems, please contact them to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.
Microphones, Speakers & Headsets
As mentioned, the software above requires a good quality Microphone or Headset. There are many different microphones that work well with Voice/Speech-Recognition Software, but the better microphone results in better accuracy. The person using it, talks into a mike & the words are then translated into text. After you set it up, it provides a Tips function, which you can leave on for a while so you keep learning tricks every time you start the software. You will also need to train it to learn & understand your voice. If used correctly, it should improve every time you use it. Your voice, how you use the microphone, your environment, and your PC are a few of the variables that determine what is a good microphone for you, the same applies to the microphones you will find comfortable, it is a personal preference. The Microphones vary in type & price & include:
- Basic headsets & mike
- Cordless headsets & mike
- USB headsets & mikes
- Microphones mounted on a desk.
Each type of these Microphones have their pros & cons & are available from various companies throughout South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems, who sell a variety of products including:
Easi-Headphones: Are robust headphones with replaceable parts, designed especially for schools. Easi-Headphones (pictured right) are a durable alternative for ICT suites and have a robust headband and replaceable ear cushions, which make them last even longer. The replaceable ear cushions have been designed to cover the whole ear to minimise outside noise and to increase comfort and the cable is quick release to reduce strain. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this product and to receive a quote.
Edit Microsystems also provide a variety of other Headset- Speakers and Microphone devices to suit your needs, including various portable headsets which allow you to engage in a variety of activities anywhere anytime. They include the:
Headset – Speakers and Microphone: Their are a variety of Headset- Speakers and Microphone devices available to suit your needs. Portable headsets allow you you to engage in a variety of activities anywhere anytime, but you need to select the Headset suitable to your lifestyle. Companies such as Edit Microsystems offers a variety to choose from, which allows you to select the headset applicable to your preference, send them your specifications and their staff will find the right headset at the affordable price. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this product and to receive a quote.
Edit Microsystems also provide a variety of other portable headsets which allow you to engage in a variety of activities anywhere anytime. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa.
Eye & Head Tracking Systems
There are various types of Assistive Technology that can assist persons with disabilities that do not have use of their arms, to use a computer. Examples of this equipment, includes Eye Tracking and Head Tracking systems, which both operate an onscreen keyboard using the mouse. These devices were initially designed for use by people with very limited movement but are also helpful to some persons with Intellectual Impairments and can be an interesting alternative for people experiencing temporary or situational disabilities; for example, a parent could hold their baby and still be able to interact with their computer.
There are various types of these products which are available to purchase in South Africa from companies such as Edit Microsystems, who sell products such as:
Head Movement Tracking: Uses head movement to control the cursor, which can be done with a wearable headset, or using a camera. With head movement tracking, the cursor is ‘driven’ around the screen in the same way as using a joystick. elections are made using a switch that can be controlled by a puff or bite. Eye Movement Tracking Systems are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:
enPathia: The enPathia (pictured right) is an accessible computer control system which enables simple computer access for people with limited mobility. The enPathia was designed as a head mouse but can also be used by other body parts such as forearms or feet. It is an application to simulate virtual mouse clicks and provide a user- friendly experience of using the body as a navigation tool. The enPathia is best suited for persons with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, tetraplegia, spina bifida and brain paralysis, enabling a versatile and easy system to learn. Features include: Alternative mouse device for computer navigation, allowing the cursor to move in the direction indicated by the user; Allows the user to control the computer by performing gentle and natural movements; enPathia allows for creating documents and writing text, navigating files and folders, browse the web and play. Contact Edit Microsytems, to get a quote, or to find out more about this product.
Eye tracking systems: Track eye movement, using it to plot the position of the cursor on the screen. Dwelling on a location triggers a ‘click’. This can be used to control programmes as well as to type when used with the on-screen keyboard. Tracking eye movement means that the cursor does not need to be driven around the screen and so is typically much faster than head movement tracking. Eye Tracking Systems are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:
Tobii Dynavox I-13 Eye Tracker: The Tobii Dynavox I-13 Eye Tracker is a Speech generating device with a state-of-the-art eye tracker. The I-Series+ consists of the Tobii Dynavox I-13+ and I-16+, two dedicated speech generating devices that can be controlled through gaze interaction via an optional built-in eye tracker. The I-Series is an eye gaze-enabled speech generating device featuring the world’s leading eye tracker. Purpose-built for people with conditions such as cerebral palsy, Rett syndrome or ALS, this Windows-based device is controlled completely with your eyes to communicate and live more independently. This product is available to purchase from companies such as Edit Microsytems, please contact them to get a quote, or to find out more about this product.
Software & Applications
There are various other types of Software and Applications that can assist persons with different types and degrees of Intellectual Impairments. These products are sold by companies such as Edit Microsytems and include Software and Applications such as:
C-Pen Reader Pen: The C- Pen Reader Pen (pictured right) gives learners the independence to read on their own! A portable, pocket-sized device that reads out loud in an English, human-sounding, digital voice. Simply run the pen over the written text and listen to the pen read it out loud. The C-Pen: Reader is a significant breakthrough for supporting individuals with reading and language related barriers to learning. The Reader Pen also supports second language English speakers. The Reader Pen features the Collins English Dictionary and users can look up definitions as they come across words they do not know. You can also scan and upload lines of text to a PC, Mac or Linux Computer. The C- Pen Reader Pen is available to purchase from Edit Microsytems, please contact them to find out more about these types of products, including the various features, or to receive a quote.
C-Pen Exam Reader Pen: The C-Pen Exam Reader pen scanner (pictured right) is a major technological breakthrough for anyone wanting to read English, Spanish, French, German or Italian exam questions. The C-Pen Exam Reader is a totally portable, pocket-sized device that reads text out aloud with an human-like digital voice. The concept of using the exam reader has been approved for use in exams. This means students who have reading difficulties such as dyslexia can independently take exams knowing that they can read and understand the questions. No special access arrangements are required. The C- Pen Reader Pen is available to purchase from Edit Microsytems, please contact them to find out more about these types of products, including the various features, or to receive a quote.
Penfriend XP 4.1: The Penfriend XP 4.1 (pictured right) is an application tool specially designed for users with Dyslexia or physical disabilities. The application allows users to add word prediction, speech and an onscreen keyboard. The application allows users to add word prediction, speech and an onscreen keyboard which is compatible with most other software programs.
New and improved abbreviation expansion works with your word processor and tries to guess the word you are typing when the first, second and third letter has been entered. You can complete the word with one key press. It learns the words you used recently and frequently and improves when you use it. The saving feature allows for work to be saved by each individual user enabling easy access for teachers. Includes an edit and add topic feature for vocabulary. Technical Specifications include XP Windows CD-Rom single user PC and XP Portable single user USB. Contact Edit Microsystems to find out what other features they offer and to receive a quote.
There is also a wide variety of other types of Software which is available to purchase from Companies such as Edit Microsystems, who can supply you with a wide range of pre-loaded software, including Microsoft Windows and Office, as well as various other programs that can assist persons with Intellectual Impairments to operate a computer and type easily, such as:
Other Types of Software
TextHelp Read&Write Gold Literacy Software: The TextHelp Read&Write Gold literacy Software (pictured right) for Dyslexia and Reading Difficulty is used by students and professionals around to world to assist them to overcome barriers to reading and writing. The toolbar supports individuals who struggle with literacy difficulties (including, but not limited to dyslexia). The toolbar can also be useful to students with English as a second language, or even just for proof reading and productivity. TextHELP Read&Write Gold is a discrete, easily customisable toolbar that that integrates reading, writing, studying, and research support tools with common applications such as Microsoft Word and internet browsers.
Read&Write Gold is suitable for your PC, Mac or iPad and is even available as a moblile flash stick application to be used on public use computers. Benefits of TextHELP Read&Write Gold include: Assists with reading fluency and comprehension; The software facilitates research, writing, studying, and test taking; The toolbar integrates with commonly used mainstream applications such as Microsoft Office; Encourages independence and inclusion in an inclusive education environment.
The Product Features include: Spell Checker; Word Prediction; Dictionary; Picture Dictionary; Word Wizard; Sounds like and Confusable words; Verb Checker; Calculator; Screenshot Reader; Speech Maker; Daisy Reader; Pronunciation Tutor; Scan: OCR/Scan a paper document to PDF, Word, HTML or ePub format; Fact Finder; Fact Folder; Fact Mapper; Screen Masking; Speech Input; Translator: You must be online to use this feature; PDF Aloud; Study Skills; Word Cloud and Voice Note.
The scanning and PDF aloud features of Read&Write Gold have made it highly popular as an exam reader. Students no longer need to have the question paper read aloud to them by a scribe or assistant, but can rather independently listen to the questions and have them repeated as necessary without having to ask for assistance. This feature has given dyslexic students around the world confidence and independence. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this Software and to receive a quote.
Clicker 8 Literacy Software: Clicker 8 is the complete writing solution for the primary and SEN classroom, providing every pupil with just the right level of support and challenge. In addition to enhancing the core Clicker features that teachers know and love, Crick Software have added Clicker Cloze, Clicker Analytics, Picturize, and so much more! Clicker 8 combines exciting new feature ideas from Clicker fans with the inclusive literacy support tools already known and loved. What’s new in Clicker 8?
Clicker 8 builds on the worldwide success of its award-winning predecessors. It’s inclusive, it’s engaging, it’s intuitive, and it enables teachers to give every learner the personalised, evidence-led support they need to take their literacy skills to the next level.
Cloze activities are many a teacher’s go-to resource for comprehension exercises. They’re also fantastic for developing core reading and language skills. With Clicker Cloze, you can create a cloze activity using any text in just a few seconds. Complete within Clicker or print out for use away from the computer. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this Software and to receive a quote.
Accessibility Tools & Resources
Accessibility Tools provide options for people using computers who have Learning, Vision, Hearing, or Mobility Impairments. They include the following features:
- Use the narrator feature to have text read to you.
- Use the speech recognition feature to control your computer with voice commands or convert speech to text so you do not need to type.
- Activate keyboard and visual features to make navigating your computer easier.
- You can turn on several accessibility options from Ease of Access settings, a central location for features such as Narrator, Magnifier, Closed captions, and High contrast. See the following sections for these and other accessibility options.
Disability Answer Desk
The Disability Answer Desk is a where customers with disabilities get support with Microsoft Office, Xbox Accessibility, and Windows. This includes product issues, accessibility questions and use of Assistive technology.
Microsoft believe in promoting disability inclusion through the following tools below. There are no limits to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of everyone. Please see the information below with regards to tools that can assist persons with various Intellectual Impairments to operate their computer with ease:
- Accessibility tools for neurodiversity: This page lists neurodiversity-related accessibility tools to help all Microsoft Windows and Microsoft 365 users. We make the content accessible for people with a health condition such as dyslexia, seizures, autism, ADHD, or other cognitive disabilities. Read More
- Accessibility tools for Learning: Our applications for people living with learning disabilities can help increase focus, concentration, and understanding and include tools to improve reading and writing skills. Read More
- Accessibility tools for Mental Health: This page lists mental health-related accessibility tools to help all Microsoft Windows and Microsoft 365 users. We offer support for people who have a mental health condition such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD, or depression. Our tools can help with focus, reading, and attention. Read More
Office Accessibility Center
Make your content accessible to everyone. Microsoft 365 is committed to inclusive design and developing accessible products and content. On this page, you'll find resources and tools to make your content accessible for all to support the disability community as allies.
- Windows Accessibility: Discover Windows accessibility features in Windows 11. Windows is designed to support productivity, creativity, and ease of use for everyone. Learn about the accessibility resources for vision, hearing, dexterity, mobility, focus, and more. Read More
Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of two or more keys that you can use to perform a task that would typically require a mouse or other pointing device. Keyboard shortcuts can make it easier to work with your PC, saving you time and effort as you work with Windows and other apps. This can be particularly useful if your hands are impaired, especially in combination with "Sticky Keys"
Examples of these include:
- Windows system key combinations Read More
- Windows program key combinations Read More
- Mouse Keys: Mouse Keys allows you to move the mouse cursor from the keys in the number pad on the right. Read More
- Sticky Keys: Sticky Keys is a Windows Ease of Access feature that makes it possible to use keyboard shortcuts or type capital letters without needing to press more than one key at once. Read More