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Library Accessibility Services

This guides provides details about accessibility options at National University Library.

Microsoft Accessibility Tools

Microsoft incorporates several features that make it easier for people with disabilities to use computers; availability varies with the version of Windows being used. The Microsoft Accessibility site instructs the user as to what utilities are available and provides tutorials on their use.

Microsoft Windows includes the following programs and features that can make it easier to interact with your computer.

  • Filter Keys (also called Bounce Keys and Repeat Keys) - You can set Windows to ignore keystrokes that occur in rapid succession, or keystrokes that are held down for several seconds unintentionally. The user tells the program what time frame to use for ignoring a depressed key.
  • Magnifier - Program that magnifies a portion of your computer screen, making it easier to read. For more information about using Magnifier, see
  • Mouse Keys – Designed for people who are unable to use a mouse. Instead of using the mouse, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard or the numeric keypad to move the pointer. For instance, pressing will simulate the left mouse click, and pressing <+> is used to simulate a double click.
  • Narrator - Program that reads the text on your screen aloud. For more information about using Narrator, see
  • On-Screen Keyboard - Program that lets you use your mouse or other device to interact with a keyboard on the screen. For more information about using On-Screen Keyboard, see
  • Sticky Keys - Designed for people who have difficulty holding down two or more keys at a time. When a shortcut requires a key combination such as Ctrl+P, StickyKeys allows you to press one key at a time instead of pressing them simultaneously.
  • Toggle Keys - Toggle Keys can play an alert each time you press the Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock keys. This is useful if the user’s fingers or hands have a tendency to drift toward the keys when resting, resulting in inadvertently pressing a key and not realizing it.

Apple Accessibility Tools

Every Mac comes standard with assistive technologies that help people with disabilities enjoy the power and simplicity of OS X. It includes features like an advanced screen reader, FaceTime, and literacy tools that help those with a wide range of abilities get more from their Mac. The suite of programs includes the following tools and features, and more. For additional information, see the Apple Accessibility website at

  • Alternative Keyboard Layouts - Enables users who have difficulty moving their hands across the keyboard to redefine the keys and relocate them to a location they can more easily reach.
  • Adjustable Key Repeat and Delay - Enables users to adjust the time span that a key will repeat if held down.
  • Braille Displays - OS X supports more than 40 refreshable braille displays that work with VoiceOver. Additionally, OS X includes software drivers for both USB and Bluetooth wireless displays, so you can simply plug in or sync up your device without installing or configuring additional software.
  • Mouse Keys - If you have difficulty using a mouse or trackpad, use Mouse Keys to control the cursor with the numeric keypad. Press a number key as the mouse button, and use other number keys to move around the screen or to drag and drop items. Easily navigate menus, the Dock, and all your windows.
  • Multi-Touch TrackPad Gestures - Enables users to use swipe, pinch, and touch gestures with the TrackPad to launch applications and utilities and open documents.
  • Onscreen Keyboard - It is an image of a keyboard that floats above other applications (so it’s always handy) and you can customize it to fit your screen. Then “type” using a mouse or other pointing device.
  • Slow Keys - Slow Keys adjusts the sensitivity of the keyboard to process only the keystrokes you mean to make. It builds in a delay between when a key is pressed and when it is entered. You can adjust the delay and choose to have a sound play when a key is entered.
  • Speakable Items - This tool allows you to control the computer using your voice instead of the keyboard. And you do not have to train your Mac to use it. Use Speakable Items to do things like close or minimize windows, navigate menus, open and switch between apps, turn text into sticky notes, or start a screen saver. You can even have your Mac acknowledge when it has heard you.
  • Switch Control - A powerful new accessibility technology for anyone with significantly impaired physical and motor skills, built directly into OS X. Switch Control gives you the ability to navigate onscreen keyboards, menus, and the dock using a system commonly referred to as scanning. And you can use a variety of adaptive devices such as a switch, joystick, keyboard space bar, or even a single tap on the Multi-touch trackpad for easy control.
  • Sticky Keys - Sticky Key combines your keystrokes for you by letting you press keys one at a time, instead of simultaneously, to enter commands. Enter a key combination — such as Command-S (for Save) — and OS X displays each pressed key, accompanied by a sound effect, so you can make sure the right keys are entered.
  • VoiceOver - This screen reader comes standard with every Mac. But it’s much more than a text-to-speech tool. It tells you exactly what is happening on your Mac, and lets you fully interact with it using gestures, a keyboard, or a braille display. And it uses Alex, the voice of Mac, who speaks to you in a natural tone. VoiceOver is available through Mac’s Universal Access Panel.
  • Zoom - Powerful built-in magnifier that lets you enlarge your screen up to 20 times, so you can better see what is on the display.