It is vital that everyone can get the same use and enjoyment out of using an Apple Mac computer. Apple Macs are particularly fab as they allow us to control and customise certain key features, such as setting groovy Mac screensavers, to assigning special icons and even setting our own made up keyboard shortcut codes. Even better than editing and personalising the visuals, we can also make sure the machine works smoothly for all our needs and abilities. This include those of us with visual and hearing impairments and also Mac lovers who have difficulties using the mouse and keyboard. In Mac OS X this is achieved through the functions of the ‘Accessibility Preferences’…
There are quite a few things we can edit to enhance different areas of your Mac, lets explore…
How to Find Mac Accessibility Features
1.) Click on your Apple logo perched in the left corner of your toolbar.
2.) From the drop down menu please select ‘System Preferences’.
3.) From the fourth row, select the icon titled ‘Accessibility’.
4.) In the Accessibility window you will noticed there is a column displaying all of the items you can edit and enhance. Scroll through the list and click on whichever icon is appropriate to you. Once the icon is highlighted you will see the various customisable options in the right hand section of the window.
Mac Accessibility features are broken down into three main categories – Seeing, Hearing and Interacting…
Mac ‘Seeing’ Category
At the very top of the list is an icon that looks like a mini Apple Mac monitor, this is the ‘Display’ functions. If you click on it you will get options to alter the display colours, enhance the contrast and alter the size of the all important cursor head.
Making the most out of your Macs zoom features and shortcuts is a very useful if you don’t want to dramatically increase the size of everything on screen, instead you can just zoom in and enlarge areas when you need. Perfect for when I loose my spectacles.
On the right side you will see there are options to activate various keyboard shortcuts to multiple zoom functions and styles.
The VoiceOver option is a brilliant features that provides spoken descriptions of what is showing on your screen and makes it easy to control your computer through the use of your keyboard.
Just click on the box to enable this fab feature. Here you can also get some useful VoiceOver training.
Mac ‘Hearing’ Category
Generally we are made aware of Mac alerts with a little ping sound, which is not very useful if you find this tone difficult to hear. Under the Audio section you can enable ‘flash’ alerts instead. You can also make adjustments to your Sound preferences here.
A bit like subtitles on a TV programme, Mac have their own version called Captions. Here you can pick and choose different styles you would like to activate to pop up and greet you on screen.
Mac ‘Interacting’ Category
Mouse & Trackpad
OS X comes already pimped out with some handy (excuse the pun) and fun trackpad and mouse shortcut gestures. Here you can go through video tutorials and even edit and personal the movements to make them easier to remember.
Switch control is a cool and powerful tool that allows your Mac to be controlled using one or more switches. These switches can come from your mouse, keyboard, gamepad buttons or dedicated devices. At the top of switch control sections you will notice four tabs labeled General, Switched, Navigation and Timing. Inside each one are further options you can edit and select.
Mac speakable Items is a truly awesome function, my favourite in fact. It always you to control your computer with your voice. You can opening up apps, chose items off a menus and more…
There are quite a lot of options you can activate, just navigate your way through the three tabs – Settings, listening Key and Commands.
Tip – At the bottom of the Accessibility window is a the option ‘Show Accessibility status in menu bar’, tick this for easy access to your saved options in the future.
Latest posts by Sophie (see all)
- Best Mac AntiVirus Apps – What to Look For? - November 10, 2015
- Best Mac AntiVirus Apps – ‘What to Look For’ Continued… - June 5, 2015
- Top 12 Ways Apple Macs Get Viruses – Pt 4 - June 3, 2015