Both Mac Operation System(OS) and Windows Operation System (OS) have a lot of built-in accessibility features, which can be beneficial for people with difficulties with vision, hearing, physical & motor skills, or learning and literacy.
Accessibility features of Mac OS:
- Vision – VoiceOver, Audio Descriptions for movies, Siri, Dictation, Zoom, Cursor Size, Contrast Options, Reduce Motion, etc. (Want more details on this? Click here!)
- Hearing – FaceTime, Messages with iMessage, Closed Captions, Mono Audio, Screen Flash (Want to know more? Click here!)
- Physical and Motor Skills – Switch Control, Platform Switching for Switch Control ( Click here for more information!)
- Learning and Literacy – Text to speech, Word Completion, Simple Finder, Dictionary, Speech ( Click here to check out more details!)
Accessibility features of Windows:
- Vision – Narrator (use your device without a screen), keyboard short cuts, Audio Descriptions (Hear all the action), Magnifier, Cursor and pointer size, Cortana (delegate digitally), Speech Recognition (Save time with dictation), High contrast themes, Braille Beta [New in the Creators Update], etc.
- Hearing – Skype (good way to communicate in sign languages), visual notifications for sound, Notification timing, Closed Captioning, Mono Audio (hear it all in both ears)
- Physical – Word prediction, On-Screen Keyboard, Cortana, Live Tiles, Mouse Keys
- Cognition – Animations, Backgrounds, and Transparency, Edge Reading View (Clear distracting Content), Reading Friendly Fonts, Speech Recognition, Microsoft Edge E-book Reader
Want more detailed information? Click here to read the instructions on these features!
These built-in features can help your students use their computers efficiently and find success with technologies. In addition, students with different challenges or exceptionalities will be able to use their computer to find information, work on research, and assignments, and prepare for their future development in study and work. As a teacher, knowing how to set the accessibility features and applying them for your students will prepare you for delivering equally accessible learning opportunities for all students.
If you’re using a Mac:
- Click on the Apple Icon on the left top corner, then, select “ System preference”
- Select the “Accessibility “ icon in the bottom right,
- Enable the functions that you want to use on your Mac
If you’re using a Windows Computer (will take Windows 10 as an example):
- Go to the “Start” menu
- Click on the “Settings” icon
- Click on the “Ease of Access” option
- Enable the functions that you want to use on your PC
Short intro of the built-in features on your Windows Computer:
Short intro of the built-in features on your Mac:
For more information:
This is a detailed video (54 minutes long) that elaborates on accessibility functions of both Mac and Windows: