Technology to help with vision loss

New features in windows 10

New features in Windows 10 Microsoft provides Windows tools for users who are blind or have partial vision (click Start menu, Settings,‘Ease of Access’ in Windows 10). These were improved in the Fall Creators Update (FCU), released last October. The Narrator tool,for example, has
been updated with anew ‘input learning mode’(press Caps Lock+1 to turn it on and off). This helps you learn what Narrator’s keyboard commands are without actually
triggering them. In addition,Narrator can now automatically generate image descriptions,even when an image has no embedded text(press Caps Lock+Shift+D). Narrator’s Scan mode –which lets you
navigate using simple key board shortcuts –is now enabled by default when you browse the web using Microsoft Edge (with Narrator switched on). Cleverly,it
switches itself off when you click in a box you need to enter text into(such as a password field). Microsoft provides a useful list of all the shortcuts you can use in Scan mode at The Magnifier tool now works in
tandem with Narrator,automatically following the text that is being read aloud. Furthermore,the FCU added a Colour filters tool to make on-screen elements clearer to see for people with colourblindness and light sensitivity. Enable this feature and select your filter via Startmenu, Settings,‘Ease of Access’, then ‘Colour &high contrast’ (see screenshot below left). Further accessibility improvements are
dueinWindows 10’s next major feature update (due in thenextfew weeks), includingareorganised‘Ease ofAccess centre’and acolourwheel forchoosing themostsuitablecolourfilter.

New features for phones and tablets

\Modern phones and tablets come with several features for users with poor vision. On Apple iOS devices,look under Vision in Settings,General,Accessibility. In Android,look under Settings, Accessibility. Both operating systems include screen readers, magnifiers and tools for improving the visibility of on-screen text and colours. The latest version of Android (8.0,
Oreo)makes it even easier to enable your most-used accessibility tools–including Magnifier and‘Select to Speak’ –by letting you addapermanent shortcut (an icon of a person with outstretched arms –see screenshot below left) in the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.With‘Select to Speak’,the shortcut is added by default when you switch on the tool. With Magnification, select the‘Magnify with button’ option. Apple’s iOS 11 introduces a range of
new and enhanced features for iPhone and iPad users,including a Smart Invert option,which selectively inverts the colours in areas where needed,rather than across the entire screen. In your device’s Accessibility settings,tap Display Accommodations,Invert Colours, then Smart Invert. Apple has also improved the way its
If you’re colour blind, make Windows 10 easier to use by applying a colour filter
The latest version of Android adds an icon for access to Magnifier and‘Select to Speak’
screen reader (Voice Over) detects text embedded in images, automatically reading it when VoiceOver is switched on.If there’s no embedded text, iOS will scan the image and provide you with a description.Select an image, then tap it with three fingers to hear the description. 
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