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How are the blind using computers and the internet? Part 1/2

Surprise! The person writing this post is blind; using a computer and the internet. I know, most of you already know that; I still wanted to take a chance on the surprise part.

Majority of persons who use a computer are on a Windows operating system; a handful that use a MAC. My post today is to give you an insight on the assistive technologies built with Windows and for Windows operating system. I am saying that again; assistive technology built with Windows and for Windows. That's right! Windows comes with it's own assistive technologies; where as other companies invested much more in building specific assistive technologies to address the challenges of persons with a print disability/ blindness and visual impairment on Windows.

If you are interested in knowing about assistive technologies on a MAC; in my earlier post I spoke about VoiceOver - the inbuilt screen reader it is also available on the MAC.

I have very little to write about the assistive technology that comes with Windows; for my disability they have a screen reader called "Narrator" that can be found under settings/ ease of access/ Vision. It's a screen reader that converts text to speech and you navigate the computer/ webpages etc. using the keyboard as a totally blind person cannot see where the mouse pointer is on the screen - DUH! What is impressive about Windows itself is that the whole OS is accessible by which I mean they provide so many kewl keyboard shortcuts to perform tasks that you forget that you are disabled. That is very impressive really; in Outlook press CNTRL+N key to start a new mail message, ALT + S to send the message after you have finished typing it - these are some of the examples but the list is exhaustive and you can read it here.

P.S. I don't use this assistive technology extensively; but have used it to set up a third party screen reader when I had to restore my Windows 10 PC.

Below is a video that demonstrates Narrator for Windows:


  1. My husband uses Jaws and ZoomText. I just use the built in screen reader.


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