Information about Windows Vista
Windows Vista brings clarity to your world so you can focus on what
matters most to you
Today's digital world is both exciting and at times overwhelming. Although the
tools for managing digital information have grown in
capability and richness, they
still require you to invest a significant amount of time learning how to use them.
And the exciting possibilities technology brings to life are sometimes
overshadowed by the frustrations. For example, you need to manually orga
your information into folders and use naming conventions that the PC
understands. Windows Vista is different. It puts you at the center and adapts to
your needs, rather than the other way around.
Windows Vista includes built
ility settings and programs that make it
easier for you to see, hear, and use your computer. The accessibility settings and
programs in Windows Vista are particularly helpful to people with visual
difficulties, hearing loss, pain in their hands or arms, or
reasoning and cognitive
Major accessibility improvements in Windows Vista include:
Ease of Access Center
to help you f
ind the settings and tools
that make it easier for you to see, hear, and use your computer.
Improved magnification capabili
ties in Microsoft Magnifier.
speech capabilities in Microsoft Narrator.
experience that lets you interact with your
computer by voice.
Ease of Access Center
The new Ease of Access Center in Windows Vista prov
ides a convenient,
centralized place to locate accessibility settings and programs to make your
computer easier to use. The Ease of Access Center includes quick access to
common tools, a questionnaire to get recommendations for accessibility settings
ools, and the ability to explore all accessibility settings in seven categories.
The Ease of Access Center can be found in the Control Panel in Windows
Vista or by selecting Windows logo key+U.
The Ease of Access icon is also
available when you are logging
into Windows Vista. The Ease of Access Center
replaces the Accessibility Wizard and Utilities Manager in previous versions of
Gain quick access to common tools
Start Narrator, Magnifier, On
Screen Keyboard, and High Contrast quickly from
cess to common tools
in the Ease of Access Center. When you start
these tools from the Quick Access section, the tools will turn off after you log off
or shut down. If you want these tools to start automatically every time you log on,
turn them on under th
Explore all settings
Get recommendations for settings
The Ease of Access Center includes a new, optional questionnaire (that replaces
the Accessibility Wizard found in previous versions of Windows). Based on your
answers, a custom list of rec
ommended accessibility settings is provided so you
can choose which options you want to try. You can take this questionnaire and
adjust your settings as often as you like. This new questionnaire takes the
guesswork out of selecting settings.
ire includes questions about performing routine tasks, such as
whether you have trouble seeing faces or text on TV, hearing normal
conversations, or using a pen or pencil. Based on your answers, Windows Vista
provides a personalized recommendation of the a
ccessibility settings and
programs that are likely to improve your ability to see, hear, and use your
The questionnaire asks questions that relate to:
You can find the questionnaire in the Ease of
Access Center (in the Control
Panel) by selecting
Get recommendations for settings
Explore all settings by category
Instead of looking for accessibility settings in various places on your computer,
Windows Vista brings all those settings together and org
anizes them into
categories that you can explore in the Ease of Access Center.
You can explore seven different categories of accessibility settings and
Use the computer without a display.
Make the computer easier to see.
Use the computer without
a mouse or keyboard.
Make the mouse easier to use.
Make the keyboard easier to use.
Use text or visual alternatives for sounds.
Make it easier to focus on tasks.
Make things on the screen larger with Magnifier
Magnifier is a magnification program in Windo
ws Vista that enables you to
enlarge a portion of your computer screen in a separate window to make it easier
to see. The magnification quality has improved from previous versions. Now you
can choose magnification levels up to 16 times the original size, a
nd you can
choose to track the mouse, the keyboard, or text editing.
In Magnifier, you can choose to:
Invert the colors
for better screen legibility.
Move the Magnifier
window anywhere on your screen.
Choose a docking position
which places the magnifier wi
ndow at the
left, top, right, or bottom of your screen.
Adjust the tracking focus
so that it follows the movement of the mouse
cursor, keyboard focus, or text editing.
Hear text read aloud with Narrator
Narrator is the text
speech program in Windows V
ista that reads what is
displayed on your screen, including the contents of the active window, menu
options, or the text you have typed. Narrator reads menus without leaving the
active window and includes a pleasant, natural
Narrator has a
number of options that allow you to customize the way screen
elements are read. You can:
Read Narrator menus without leaving the active window.
Move around the desktop with the number keys using virtual focus, which
allows you to move through the objects o
n the desktop and read aloud any
content they contain.
Move around the desktop with the arrow keys using virtual menus.
Use bookmarks to find commonly used programs.
You can choose the type of text Narrator reads aloud, such as keystrokes,
and scroll notifications, and you can choose voice settings.
Plus, Narrator is compatible with any SAPI
compliant voice for users who can
use a different voice.
Type with On
Screen Keyboard in Windows Vista displays a visual keyboard wi
th all of the
standard keys on the screen. Instead of relying on the physical keyboard to type,
you can select keys using the mouse or another pointing device, a small group of
keys, or just one key. Several keyboard layouts are available in On
oard, and views are available to promote faster typing or to give access to
the maximum number of keys. You can choose the typing mode that works best
clicking mode, hovering mode, or scanning mode. To make the On
Screen Keyboard keys easier to see
, you can change the font, font style, and
font size from the Settings menu.
You can find On
Screen Keyboard in the Ease of Access Center.
Screen Keyboard in Windows Vista displays a visual keyboard with all
of the standard keys on the screen.
Interact with your PC by voice using Speech Recognition
Speech Recognition in Windows Vista empowers you to intera
ct with your
computer by voice, significantly reducing the use of a mouse and keyboard, while
maintaining or increasing your overall productivity. Speech Recognition is
particularly useful for people who have difficulty with dexterity or have limited use
f their hands and arms, because it reduces or eliminates their need for a mouse
and a keyboard while enabling them to maintain or increase their productivity.
With Speech Recognition, you can dictate documents and e
out forms on
the web, and com
mand applications and the operating system by saying what
you see. Right from the beginning, you are guided through an easy setup
process and an interactive training application that will familiarize you with the
voice commands. Whether it is starting an a
pplication, selecting a word, or
correcting a sentence, you are always in control and guided toward a list of smart
Speech Recognition is fully integrated into Windows Vista and is built on top of
the latest Microsoft speech technologies. It featu
recognition accuracy that is designed to improve as people use it, adapting to
their speaking style and vocabulary.
Find assistive technology products for Windows Vista
Assistive technology products are innovative technology solu
tions that empower
people with physical and cognitive difficulties to use computers more easily and
effectively. Microsoft worked closely with assistive technology companies around
the world to ensure specialized products
such as voice recognition software
screen readers, screen magnifiers, and on
with Windows. As a result, Windows Vista users have more choice in the types of
the technology solutions they can use to meet their particular needs. Many
assistive technology prod
ucts are compatible with Windows.
For additional Information about Windows Vista please visit:
Accessibility features in Windows Vista
Provides a centralized location where you can
accessibility settings and manage accessibility programs.
to interact with your computer using only your
voice while maintaining, or even increasing, your
Enlarges part of the screen while you work, leaving the rest
of your desktop in a standard display.
m that reads aloud on
and describes some events (such as error messages) that
happen while you're using the computer.
A visual, on
screen keyboard with all the standard keys that
you can use instead of a physical keyboard.
Keyboard also lets you type using an alternative input
Use keyboard shortcuts as an alternative to the mouse.
Keyboard shortcuts can be found in the menus of
programs, or, if a letter is underlined on a menu, it usual
means that pressing the ALT key in combination with the
underlined key has the same effect as clicking that menu
Instead of using the mouse, you can use the arrow keys on
the numeric keypad to move the pointer.
of having to press three keys at once (such as
when you must press the CTRL, ALT, and DELETE keys
simultaneously to log on to Windows), you can press one
key at a time when Sticky Keys is turned on.
Ignore keystrokes that occur in rapid succe
keystrokes that are held down for several seconds
Replace system sounds with visual cues, such as a flash on
the screen, so system alerts are announced with visual
notifications instead of sounds.
Get information via animations and video that some
programs use to indicate that activity is happening on your