Assistive Technology

For this class I work on a Lenovo Yoga 710 2 in 1 laptop, which has several accessibility features included with the laptop as well as many additional features provided by the Windows 10 operating system. These features make using the Lenovo laptop more accessible to all users with different needs. The laptop itself includes tactile bumps on the keyboard that provide a reference point for users to locate keys on the keyboard without visual assistance. This feature helps individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The laptop includes industry standard connectors to provide easy hook up for any accessibility devices needed by individuals with any type of disability. Next, there’s a TTY/TDD Conversion modem which allows the hearing impaired to send messages to another TTY/TDD device (“Accessibility Features,” n.d.).
The Windows 10 operating system is equipped with many accessibility features built into it. These features have not changed a lot since the last release of Windows, but they also have not been scaled back at all (“How to Manage Accessibility Features in Windows 10,” n.d.). The first feature is on-screen notifications. The notifications are accompanied by a chime sound. These notifications assists both visually and hearing impaired users. The chime let’s visually impaired users know there is a notification and hearing impaired user can see the notification. Next, there’s a narrator available that reads anything on the screen in terms of the name of the window that’s open. Speech recognition options allow you to open programs and menu as well as clicking buttons and other options on the screen. You can also dictate text in documents or emails. Basically, anything you can do with your mouse or keyboard you can do with your voice. This tool provides assistance for individuals with hearing, visual, and physical limitations. Next, there is customizable text size. This allows you to change the default size of the text on the screen. This feature is beneficial to the visually impaired. Then we have a magnifier. The magnifier allows the user to zoom in on any part of the screen up to 1600% magnification as well as being able to invert the colors on the screen to make things easier to see. These features are for the visually impaired. Screen resolutions can also be adjusted, which will change the default size of objects and windows on the screen to assist the visually impaired. Next we have keyboard shortcuts which enable users to press combinations of keys to take certain actions. This limits the use of the mouse, which assists individuals with physical limitations (“Accessibility Features,” n.d.).
Many of the features available today on devices use to require additional software. Now many come standard. This doesn’t totally replace after-market software as many of those software packages are more customizable and have even more features. It does however make it so more people have access to these features as they don’t have to pay extra money on top of the cost of the device.
Accessibility Features. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2017, from http://www.lenovo.com/lenovo/us/en/accessibility/
How to Manage Accessibility Features in Windows 10. (n.d.). Retrieved April 16, 2017, from https://www.howtogeek.com/223319/how-to-manage-accessibility-features-in-windows-10/

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1 thought on “Assistive Technology”

  1. Great blog. Luckily companies such as Microsoft are including all these wonderful accessibility applications so that any user can be successful with their product. Five years ago, when I was managing a computer lab for a higher education institution, I got to play around with some of the accessibility software. These packages were typically really expensive and were stand alone so I am so very happy that they are being included now with the operating system.

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