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Windows 10 October 2018 Update includes new accessibility, learning features

As Microsoft releases its Windows 10 October 2018 Update, accessibility is as usual an important part of the operating system, and the company took to a blog post to lay out the philosophy and the details:

At Microsoft, we believe our technology should reflect the diversity of the people that use our products.

We are excited to share how the Windows 10 October 2018 update delivers on that mission by giving you more accessibility features than ever before to enhance your personal computing experience. These features include Ease of Access updates to make Windows 10 easier to see, Narrator improvements to make Windows 10 easier to use without a screen, and Learning Tools and text suggestions updates to make it easier to read and write.

Ease of Access Updates

Users now have a centralize location to do a system wide adjustment of text sizes. From the “Display” page in Ease of Access Settings, users can change the size of their text by simply and intutively typing in “larger text,” in the search bar. A global adjustment can be done by sliding the text scroller back and forth, effectively changing the size of text across all of Windows.

While the nex adjustment focuses on text primarly, users can also adjust DPI scaling by selecting the “Make Everything Biggers” setting.

Narrator

Narrator has been improved as well with the inclusion of Narrator QuickStart and new keyboard layout design. The QuickStart tutorial now includes instructions basic Narrator keyboard shortcuts for navigating and editing, which is handy now that there is a layout for keyboard accessibility.

With the new keyboard, ergonimic comfort was a central focus of design that help improve usability, and improved Check out the Narrator user guide as well as updated mnemonics for use.

Reading & Writing

Microsoft first rolled out Learning Tools roughly a year ago and the company revisitted its efforts with Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

Within Microsoft Edge, you now have more flexibility with web browsing and reading with new ways to customize your learning experience with Learning Tools. First rolled out in the Fall Creator’s Update a year ago, we added Learning Tools like read aloud to the web browsing experience. The April 2018 update then came with the addition of grammar tools, enabling you to break words into syllables and highlight parts of speech.

Other items that be adjusted for a more personalized experience include customizing page theme color within in a browser and text suggestions that cover over 50 languages and offer the top three words suggestions based on context and your writing style.

There are a handful of other niceities offered for the accessibilty experience in Windows 10 that include grammar tools and read aloud from the web feature. To read about those in detail, visit Microsoft’s Windows Blog, here.

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How often do you use an accessibility feature in Windows?