One of the most important aspect of any operating system is the accessibility feature.In a recent post on the building Windows 8 blog Microsoft detailed the Windows 8 Accessibility Feature.
Windows 8 has been designed keeping in mind all sorts of users,be it a normal end user or a professional user or be it a user with some sorts of physical disability.So to help the users with disabilities like Visual,Mobility,Hearing and Cognitive Impairments accessing the Windows 9 Operating System.
The accessibility goals for Windows 8 are as follows:
- Improve the assistive technologies that are components of Windows, and provide a good experience with the Metro style UI.
- Provide developer tools that have baseline accessibility built in, so that accessible Metro style apps are available in the Store.
- Engage assistive technology vendors (ATVs) to adopt Windows 8 and build upon the accessibility scenarios.
So to enhance the accessibility of Windows 8 to such users Microsoft has been gathering user feedbacks adding the improved assistive technology components in the upcoming operating system,these components include:
- Narrator is Windows’ built-in screen reader that allows people with visual impairments to interact with their system and applications. User feedback on previous versions of Narrator has consistently been that it needs to respond faster, read more controls, and support more languages.
- Magnifier is a tool in Windows to make text and graphics large enough to see for people with low vision. This was initially shipped in Windows 98, and was updated significantly in Windows 7 with the ability to magnify the full screen. This change received positive feedback. However, there were still issues with Magnifier, as it sometimes conflicted with settings for High Contrast colors.
- Speech recognition initially shipped in Windows Vista to aid people with mobility impairments to navigate and use their PC. User feedback on this feature has been really positive, telling us that the accuracy in speech recognition is good, it transcribes your voice to text quickly, and it is able to handle some uncommon words.
- On-screen keyboard has been available to those with mobility impairments since Windows XP.
Windows 8 Metro UI will also see a new and improved magnifier,so Whenever one starts the Magnifier on a tablet (in the Ease of Access panel, set Magnifier to start when you press the Windows logo key + Volume up), a notice a border will appear around the edges of the screen,making it easy to move the Magnifier around the screen using these borders. Simply drag your finger along the border to move Magnifier in that direction. When the border disappears, you are at the edge of the screen.
Checkout the post for more details on the Accessibility improvements on Windows 8.
Checkout the Video in Action: