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Accessibility for people with disabilities

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

Microsoft is committed to making its products and services easy for everyone to use. This topic provides information about the following features, products, and services that make Microsoft more accessible for people with disabilities:

  • Microsoft accessibility features and options

  • Accessibility in Microsoft Windows

  • Adjusting Microsoft products for people with accessibility needs

  • Assistive technology products for Windows

  • Documentation in alternative formats

  • Customer services for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing

  • Getting more accessibility information

Note: The information in this topic applies only to users who license Microsoft products in the United States. If you obtained this product 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 appendix are available in your area. See International Microsoft Accessibility Web Sites for more information available in the following eight languages: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Swedish, and Italian.

Microsoft accessibility features and options

In addition to the Windows accessibility features and utilities described in the next section, the following features make Microsoft more accessible for people with disabilities. These features are available to everyone, without the need for additional accessibility aids.

Using Help

Some screen readers may not work with the expandable links in online Help. If you're having problems, try one of the following:

Note: The hyperlinks in this topic go to the Web. You can switch back to Help at any time.

Using the keyboard

Many features and commands are available directly from the keyboard. Because is Web-based, you can press the TAB and SHIFT+TAB keys to move back and forth between elements on any page. also provides keyboard shortcuts for its commands. For more information, see Keyboard shortcuts .

Features provided by your Web browser

Your Web browser has features that improve the readability of pages. For information about the accessibility features provided by your Web browser, look for information in the browser's Help about how to customize your browser to display the fonts and colors that you prefer. If your browser is Microsoft Internet Explorer, look for "Accessibility" in the Help table of contents.

Accessibility in Microsoft Windows

Many accessibility features have been built into the Microsoft Windows operating system, starting with the introduction of Windows 95. These features are useful for individuals who have difficulty typing or using a mouse, are blind or have low vision, or who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The features can be installed during setup. The following sections provide more information about the various accessibility features of , Windows XP Professional and Home, Windows 2000, Windows Millennium, Windows 98, and Windows 95.

Products in the Microsoft family include a number of accessibility features that can improve display, sound, mouse, and keyboard settings for users who are blind, have motion disabilities, or are deaf or hard of hearing. Many accessibility features are also useful to people without disabilities. For more information about accessibility enhancements and features in , visit Microsoft Windows Server 2003 .

Windows XP Professional and Home

Accessibility enhancements and improvements in Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Home Editions provide better integration with assistive technology products and richer communications. Accessibility improvements and other Windows XP Professional features make it easier for people with accessibility needs to work more efficiently. For more information about accessibility enhancements and features in Windows XP, visit Make Windows XP More Accessible for Everyone .

Windows 2000

Microsoft Windows 2000 includes several accessibility tools to help people with disabilities configure and use business computers quicklywithout additional software and hardware. Accessibility features from earlier versions of the Windows operating system are still included, and with the increased integration of Microsoft Active Accessibility, many assistive technology products simply work better.For more information about accessibility in Microsoft Windows 2000, visit Accessibility Resources in Microsoft Products .

Windows Me

Accessibility tools and features in Microsoft Windows Me offer people with disabilities greater immediate access and ease-of-use than ever before. Accessibility highlights include an expanded Accessibility menu and an enhanced Accessibility Wizard. For more information about accessibility in Windows Me, visit Microsoft Accessibilty Product and Support .

Windows 98

Microsoft Windows 98 offers enhanced hardware support, home networking capabilities, improved online experience, and new accessibility features. For more information about accessibility Microsoft Windows 98, visit Microsoft Accessibilty Product and Support .

Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0

Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 have several built-in accessibility features to help people with disabilities use computers more easily and effectively. For more information about accessibility in these operating systems, visit Microsoft Accessibilty Product and Support .

Adjusting Microsoft products for people with accessibility needs

Accessibility options and features are built into many Microsoft products, including the Windows operating system. Accessibility options and features are useful for individuals who have difficulty typing or using a mouse, are blind or have low vision, or who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Free step-by-step tutorials

Microsoft offers a series of step-by-step tutorials to help you learn how to adjust the accessibility options and settings on your computer. The tutorials provide detailed procedures on how to adjust options, features, and settings to meet the needs of people with disabilities and accessibility needs. This information is presented in a side-by-side format so that you can see at a glance how to use the mouse, the keyboard, or a combination of both.

Visit Microsoft Accessibility Step by Step Tutorials to find Step-by-Step Tutorials for the following products:

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Home

  • Microsoft Windows 2000

  • Microsoft Windows Me

  • Microsoft Windows 98

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5

  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 (part of the Office XP suite)

  • Microsoft Outlook 2000

  • Microsoft Word 2002 (part of the Office XP suite)

  • Microsoft Word 2000

Assistive technology products for Windows

A wide variety of assistive technology products are available to make computers easier to use for people with disabilities.

Microsoft provides a searchable catalog of assistive technology products that run on Microsoft Windows operating systems at Microsoft Accessibility Assistive Technology Products .

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 that provide 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 by using a mouse or their voice.

  • Word or phrase prediction software that allow people to type more quickly and with fewer keystrokes.

  • Alternative input devices, such as single switch or puff-and-sip devices, for people who cannot use a mouse or a keyboard.

Upgrading

If you use an assistive technology product, be sure to contact your assistive technology vendor to check compatibility with products on your computer before upgrading. Your assistive technology vendor can also help you learn how to adjust your settings to optimize compatibility with your version of Windows or other Microsoft products.

Microsoft documentation in alternative formats

Obtaining documentation for

Microsoft product documentation is available in alternative formats to help our customers with accessibility needs.Many of the documents are also available as Online Help, online users guides, or on a CD that comes with the package.You can download many of these resources from the Windows SharePoint Services Technology in Windows Server 2003 Home page .

Obtaining documentation for additional Microsoft products

From the Microsoft Web site

You can obtain accessible documentation for Microsoft products from the Microsoft Accessibility Web site at Documentation in Accessible Formats for Microsoft Products .

From Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, Inc.

In addition, you can obtain additional Microsoft publications from Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, Inc. These documents are distributed to registered, eligible members of the distribution service on audiocassettes or floppy disks. The collection contains more than 80,000 titles, including Microsoft product documentation and books from Microsoft Press. For information about eligibility and availability of Microsoft product documentation and books from Microsoft Press, contact:

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, Inc.

20 Roszel Road

Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone from within the United States: (800) 221-4792

Phone from outside the United States and Canada: (609) 452-0606

Fax: (609) 987-8116

Web: Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, Inc.

Customer service 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 (TTY/TDD) service.

Customer service

You can contact the 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, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Technical assistance

For technical assistance in the United States, you can contact Microsoft Product Support Services on a text telephone at (800) 892-5234 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 the prices, terms, and conditions in place at the time the service is used.

Getting more accessibility information

The Microsoft Accessibility Web site at Microsoft Accessibility provides information about assistive technology for improving the lives of people with disabilities. The information on this site benefits people with disabilities and their friends and family members, people in outreach organizations, educators, and advocates.

A free monthly electronic newsletter is available to help you keep up to date with accessibility topics about Microsoft products. To subscribe, visit Free Subscription to the Accessibility Update Newsletter .

To learn about creating accessible content for your Web pages, refer to the accessibility standards developed by the World Wide Web Consortium .

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