Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Technology

Assistive Technology and the Macintosh Operating System

The operating system software for Macintosh computers comes with two Universal Access control panels in addition to the Control Panels found under the Apple Menu. They are called Easy Access and CloseView and have many customization features. These are not typically preinstalled but are included in a Universal Access folder on the system installation software. Some features are:

CloseView
This magnifies all screen images (text, graphics, menu bar, and mouse cursor) up to 16 times the normal size. CloseView can invert the Macintosh display so that text appears white on a black background for greater contrast. This may be helpful for the user who has vision impairments. Found in the CloseView Control Panel.

Desktop Appearance
Allows the user to set color and font themes through the Themes, Appearance and Fonts tabs. This may be helpful for the user with vision impairments. Found in the Appearance Control Panel.

MouseKeys
This feature will control all mouse movements from the numeric keypad. There are options for the PowerBook/iBook as well. This feature may be helpful for the user who has fine motor impairments. Found in the Easy Access Control Panel.

Mouse Tracks
This will adjust mouse tracks and thickness of the I-beam cursor. This may be helpful for the user with vision impairments. Found in the Mouse Control Panel.

Slow Keys
This feature enables the user to change the length of time it takes for a keystroke to be registered on the screen. Prevents keystrokes from being entered accidentally. This may be helpful for the user who has fine motor impairments who often get unwanted keystrokes. Found in the Easy Access Control Panels.

StickyKeys
One key at a time is pressed and the computer responds as if the keys had been pressed simultaneously. This may be helpful to the user who has difficulty pressing more than one key at a time (typing with a single finger or pointer). Found in the Easy Access Control Panel.

System Alert
A menu bar blinks for system alerts with system volume set to zero. This may be helpful for the user who is deaf or has a hearing disability. Found in the Sound Control Panel.

Text-to-Speech
This option instructs the computer to speak the alert messages that appear on the screen. This may be helpful to the user who is blind, has vision, learning, or cognitive impairments, or who uses English as a second language. Found in the Speech Control Panel.

For more information:
http://www.apple.com/education/accessibility/

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