Technology is crucial for everyone living in this digital era. Therefore, tech companies keep introducing features that make it easy for people with different disabilities to use their products. Features designed for this purpose are called accessibility features.
Tech companies work on different kinds of new accessibility features: auditory features that help people with hearing difficulties, mobility features that help people with limited mobility in their bodies, and visual features that help people with vision issues like blindness, color blindness, limited night vision, etc.
Examples of accessibility features include converting text to speech and reading out said text for people with limited vision. Similarly, a speech recognition feature helps people with limited mobility operate computers with just their voice without having to move.
Accessibility Features by Microsoft
Microsoft is one of the largest tech companies in the world. One of its top priorities in recent years is to close the disability divide. To elaborate further, the company intends to boost educational and employment opportunities for people with disabilities around the globe. This priority has influenced the development of Microsoft products significantly.
Windows 10 by Microsoft brought with it accessibility features based on user feedback, requests, and complaints. The features that make Windows 10 a better experience for people with disabilities are narrator, magnifier, high contrast, close captions, speech recognition, eye control, color filters, and much more.
With Windows 11, the company is said to take their accessibility game a notch higher. In fact, Windows 11 boasts an all-inclusive design – one better than its previous versions.
Let’s look at new accessibility features offered latest on Windows 11 by Microsoft.
New Accessibility Features in Windows 11
Microsoft continues to innovate in the accessibility area by upgrading its existing accessibility features and introducing new ones.
People with vision difficulties can now choose new sound schemes that involve better start-up sounds and distinct sounds for light and dark themes.
People suffering from light sensitivity now have more options for different color themes. Windows 11 has new dark themes and revamped high contrast themes that include the option of customizing color combinations. Hence, the newer version of Windows makes it easier for people to see the content on their screens.
- Redesign of Live Captions
Live and closed captions are revolutionary features for the following people.
- People with hearing difficulties
- People learning a new language
- People who usually work in a noisy environment.
In Windows 11, closed caption themes have been redesigned for better customization and readability. The speech to text is now available in many more contexts than before. This makes it easier to consume the audio content being played on the screens.
The live caption feature in Microsoft 11 can translate audio from different applications, such as Microsoft Edge. You can also transcribe audio from microphones; this means it’s now possible to access live captions for in-person conversations too.
- Features for Better Focus
The digital dynamics keep on changing. Currently, we are experiencing an overflow of existing features and the rapid introduction of new features due to our hybrid work styles. It’s easy to get distracted in such circumstances, especially for people with ADHD.
Windows 11 provides a new Focus experience built with a Do Not Disturb option. This option controls, prioritizes, and notifies you regarding all your notifications.
- Availability of Accessibility Features in More Scenarios
Previously, accessibility features were controlled through an option in settings called ’Ease of Access.’ Now, that option has been renamed ‘Accessibility’ for easy and quick identification.
Most importantly, Windows 11’s new accessibility features now support a wider range of apps. Office and the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) have both been revamped to make them more accessible.
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