Sightseeing. A periodic tour of CVI news, views and events.

Tech Resources: Transitioning to Windows 10 for Screen Access Users

Picture of a laptopSince I started teaching Assistive Technology at CVI back at the end of June, many clients have requested resources to help them transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10. They know how to use their screen access software but the Windows 10 interface is just different enough to cause frustration. As I prepared to update the New View Assistive Technology classroom to Windows 10, I found myself on a similar quest for resources.

As I made the transition to Windows 10, I was delighted to learn that for screen reader users, the vast majority of keyboard commands are the same. Some items have been rearranged but the search box in the Start menu makes finding settings and programs quick and easy. Overall, I have been very pleased with the Windows 10 experience. Microsoft has made an effort to improve accessibility in the latest version of Windows 10, which is good news for users who are blind or visually impaired. The resources listed below helped me get started in my transition to Windows 10. Hopefully you will find them as helpful as I did.

  1. Windows 10 Basics with JAWS and MAGic Free Webinar from Freedom Scientific:
    This webinar moves quickly through the different parts of Windows 10, including the start menu. Some features may look different on your computers now because of the Anniversary update to Windows 10 in August. Most of the info is still accurate though and this is a great place to get started. While you are on the free webinars page fromFreedom Scientific, you should have a look around. There are several relevant webinars including one on Office 2016 with JAWS and MAGic.
  2. Stepping Over the Threshold: Windows 10 in 10,000 Words, Thoroughly Reviewed This comprehensive (lengthy) post from Cool Blind Tech from 2015 outlines many of the major changes a blind or visually impaired computer user may encounter when transitioning to Windows 10. It is a long read but well worth it.
  3. Polishing Windows 10, Microsoft Solidifies Plans with Anniversary Update
    A follow up to the previous article, the author outlines changes in Windows 10 Anniversary Update (released in August) from a screen access perspective.
  4. Here is a master list of all of the Windows Shortcut keys in Windows 10. These do not include any screen reader commands but will work for any computer user. There were several I did not know about.

Windows iconI know the transition to a new operating system can seem daunting to some. I hope that the resources listed above will help you as you consider upgrading. Remember, Microsoft has extended its free upgrade to Windows 10 for assistive technology users, should you choose to upgrade from an older version of Windows. Best of luck as you make the transition!