Accessibility for People with Disabilities

Microsoft is committed to making its products and services easier for everyone to use. This section provides information about the following features, products and services, which make Microsoft® Windows®, Microsoft Windows NT®, and the Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack more accessible for people with disabilities:

  • Features and hints for customizing Windows or Windows NT
  • Microsoft services for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing
  • Microsoft software documentation online, or on audio cassette, floppy disk, or compact disc (CD)
  • Third-party utilities to enhance accessibility
  • Other products and services for people with disabilities

Note   The information in this section applies only if you acquired this Microsoft product in the United States. If you acquired Windows or Windows NT outside the United States, your package contains a subsidiary information card listing Microsoft support services telephone numbers and addresses. You can contact your subsidiary to find out whether the type of products and services described in this section are available in your area.

Customizing Windows or Windows NT

There are many ways you can customize Windows or Windows NT to make your computer more accessible.

  • Beginning with Windows 95, accessibility features are built in to Windows. These features are useful for individuals who have difficulty typing or using a mouse, have moderately impaired vision, or who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The features can be installed during setup, or you can add them later from your Windows 95 installation disks. Look up “accessibility” in the Windows Help Index for information about installing and using these features.
  • Many of the features which make Windows 95 more accessible can be added to Windows NT, earlier versions of Microsoft Windows, and MS-DOS through Access Packs. You can download these files by modem, or you can order them on disks from Microsoft.
  • You can also use Control Panel and other built-in features to adjust the appearance and behavior of Windows or Windows NT to suit varying vision and motor abilities. These include adjusting colors and sizes, sound volume, and the behavior of the mouse and keyboard.
  • Dvorak keyboard layouts make the most frequently typed characters on a keyboard more accessible if you have difficulty using the standard “QWERTY” layout. There are three Dvorak layouts: one if you are a two-handed user, one if you type with your left hand only, and one if you type with your right hand only. You do not need to purchase any special equipment to use these features.

The specific features available, and whether they are built-in or must be obtained separately, depend on which operating system you are using. For full documentation on the accessibility features available in the operating system you are using, obtain the appropriate application notes listed below. Accessibility features are also documented in the Microsoft Windows 95 Resource Kit and the Microsoft Windows NT Resource Kit.

Which Files to Download or Order

You can obtain these files by downloading them with your modem, or you can order them on disks by phone. Specific information about downloading or ordering these files immediately follows this list of files. These files include:

  • Application notes providing more complete documentation on ways to customize Windows and Windows NT
  • Access Packs and Dvorak keyboard layouts providing additional features for versions of Windows or Windows NT in which they are not already included
For You Need
Customizing Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 for individuals with disabilities Ww1279.doc
Customizing Microsoft Windows 95 for individuals with disabilities Ww1062.exe
Customizing Microsoft Windows NT 3.1 and 3.5 for individuals with disabilities (includes Access Pack for Microsoft Windows NT) Wn0789.exe
Customizing Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.1 for individuals with disabilities Wg0788.txt
Customizing Microsoft Windows 3.1 for individuals with disabilities Ww0787.txt
Customizing Microsoft Windows 3.0 for individuals with disabilities Ww0786.txt
Access Pack for Microsoft Windows 3.0 and 3.1 Accp.exe
Dvorak keyboard layouts for people who type with one hand (already included in Windows NT 3.5 and higher) Ga0650.exe

 To Download the Access Packs, Application Notes, and Alternative Keyboard Layouts by Modem

If you have a modem, you can download these files from the following network services:

  • Microsoft World Wide Web Site on the Internet, Choose Microsoft Products from the navigation bar on the left, then choose the appropriate product or platform.
  • Microsoft Internet servers, and, in /softlib/mslfiles
  • MSN™, the Microsoft Network online service
  • CompuServe®, type GO MSL
  • GEnie™
  • Microsoft Download Service (MSDL), which you can reach by calling (425) 936-6735 any time except between 1:00 A.M. and 2:30 A.M. Pacific time.
    MSDL supports 1200, 2400, 9600, or 14400 baud rates (V.22bis, V.32, V.32bis and V.42), with 8 data bits, no parity, and 1 stop bit.

  • Various user-group bulletin boards (such as the bulletin-board services on the Association of PC User Groups network)

 To Order the Access Packs, Application Notes, and Alternative Keyboard Layouts on Disks by Phone

If you do not have a modem, within the United States you can order the Access Packs, Application Notes, and Alternative Layouts on disks by calling Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400 (voice) or (800) 892-5234 (text telephone). In Canada, you can call (905) 568-3503 or (905) 568-9641 (text telephone).

Microsoft Services for People Who Are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing

If you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, complete access to Microsoft product and customer services is available through a text telephone (TT/TDD) service.

Sales Information
You can contact Microsoft Sales Information Center on a text telephone by dialing (800) 892-5234 between 6:30 A.M. and 5:30 P.M. Pacific time.

Technical Assistance
For technical assistance in the United States, you can contact Microsoft Support Network on a text telephone at (425) 635-4948 between 6:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. Pacific time, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. In Canada, dial (905) 568-9641 between 8:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. Eastern time, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Microsoft support services are subject to Microsoft prices, terms, and conditions in place at the time the service is used.

Microsoft Documentation in Alternative Formats

In addition to the standard forms of documentation, many Microsoft products are also available in other formats to make them more accessible.

If you have difficulty reading or handling printed documentation, you can obtain many Microsoft publications from Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, Inc. Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic distributes these documents to registered, eligible members of their distribution service, either on audio cassettes or on floppy disks. The Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic collection contains more than 80,000 titles, including Microsoft product documentation and books from Microsoft Press. You can contact Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic at the following address or phone numbers for information about eligibility and availability of Microsoft product documentation and books from Microsoft Press:

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, Inc.20 Roszel RoadPrinceton, NJ 08540 Phone:Fax:World Wide Web: (609) 452-0606(609) 987-8116

Third-Party Utilities to Enhance Accessibility

A wide variety of third-party hardware and software products are available to make it easier to use personal computers. Among the different types of products available for the MS-DOS®, Windows, and Windows NT operating systems are:

  • Programs that enlarge or alter the color of information on the screen for people with visual impairments.
  • Programs that describe information on the screen in Braille or synthesized speech for people who are blind or have difficulty reading.
  • Hardware and software utilities that modify the behavior of the mouse and keyboard.
  • Programs that enable people to “type” using a mouse or their voice.
  • Word or phrase prediction software that enables people to type more quickly and with fewer keystrokes.
  • Alternate input devices, such as single switch or puff-and-sip devices, for people who cannot use a mouse or a keyboard.

To learn more about these products, see “Getting More Accessibility Information” below.

Getting More Accessibility Information

In addition to the features and resources already described in this section, other products, services, and resources are available from Microsoft and other organizations.

Additional Microsoft Products and Services for People with Disabilities

For more information for people with disabilities, contact:

Microsoft Sales Information CenterOne Microsoft WayRedmond, WA 98052-6393 World Wide Web:Voice telephone:

Text telephone: 426-9400

(800) 892-5234>

 Directories of Computer Products for People with Disabilities

The Trace R&D Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison produces a book and a compact disc that describe products that help people with disabilities use computers. The book, titled Trace ResourceBook, provides descriptions and photographs of about 2,000 products. The compact disc, titled CO-NET CD, provides a database of more than 18,000 products and other information for people with disabilities. It is issued twice a year.

To obtain these directories, contact:

Trace R&D CenterUniversity of WisconsinS-151 Waisman Center1500 Highland Avenue

Madison, WI 53705-2280

World Wide Web:
(608) 262-8848

Assistive Technology Programs for People with Disabilities

For general information and recommendations on how computers can help specific needs, you should consult a trained evaluator. An assistive technology program in your area will provide referrals to programs and services that are available to you. To locate the assistive technology program nearest you, contact:

National Information SystemUniversity of South CarolinaCenter for Developmental Disabilities1500 Highland Avenue

Columbia, SC 29208

Voice/text telephone:
(803) 935-5231
(803) 935-5059

© 1997 by Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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