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ACCESSIBILITY - PART 3

StickyKeys

When a shortcut requires a multiple key combination, the StickyKeys feature lets you press a key, such as Shift, Ctrl, Alt, or the Windows Logo key, and have it remain active until another key is pressed. (See Figure 2-16)

This allows you to use multi-key combinations using only one hand.

To activate StickyKeys:

  1. Open the Start menu
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Be sure you are in Classic View (all Control Panel icons are showing). If not, under Control Panel in the left pane, select Switch to Classic View.
  4. Select Accessibility Options.
  5. In the Accessibility Options dialog box, select the Keyboard tab.
  6. Select the Use StickyKeys check box. (See Figure 2-16)
  7. Close Control Panel.


Figure 2-16

Alternate method of starting StickyKeys:

  1. Press the Shift key five times. A dialog box opens with instructions on how to set up the StickyKeys feature.
  2. To turn off StickyKeys, press the Shift key five times.

FilterKeys

FilterKeys is an accessibility option that adjusts the keyboard response so that inadvertently repeated keystrokes are ignored. Using FilterKeys, you can also slow the rate at which a key repeats when you hold it down. The following procedure tells you how to turn on FilterKeys through Accessibility Options in Control Panel.

  1. Open the Start menu
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Be sure you are in Classic View (all Control Panel icons are showing). If not, under Control Panel in the left pane, select Switch to Classic View.
  4. Select Accessibility Options.
  5. In the Accessibility Options dialog box, select the Keyboard tab.
  6. Select the Use FilterKeys check box. (See Figure 2-18)
    • Note: To turn off FilterKeys, clear the Use FilterKeys check box.

    Figure 2-18

  7. In the Settings for FilterKeys dialog box: (See Figure 2-19)
    • Select the options you want by selecting or clearing the check boxes.
    • To use the shortcut that allows you to turn FilterKeys on or off by holding down the right SHIFT key for eight or more seconds, select the Use shortcut check box,
    • To ignore a keystroke that is repeated too quickly, select Ignore repeated keystrokes.
    • To ignore a keystroke that is pressed too briefly, select Ignore quick keystrokes and slow down the repeat rate.
    • To sound a beep when you press a key and another beep when the pressed key is accepted as a keystroke, under Notification, select the Beep when keys pressed or accepted check box.
    • To display an icon for FilterKeys on the taskbar when FilterKeys is turned on, under Notification, select the Show FilterKeys status on screen check box.

Figure 2-19

  • To set further options, such as specifying the amount of time that must pass between repeated keystrokes in order for a keystroke to be recognized as an intended keystroke, specifying that keystrokes are not repeated when a key is held down or that a key must be held down for a specified amount of time to be accepted as a valid keystroke, click Settings. (See Figure 2-20)
  • Select OK twice to save the settings and exit Accessibility Options.
  • Close Control Panel.

Figure 2-20

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ToggleKeys

ToggleKeys is an accessibility feature designed for people who have vision impairment or cognitive disabilities. When ToggleKeys is turned on, your computer will provide sound cues when the locking keys (CAPS LOCK, NUM LOCK, or SCROLL LOCK) are pressed. A high sound plays when the keys are switched on and a low sound plays when they are switched off.

To activate ToggleKeys:

  1. Open the Start menu
  2. Select Control Panel
  3. Be sure you are in Classic View (all Control Panel icons are showing). If not, under Control Panel in the left pane, select Switch to Classic View.
  4. Select Accessibility Options.
  5. In the Accessibility Options dialog box, select the Keyboard tab.
  6. Select the Use ToggleKeys check box. (See Figure 2-21)
  7. Close Control Panel.

Figure 2-21

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Mouse Pointer

Windows XP gives you a choice to make the mouse pointer larger so it can be seen more easily. You can even change the color of the mouse pointer so that the pointer stands out more. To change the size of the mouse pointer:

  1. Open the Control Panel by clicking Start, Settings, Control Panel.
  2. Be sure you are in Classic View (all Control Panel icons are showing). If not, under Control Panel in the left pane, select Switch to Classic View.
  3. Click the Mouse Icon.
  4. In the Mouse Properties window that appears, click the Pointers tab.
  5. In the area under where it says "Scheme," click to activate the drop-down list and choose Windows Standard "large or extra large" from the list. (See Figure 2-22)
  6. The display area (top right of window) will show what the pointer size will be.
  7. Click Apply.
  8. Click OK to make the change effective.

Figure 2-22

There are other options available in the Mouse Properties panel to further customize your mouse.

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Speech Recognition Software

Speech or voice recognition is the ability of a machine or program to recognize and carry out voice commands or take dictation. In general, speech recognition matching a voice pattern against a provided vocabulary. More sophisticated software has the ability to accept natural speech (meaning speech as we usually speak it rather than carefully-spoken speech).



Dragon Naturally Speaking is the leading software product available for speech recognition. David Pogue of the New York Times wrote a review of this software called "Like Having a Secretary in Your PC".





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Other Accessibility Options

The Accessibility Control Panel has a few other options to help make your computer easier to use. Click on the Sound, Display, Mouse or General tabs for more information. (See Figures 2-23, 2-24, 2-25 and 2-26)

Figure 2-23

Figure 2-24

Figure 2-25

Figure 2-26

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