Screen magnifiers

Windows 8 released with enhanced accessibility

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Microsoft has today launched Windows 8 and its tablet version, Windows RT, the latest operating system for computers and tablets. Rather than simply building on its predecessor, Windows 7, today’s releases overhaul the operating system’s design. 

As well as new features intended to help Microsoft compete with Apple and Google Android, such as an app store, Windows 8 is the first version since Windows 2000 to include radically enhanced access features.  


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Windows 8.1

Windows 8 and the slightly updated 8.1 marked a significant change from Windows 7 due to the introduction of features based on the use of a touch-screen device. While this led to significant improvement in the built-in accessibility features over Windows 7, many users found it difficult to use the touch-screen optimised environment using a traditional mouse and keyboard.


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Apple iOS 6 accessibility

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The release of iOS 6, the latest version of Apple's operating system for mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad, has come with new features that improve accessibility.

There are a number of new features that have been introduced by the iOS software update. These include:


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Windows 8 introduces accessibility features for touchscreens

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Microsoft Windows 8 is set to be released on 26 October and has a number of enhanced assistive features to increase accessibility for blind and vision impaired users. Most significantly, these features have been adapted for touchscreen devices such as tablets.

As noted in our test of the developer preview,the Narrator screen reader has been significantly updated in its ability to read elements in Windows and in Internet Explorer. While people who are blind may still prefer a more advanced screen reader such as NVDA, one advantage of the updated Narrator is that it can be easily used on a touchscreen. 


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