As an educator with experience in the fields of special education and technology integration, I connected most strongly with the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) terminology of multiple means of representation and multiple means of expression (Roblyer, 2016). All students should have a diverse set of ways to access information and a diverse set of options to show what they know. This is even more true for students with impairments. The table below lists some accessibility features built into my Windows 10 operating system as well as other features available online to assist people with various impairments. Some of the accessibility options will be further explained after the chart.
Once you turn Narrator on, you can choose a voice (David, Zira or Mark) and adjust your narrator’s speed, pitch and even intonation. You can also pick which types of sounds (characters or words) you want to hear (Purewal, 2016, para. 3).
You can magnify or reduce your screen and choose what type of magnification view you want to see such as full screen, lens, and docked (Purewal, 2016, para. 4).
You can change the color, transparency, style, size, background color, background transparency, window color, and window transparency of your captions (Purewal, 2016, para.6).
As I think about the various accessibility features built into Windows 10, I was reminded in the internet document, Cognitive Disabilities and the Web: Where Accessibility and Usability Meet, by Mariger that accessibility and usability are two completely different concerns. “Usability considers how easy a site is to use and understand. Accessibility is concerned with whether you can get there at all” (Mariger, 2006, para.12).
When designing a website there are universal principles the designer should take into account. According to the US Census Bureau, 14.3 million Americans age 15 and over have a mental disability (Mariger, 2006, para. 1). The principles of good design for all center around these key areas: navigation, functionality, content and text, layout, and multimedia.
Roblyer, M. (2016). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (7th ed.). Massachusetts: Pearson.
Purewal, S. (2016) Windows 10 Setting Menu: the Ease of Access Tab, Retrieved from: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/windows-10-settings-menu-the-ease-of-access-tab/
Mariger, H. (2006) Cognitive Disabilities and the Web: Where Accessibility and Usability Meet. Retrieved from http://ncdae.org/resources/articles/cognitive/