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Chapter 4. Customizing Windows Using the... > Using Accessibility Tools

Using Accessibility Tools

If you have difficulty using a mouse or typing, have slightly impaired vision, or are deaf or hard of hearing, you can adjust the appearance and behavior of Windows XP to make your computer easier for you to use. The Accessibility Wizard helps you configure Windows for your vision, hearing, and mobility needs. The Accessibility Wizard also enables you to save your settings in a file that you can use on another computer. To open the Accessibility Wizard, click the Start button on the taskbar, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to Accessibility, click Accessibility Wizard, and then follow the steps in the wizard. You can also use the Accessibility tools in the Control Panel to adjust the way your keyboard, display, and mouse function to suit various vision and motor abilities. Some of the accessibility tools available include StickyKeys, FilterKeys, ToggleKeys, Sound-Sentry, ShowSounds, High Contrast, and MouseKeys. You can also set general accessibilities options that automatically turn off accessibility features, provide warning sounds, and determine when to apply the settings. The accessibility tools in Windows are intended to provide a low level of functionality for those with special needs. If these tools do not meet your daily needs, you might need to purchase a more advanced accessibility program.

Accessibility Tools

StickyKeysEnables simultaneous keystrokes while pressing one key at a time, such as Ctrl+Alt+Del
FilterKeysAdjusts the response of your keyboard; ignores repeated characters or fast key presses
ToggleKeysEmits sounds when you press certain locking keys, such as Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock
SoundSentryProvides visual warnings for system sounds
ShowSoundsInstructs programs to provide captions
High ContrastSets the desktop appearance to high contrast
Cursor Blink RateAdjusts the speed of the blinking cursor in programs, such as WordPad
Cursor WidthAdjusts the width of the cursor in programs, such as WordPad
MouseKeysEnables the numeric keypad to perform mouse functions
SerialKey devicesProvides support for alternative input devices



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