Microsoft Emphasizes Accessibility Improvements in Windows 10

Posted on March 19, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Windows 10 with 5 Comments

Microsoft is introducing a number of improvements in Windows 10 this year to improve accessibility. The company today outlined some of the new accessibility-related features and improvements in Windows 10 that are already available to Insiders today, as well as some that will be coming to users later this year.

Redmond is putting a big focus on accessibility this year as the company continues to push ahead with making the OS more accessible to all users. The next update to Windows 10, shipping sometime in April, will include a range of different improvements to the Settings app in Windows 10 that makes it easier to navigate the and control the settings. Microsoft has also made it easier for users to find accessibility-related settings within the app with the new categorized Ease of Access settings area.

There are a number of improvements coming to Narrator this year, which is now faster and more accurate in some of the core Windows apps. Narrator also now works better with Windows 10’s default Microsoft Edge browser, and Microsoft is bringing support for Windows 10’s Safe Mode to Narrator with the upcoming release of the OS. In addition to Narrator, Microsoft is making it easier to navigate Windows with Eye Control and introducing improvements to make using some of the important controls like accessing the Start Menu a lot faster with your eyes.

Microsoft says the company is also working to bring text suggestions to hardware keyboards in Windows 10, which will show automatic word suggestions for those with a hardware keyboard. Support for text suggestions with hardware keyboards will first arrive for English (United States), and the company hopes to bring support for more languages in the future.

The upcoming updates to Windows 10 will ship these new accessibility improvements, as well as a bunch of other minor improvements throughout the OS. Accessibility in Windows isn’t really talked about much, though the work that goes into making sure every little new feature is accessible to all Windows users is mind-blowing. Microsoft is actually one of the few companies that highlight the amazing accessibility improvements in their products, and the company isn’t showing any signs of stopping.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Microsoft Emphasizes Accessibility Improvements in Windows 10”

  1. bharris

    As someone with cerebral palsy, my speech is hard to understand but after awhile, people pick up on it and are able to understand what I say. I keep wondering, as we move towards a world where everything will be controlled by the spoken word, where does that leave those of us who speak differently. I keep waiting for AI to progress to the point, where just as a person might, voice recognition could learn to understand my speech. I think Microsoft does great things for those with visual & motor issues. I don't know if it is even possible yet but hopefully work is being done in speech recognition. Otherwise, a bunch of people are going to be left out....

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