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Windows Accessibility Options

Accessibility options are a part of the Windows operating system and help computer users with things such as hearing and vision issues use their computers with less trouble making it a more pleasant experience. Accessibility options have been around for quite some time in Windows and are fairly easy to configure if you know where to find them.

Windows XP as well as newer versions of Windows provides the ability to configure accessibility options through the Accessibility Options icon in Control Panel. You will need to have the Accessibility options installed for them to show up in Control Panel and that can be done with Add and Remove Programs or Programs and Features in Control Panel by adding the Windows feature.

Keyboard Options

To configure keyboard options go to Control Panel, then click Accessibility Options. The keyboard tab of the Accessibility Options dialog allows you to configure the keyboard options such as StickyKeys, FilterKeys, and ToggleKeys.

StickyKeys
Turning on StickyKeys allows you to press a multiple key combination, such as CTRL+ALT+DELETE using one key at a time. This is useful for people who have difficulty pushing more than one key at a time. Two Notification settings can be configured for StickyKeys: Make Sounds When Modifier Key Is Pressed and Show StickyKeys Status On Screen. The first setting causes a sound to be made when any of the modifier keys, CTRL, ALT, SHIFT, or the Windows key is pressed. The second notification setting causes a Sticky Keys icon to be displayed in the taskbar when StickyKeys is turned on.

FilterKeys
FilterKeys causes the keyboard to ignore brief or repeated keystrokes. This option also allows you to configure the keyboard repeat rate, which is the rate at which a key continuously held down repeats the keystroke. You can hold down the right SHIFT key for eight seconds to turn on FilterKeys. Two Notification settings can be configured for FilterKeys: Beep When Keys Pressed or Accepted and Show FilterKey Status On Screen.

ToggleKeys
Turning on ToggleKeys causes the computer to make a high pitched sound each time the CAPS LOCK, NUM LOCK, or SCROLL LOCK key is switched on. Turning on ToggleKeys also causes the computer to make a low-pitched sound each time any of these keys are turned off.

Sound Options
The Sound tab provides the Use SoundSentry check box, which allows you to configure
Windows XP Professional to generate visual warnings when your computer makes a sound.

Display Options
The Display tab of the Accessibility Options dialog box provides the Use High Contrast check box, which allows you to configure Windows XP Professional to use color and fonts designed for easy reading.

Mouse Options
The Mouse tab provides the Use MouseKeys check box, which allows you to configure Windows to control the pointer with the numeric keypad on your keyboard.

General Tab
The General tab of the Accessibility Options dialog box allows you to configure Automatic Reset. This feature turns off all the accessibility features, except the SerialKeys devices, after the computer has been idle for a specified amount of time. It also includes the Notification feature, which allows you to configure Windows to give a warning message when a feature is activated and to make a sound when turning a feature on or off. The General tab also allows you to activate the SerialKeys Devices feature, which configures Windows to support alternative input devices.

The Administrative Options feature provides two check boxes, Apply All Settings To Logon Desktop and Apply All Settings To Defaults For New Users, which allow you to configure Windows XP Professional to apply all configured accessibility options to this user at logon and to apply all configured accessibility options to all new users.


 

Related Tips:
Set a Caps Lock Alarm
Windows Vista Ease of Access Center

 

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