Windows 11 Version 22H2 Delivers New and Improved Accessibility Features

Posted on September 20, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 1 Comment

Windows 11 version 22H2 arrives with four exciting new accessibility features, key among them system-wide live captions and voice access.

“We want to share a bit more about how the culture of inclusion within the Windows engineering team has helped to foster the development of more inclusive and delightful Windows experiences for everyone,” Windows accessibility leader Carolina Hernandez writes. “That culture has three main ingredients: people, process, and ambition.”

New accessibility features in Windows 11 version 22H2 include:

System-wide live captions. Inarguably one of the best new features in 22H2, system-wide live captions does exactly what its name suggests: it brings live captioning to any audio source in Windows. This helps the deaf and hard of hearing, of course, but this is also a feature that can benefit anyone, especially those engaged in virtual video meetings or calls.

Voice access. Because existing voice control systems are so limited, Microsoft decided to build its own into Windows, helping people with limited mobility—and anyone else—to control their PC and create content in any application using just their voice.

More natural voices in Narrator. Narrator is one of the best Accessibility tools in Windows, and now it has three new, more natural-sounding voices, Aria, Guy, and Jenny, that use state-of-the-art text-to-speech that more closely mirrors natural speech.

Focus sessions. While I’m not sure I’d describe this feature as an Accessibility feature, Microsoft says that Focus sessions, which acts as an advanced form of Do No Disturb, reduces distractions and increases productivity, and it can thus help improve mood and energy levels, helping people with ADHD in particular.

You can learn more about these features in New in 22H2: Accessibility.