Windows 10 Accessibility: What to Expect in the year ahead

If you use the accessibility tools and features within the Windows 10 Operating System, Microsoft’s recent blog is full of good news. The tech giant says it has been collaborating with assistive technology partners to bring more assistive technology to the Microsoft Store.

One new development is accessibility settings that have been moved directly into the Ease of Access center. The settings have been grouped by ability: vision, hearing and interaction. Users can also ask Cortana to find a setting and activate it. Some of the new settings in the Ease of Access Settings include the following:

  • The ability to “make everything bigger” or “make everything brighter” on a new display page under the Vision group
  • An audio page in the Hearing group
  • A speech and eye control page in the Interaction group

Easier to Learn and Easier to Use Ease of Access Settings

For users who rely on the keyboard, Ease of Access settings now have common keyboard shortcuts that are in line with the controls with which they work. Additionally, some pages, like the Color Filters page in the Vision group were redesigned to enable quicker identification of which settings work best for you.

Improvements to Narrator

Recent Narrator improvements include:

  • Performance and reliability improvements.  Narrator is now more responsive. will read controls more consistently and accurately, such as reading embedded objects like text boxes in Microsoft Word documents.
  • Navigation improvements. Narrator users can now navigate consistently across the web, especially using Heading navigation. Pressing the Tab key will move forward from the current item that is being read (as opposed to the current item with system focus) by default. A Narrator user can still decouple Narrator focus and system focus by unchecking the checkbox in the Narrator settings.

Eye Control Improvements

Microsoft says improvements are coming soon to the built-in eye control experience, including:

  • Easier navigation, thanks to the addition of scrolling, and direct left and right click capabilities;
  • The flexibility to pause eye control, enabling the user to hide the launch pad for uninterrupted reading, streaming, or relaxing -- without causing accidental clicking.

Read the full blog article here: