In June, TechACCESS of RI, a Microsoft Accessibility Resource Center, provided a demonstration of the Accessibility Features of the Windows 8 Surface Tablet to a group of visually impaired youth and adults during its CyberVision program. This program is designed to allow youth and adults with visual impairments to meet with peers, friends, technology experts and adult mentors to explore and master a variety of technologies.
Using the Windows 8 Surface Tablet, the 13 participants were introduced to the built-in accessibility features of the Windows 8 Operating System, with a focus on Narrator and Magnifier. The goal of this training was to demonstrate the power of accessibility available through the built-in Microsoft Access features and to allow individuals to explore and customize these options to meet their individual needs. Videos from the Microsoft Accessibility site (www.microsoft.com/enable) were shown and the features were discussed by the group.
One consumer with vision challenges was specifically interested in technology that would allow her to perform her IT/network job duties. She currently uses third party screen magnification, which is cost prohibitive for the company she works for. When exploring the Magnifier feature in Windows 8, she noted that it allowed her to access the company’s server, change settings and create accounts without installing and learning additional software. She stated “Using Magnifier will allow me to access any windows 8 machine regardless of the software that is installed on it. I can literally go to my local library and access the computer without having to rely on another person or a piece of software.”
TechACCESS of RI also demonstrated Accessibility Features as part of our work with Broad Band Rhode Island through their Digital Literacy Program. Broad Band Rhode Island is a collaborative, community-based technology education program that aims to build the capacity of digital literacy trainers throughout Rhode Island.
July, 2013. TechACCESS of RI.