Set Up Accessibility Options in Vista

Before you start

Objectives: learn where and which options can you configure to make your computer easier to use.

Prerequisites: no prerequisites.

Key terms: easier, mouse, keys, keyboard, access, accessibility, settings, ease, pointer, recommendation, control

Ease of Access Center

Place to configure accessibility settings is the Ease of Access center in Control Panel.

Ease of Access Center

Image 208.1 – Ease of Access Center

The top part of the screen lists quick access to common tools. For example, we have the Magnifier which can help somebody who is visually impaired. This tool creates an enlarged view of the area around the mouse pointer.


Image 208.2 – Magnifier

We can also use Narrator tool which reads English text on the screen including menu and button text. We can also start On-Screen Keyboard. Users who have trouble using the keyboard can use the mouse pointer to press keys.

On-Screen Keyboard

Image 208.3 – On-screen Keyboard

We can also set up high contrast which reduces eyestrain and makes things easier to read.

If we are not sure where to start we can click on ‘Get recommendations to make your computer easier to use‘.


Image 208.4 – Recommendations

In this wizard we simply answer all questions and we will get recommendations to make our computer easier to use.

In addition to these tools we can choose various settings that make the computer easier to see, easier to use without a mouse or keyboard, or to make the mouse or keyboard easier to use. For example, we can increase the font size to improve readability, or change the mouse settings such as the cursor behavior or the mouse button response. Special keyboard settings for accessibility include the Sticky Keys (use Shift, Ctrl, or Alt in combination with other keys by pressing one key at a time), Filter Keys (ignore repeated keystrokes), Toggle Keys (associate sounds with Caps Lock, Num Lock, and Scroll Lock keys) and Mouse Keys (control the mouse pointer with the number keypad).


Features which we can use to make our computer more accessible are Magnifier, Narrator, On-Screen Keyboard and High Contrast.