Should you, or someone who works with you have trouble reading the screen on a computer, help has arrived. Windows 10 now has accessibility features that will help not only those with vision issues, but scores of other people as well. PC Magazine had this to say:
“With more than a billion people with disabilities in the world, we are excited for customers to experience the new accessibility features in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. These include improving the screen reading experience with Narrator, the accessibility of experiences and apps like Microsoft Edge, Mail and the Start menu, as well as better tools and resources for developers to build more accessible apps and experiences,” Microsoft wrote on the company’s Accessibility Blog last year.
From the Microsoft Blog:
“Improved Screen Reading with Narrator
As we’ve stated in a series of recent blog posts, a lot of changes with Narrator that you will see as a part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update were directly influenced by your incredible feedback. Those changes include:
Faster text to speech voices
We’ve added new voices to Narrator that offer a much faster top rate of speech. Our current voices average a maximum of roughly 400 words per minute. The new voices average nearly twice that at approximately 800 words per minute.
New languages in Narrator
We continue to add new international languages for Narrator, including Arabic and several Nordic languages. The following new languages will be available either with the corresponding international version of Windows or will be available for download.
|Spanish (Mexico)||French (Canada)||Portuguese (Brazil)|
|Arabic (Egypt)||Catalan (Spain)||Danish (Denmark)|
|Finnish (Finland)||Norwegian (Norway)||Dutch (Belgium)|
|Dutch (Netherlands)||Portuguese (Portugal)||Swedish (Sweden)|
More familiar keyboard navigation
Keyboard commands in Narrator are now more familiar to users of other screen readers. Some keyboard interactions have been simplified to ensure better ergonomics, making them easier to type.
Introducing scan mode
We’ve introduced a new navigation mode to Narrator called Scan mode. Scan Mode is turned on with a press of CAPS LOCK and SPACE. While you are in Scan mode you can press SPACE to activate an item of interest, such as following a link on a web page or pressing a button in an app.
Six levels of verbosity
Narrator now supports six levels of verbosity for giving you more details about the characteristics of text. You can cycle through these modes by pressing CAPS LOCK + CTRL + (PLUS). For example, at what we call Verbose mode 0 (zero), you will hear just the text. At verbose mode 1, you might hear if the text is a heading. At other verbose levels, you will get varying indications of other text properties, like text color or formatting.”
This is great news!