Windows 7 and Office 2010 Offer New and Enhanced Accessibility Options

Published: Oct. 21, 2010

Windows 7, the most accessible operating system Microsoft has ever produced, and Office 2010, the new productive suite from Microsoft, include accessibility options and programs that make it easier for people to see, hear and use their computers, including the following:

Windows 7

  • Ease of Access Center provides a centralized location in the Control Panel where you can adjust accessibility settings and programs. You can also get recommendations for settings to make your PC easier to see, hear and use.

  • Magnifier magnifies the screen or a portion of the screen to make text, images and objects easier to see.

  • On-Screen Keyboard is a visual, on-screen keyboard with all the standard keys that you can use instead of a physical keyboard. On-Screen Keyboard also lets you type and enter data with a mouse or other pointing device.

  • Narrator reads aloud on-screen text and describes some events (such as error messages appearing) that happen while you’re using the computer.

  • Speech Recognition enables you to interact with your computer using only your voice while maintaining, or even increasing, your productivity.

  • Personalization lets you add a personal touch to your computer by changing the computer’s theme, color, sounds, desktop background, screen saver, font size and user account picture. You can also select specific gadgets for your desktop.

  • Touch lets users with a touch-screen monitor simply touch their computer screen to work more directly and naturally. You can use your fingers to scroll, resize windows, play media, and pan and zoom.

Office 2010

  • Accessibility Checker in Word 2010, Excel 2010 and PowerPoint 2010 helps users create more accessible content by identifying areas that might be challenging for users with disabilities and providing guidance on how to fix those errors.

  • Backstage view presents commands more logically and with greater detail, giving users more context and information about the commands they use.

  • Mini Translator translates text from one language to another and lets you see and hear the translated text simultaneously. When you point to a selected word or phrase with your mouse, the text translation appears in a small window on your screen and you hear the audio pronunciation.

  • Better image descriptions can be included on tables, PivotTables, images, shapes and other objects to describe complex content for readers who cannot see those objects.

  • Full Screen Reading view in Word 2010 improves the resolution and display of text for reading on the screen

View a complete list of the accessibility tools and tutorials in Windows 7.

View a complete list of the accessibility tools and tutorials in Office 2010.