Accessibility Options for People with Visual and Hearing Disabilities

Accessibility Options for People with Visual and Hearing Disabilities            Features and services that are made available for visual and hearing disabled computer users can be accessed in the control panel. This is for the Windows Operating System. By opening the control panel folder of the computer, the accessibility options folder of the operating system can be selected. It can be easily noticed and accessed because the folder uses a handicap icon. Clicking the accessibility options folder would open a new window with keyboard, sound, display, mouse, and general settings that you can personalize and tweak depending on your particular needs.

People, who are visually impaired, either partially or totally blind, cannot completely make out anything of what they see on the computer screen. It is advisable to utilize sounds and audio devices to provide for their needs in using the computer. The hearing disabled, also either partially or totally deaf, have problems with their hearing. Therefore, visual alerts are suited for them.For the visually impaired, there are settings in the keyboard folder of the accessibility options that they can alter to suit their condition. You can choose whether to activate sound alerts when certain keyboard keys are pressed or if there are computer program features that are turned on or off. For the visually impaired, who are partially blind, the blink rate of the cursor may be slowed down so it can be easily seen. The width of the cursor can also be adjusted so as to make it noticeable on the computer screen.

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These adjustments can be made under the mouse folder of the accessibility options. The mouse pointer settings can also be changed for the totally blind computer user. In the control panel, there is a separate folder for the mouse. You can choose to slow down the speed of the mouse pointer and the option to show where the mouse pointer is located by pressing the control key. The colors and fonts of windows can also be altered for better view and reading under the display folder of the accessibility options. To do this, you can opt to tick the box indicating the use of high contrast, or you can select the settings of high contrast to choose which appearance scheme suits the user best.

There are also added services for the visually impaired that you can find by clicking the start button, then all programs, then accessories, then accessibility, and selecting which services are to be activated for them. The accessibility wizard enables you to adjust the size of the text. The text can be enlarged for the totally blind to see. The magnifier tool also magnifies the programs, folders, and other features that are seen on the screen so it can be easily viewed. The Microsoft Narrator helps the visually impaired by translating text into speech so they can hear the commands they are executing in their computers.

For added communication services over the World Wide Web, there are also services that cater to the needs of the visually impaired. Since they are not able to use instant messengers, e-mails, networking accounts, and such, there are services that utilize specialized hardware such as the microphones and speakers. This is the telephony feature wherein you can communicate with other people within the network or over the internet by conferencing. There are also featured services in windows for the hearing impaired. However, it is easier for them to manipulate the computer than the visual impaired because the use of the computer usually requires reading and text or image displays than hearing. The adjustment of speaker volume is the easiest way to help the hearing impaired.

Similarly, there are also sound or audio alerts that can activated in the accessibility folder under sound. Through this, the hearing impaired user can be alerted for features that should be turned on or off, and if there are other commands needed to be addressed for computer functioning. For the facilitation of the use of the World Wide Web, there are some programs and functions provided for them. The use of peripheral devices that are compatible and can be attached to the computer, such as web cams, are advised for communicating with other people within the network or over the internet, through sign language.