Assistive technologies and online learning
Assistive technologies and online learning

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Assistive technologies and online learning

2 Built-in assistive technology

Personal computer platforms such as Apple Mac OS and Microsoft Windows supply a range of accessibility tools that are built into the operating system or into provided software.

These operating system tools have basic functions that are similar to those in more expensive software, but in some cases they lack some of the features and customisation options that enable disabled people to use a computer with complete independence. Many people with less severe impairments do find these tools useful and they are freely available. They also offer an opportunity for you to try some assistive technology for yourself.

Simple assistive tools are also built into essential software such as web browsers. As an introduction, spend two minutes viewing the video.

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Transcript: TechDis Essentials

Accessibility and web browsers. Web browsers have many features to make exploring the internet easier. Here are four ideas to try.
Caret browsing. Navigate the text in a web page using your arrow keys by pressing the F7 key when you're using Internet Explorer 8 and above or Firefox. This can give you more control over the scrolling or allow you to select text with your keyboard more easily. You can select text by pressing the Shift-Alt and arrow keys.
Zooming. You can enlarge your web page by pressing Control and plus. Control and minus will zoom out while Control and 0 will return you to the default size. On a Mac, you would use the Command key instead of the Control key.
Fonts, sizes, and colours. Look in the Preferences or Advanced Options Settings of your browser to make changes to font, font size, and colours. This is useful for anyone who needs larger fonts or high contrast colours.
Find key words. Press Control-F on your keyboard, and use the Search tool to quickly locate a word or phrase. The word or phrase will usually be highlighted, and you can press the Next button to jump to the next instance of the word.
In this video, we have covered caret browsing; zooming; changing fonts, sizes, and colours; and finding keywords. Apart from these ideas, you may want to explore plug-ins or extensions for your browser. Look for the other videos on this topic.
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TechDis Essentials
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