The Microsoft Windows Operating System features a number of accessibility features to accommodate persons with physical disabilities. These users may be experiencing permanent or temporary conditions that make it difficult for them to manipulate a mouse, to press keys in a specified order as is required for typing, or to perform simultaneous keystrokes.
For more information on these accommodations, please see the tabs below regarding Mouse Keys, Sticky Keys, Filter Keys and Toggle Keys:
Mouse Keys is an accessibility feature that uses the keyboard’s Numeric Keypad as a pointing device. This replaces using the mouse as a pointing device.
To activate Mouse Keys – Press Alt + Left Shift + Num Lock. A tone sounds and the Mouse Keys dialog appears. By default, the cursor is on the Yes button. Press the space bar to turn on Mouse Keys.
Once activated, press the Num Lock key to toggle between normal cursor operation and mouse emulation mode.
With Mouse Keys Enabled in mouse emulation mode, the Numeric Keypad keys take on the following functions:
|Num Lock||Toggles between normal cursor operation (low pitched tone) and mouse emulation mode (high pitched beep)
With Alt + Shift Enables and Disables MouseKeys
|7||Cursor Up and Left|
|9||Cursor Up and Right|
|3||Cursor Down and Right|
|1||Cursor Down and Left|
|/||Select Primary Buttons ( Left Mouse Button Action )|
|*||Select Modifier Button ( Both Mouse Buttons Active )|
|–||Select Alternate Button ( Right Mouse Button Active )|
|+||Double Click Selected Button|
|0||Depress Selected Button|
|.||Release Selected Button|
Sticky Keys is an accessibility feature to help Windows users with physical disabilities reduce the sort of movement associated with repetitive strain injury. This feature serializes the keystrokes instead of requiring users to press multiple keys at the same time. Sticky Keys also allows users to press and release a Modifier Key (Shift, Ctrl, Alt, Function, Windows Key) and have it remain active until any other key is pressed.
To activate Sticky Keys – Press the Shift Key 5 times in short succession. A tone sounds and the Sticky Keys dialog appears. By default, the cursor is on the Yes button. Press the space bar to turn on Sticky Keys.
To turn off Sticky Keys once enabled, press 3 or more of the modifier keys (Shift, Ctrl, Alt, Function, Windows Key) at the same time.
Filter Keys is an accessibility feature that instructs the keyboard to ignore brief or repeated keystrokes in order to make typing easier for users with hand tremors.
To activate Filter Keys – Press and hold the Right Shift key for 8 seconds. A tone sounds and the Filter Keys dialog appears. By default, the cursor is on the Yes button. Press the space bar to turn on Filter Keys.
To turn off Filter Keys, press and hold the Right Shift key for 8 seconds.
Toggle Keys is an accessibility feature designed for users with vision impairments or cognitive disabilities. When Toggle Keys are on, the computer provides sound cues when the locking keys Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock are pressed. A high pitched tone sounds when these keys are switched on and a low pitched tone sounds when they are turned off.
To activate Toggle Keys – Press and hold the Num Lock key for 5 seconds. A tone sounds and the Toggle Keys dialog appears. By default, the cursor is on the Yes button. Press the space bar to turn on Toggle Keys.
To turn off Toggle Keys, press and hold the Num Lock key for 5 seconds.
These and other Windows accessibility features and settings can be found at the Microsoft Windows Ease of Access Center which is available from the Windows Control Panel.
The Ease of Access Center is a central location that you can use to set up the accessibility settings and programs available in Windows. In the Ease of Access Center, you’ll find quick access for setting up the accessibility settings and programs included in Windows.
To Open Ease of Access Center:
- Click the Start button
- Click Control Panel
- Click Ease of Access
- Click Ease of Access Center