Accessibility features in mainstream technology
There are a number of accessibility features already built in to many mainstream technology products.
Accessibility features: standard keyboards and mice
Some users may not require specialist keyboards or mice and may find that utilising some of the in built features available on a standard keyboard or mouse will provide them with the functionality they require,
Embossed locator dots
Embossed locator dots are located on the F and J of standard QWERTY keyboards, as well as on the number 5 on the numerical keypad. They help people orientate themselves when touch typing, and are particularly helpful for people with visual impairments.
Scroll wheels are available on most standard mice and enable people to scroll without having to locate the scrolling interface on-screen.
Accessibility features: modern computer operating systems
Some users may not require specialist input devices and may find that utilising some of the in built features available in their computer's operating system will provide them with the functionality they require, such as:
- Keyboard shortcuts.
- Sticky keys.
- Mouse keys.
- Customisation of mouse settings.
- Customisation of pointer and cursor appearance.
- Customisation of how elements are displayed on-screen, such as colour contrast, text, icons, menu bars and scroll bars.
- Predictive text.
- Spell checkers.
- Grammar checkers.
Accessibility features: mobile phones
Modern mobile phones, which are now commonly known as smartphones, have in-built features as well as additional applications available to download, that aid accessibility, such as:
- Screen reading.
- E-books and audio books.
Accessibility features: modern browsers
All modern web browsers have some in-built accessibility features. These vary from browser to browser, so it's good to try different browsers to find out which provides the best overall internet experience to suit your needs.
The most common browser accessibility features are:
- Text resizing.
- Page zooming.
- Text to speech.
- Change text and background colours.
- Use different style sheets (CSS).
- Services pages