Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

Shop online 24hrs a day or call us Mon-Fri
8:30AM-4:30PM EST - 1-800-915-2088
WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

Configure Windows for the Visually Challenged

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 by | Filed Under: Desktop Enhancement
 
Loading...



This article is a guide on how to configure windows for visually challenged people (henceforth referred to in this article as VC). It describes a bunch of small changes/tweaks you can make to Windows in order to make it much more usable and simplify everyday tasks for those with a visual impairment.

Note: Some of these tweaks require editing the Windows registry. If you are unsure of your ability to do this, please consult a professional.

Logon & Logoff Wallpapers
The default wallpapers which come with Windows XP/Vista for the logon and logoff screens usually have light bright backgrounds. This makes the mouse pointer hard to see and makes it difficult for the VC to click on the user icon and logon.

image

It is recommended that presentations etc. normally be prepared on a dark blue background as it is considered ideal for reading (by the elderly). So switching to a dark blue background may make it easiest for identifying a “White Mouse Pointer”

For Windows XP Users
1) Goto Start>Run and open the registry editor by typing “Regedit
2) Navigate to the following key in the registry: HKEY USERS\ .DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop
3) Double-click the wallpaper value, and enter the path where you image file is located
4) For Tiling the image, Set “TileWallPaper” to 1
5) For Stretching the image, Set “WallPaperStyle” to 2
6) Close the registry editor and restart the computer

For Windows Vista Users
The simple registry edit which is explained above has been removed in Vista. The same effect can be performed by editing the registry, but the method is very complicated and if improperly done, can result in causing damage to the operating systems files. An easier approach is to use a third party software such as “Logon Studio” by Stardock

Text to Speech Readers
Using Text to Speech readers may help the VC with reading mail/documents/e-books etc. Windows Vista has a Text to Speech reader software built in just for this. Also, many freeware and paid software are available which have text to speech capabilities. Microsoft Narrator can be used by navigating to Start>All Programs>Accessories>Ease of Access>Narrator.

Speech to Text Converters
Speech to Text converters have been around for a while and one of the most popular ones is the Dragon Naturally Speaking series. This can help the VC compose mails and prepare documents, especially if they have trouble identifying individual keys on a keyboard.

Screen Resolution
Using the resolution with the biggest texts and fonts as per the Monitor’s Display capabilities will go a long way towards making it easier for the VC to use the computer. The ideal resolution will vary from person to person depending upon the degree of vision impairment and can be identified via repeated trials (Recommended: 640X480 or 800X600)

image

Modified File Icons
Ensuring that each icon is individualistic in nature in terms of color/design can again help them differentiate between files easily.

image

Magnifier
Windows Vista comes with a host of accessibility features which sometimes tend to go unused. One of the tricks to make the computer more user-friendly for the VC is to always run the magnifier on the screen at the very top or bottom. This way, they can move the mouse pointer around and use the magnified image to help them navigate and click on files.

image
image

Creating a Special User Profile
Creating a separate user profile on Windows, with their resolution, suitable backgrounds and modified logoff and logon screens will increase their usability. Adding programs such as Magnifier, Text Readers and Speech Converters to the Start-up list will further increase their accessibility.

~Deepak Kannan

Comments are closed.

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.


Enter Email Address:

Subscribe

Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup



Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Subscribe


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive


Categories:
Archives: