Are there options for assisting those that may have a disability but would like to use a computer? The answer to this question is 'yes'. Help is available for the sight, hearing or movement impaired. There are many features available and even if you don't need them — these options may be of interest to those of us that would just like to make it easier to read the screen, change the color scheme or make use of keyboard shortcuts.

For those with limited movement or non-use of both hands the StickyKeys feature allows you to set the keyboard so that you do not have to simultaneously hit the Shift, Alt or Ctrl key in combination with another key to perform an action. StickyKeys allow you to hit the keys separately, in order to accomplish the same action using only 1 hand. FilterKeys tells Windows to ignore repeated keystrokes and ToggleKeys give audio feedback whenever Caps Lock, Num Lock or Scroll Lock are pressed.

The Sound Tab has two visual feedback features. SoundSentry tells Windows to give visual feedback when typically only audio feedback would occur. ShowSounds tells your applications to give visual feedback. Display Tab forces your applications to use the color scheme you set. MouseKeys will let you use the arrow keys and the keys on the numeric key pad (2, 4, 6, 8) to control your mouse pointer while the General Tab allows for some global adjustments to the Accessibility Options to prevent accidental toggling and notification of special input devices.

If you have Windows on your computer, the Accessibility Options mentioned above can be accessed through the Control Panel from the Start menu, then go to Accessibility Options, and select the task you want to implement - either Adjust the contrast for text and colors on your screen or Configure Windows to work for your vision, hearing and mobility needs. Depending on your selection you will see either a 'tab' box or an Accessibility 'Wizard' pop-up where you can follow the prompts to make the changes you want.

This should get you started on making computer usage easier. For more information check your User Guide or go to www.Microsoft.com and perform a search for Accessibility. This search will display links to pages offering various tutorials, answers to FAQ's and more. Have a question about computer usage? Send us an email at moncrief@startel.net.

And don't forget — past information from Computer Bytes is available on line at MoncriefWebDesign.com. Till next time “Happy Surfing.”

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