Appendix A - Accessibility for People with Disabilities

Microsoft is committed to making its products and services easier for everyone to use. This section provides information on the following features, products, and services that make Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Windows NT, and Microsoft SQL Server 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 audiocassette, floppy disk, or compact disc 

  • Third-party utilities that 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 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 here 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.

  • Accessibility features have been built into Windows and Windows NT since the introduction of Windows 95. 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 installation disks.

    For more information about installing and using these features, see Accessibility in the Windows Help Index. 

  • Some of the accessibility features built into Windows and Windows NT can be added to earlier versions of those products, and to MS-DOS, through Access Packs. You can download these files or you can order them on disks from Microsoft. (See Accessibility Notes and Utilities to Download later in this section.) 

  • You also can 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. 

  • In Windows 98, the majority of accessibility settings can be set through the Accessibility Wizard or Control Panel. The Accessibility Wizard presents features sorted by disability, making it easy to customize Windows to each individual's needs. The Accessibility Wizard also enables you to save your settings to a file that can be used on another computer. 

  • 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 added 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 documents listed below. Accessibility features are also documented in the Microsoft Windows 95 Resource Kit, the Microsoft Windows 98 Resource Kit and the Microsoft Windows NT Resource Kit.

Accessibility Notes and Utilities to Download

These documents explain how to customize Microsoft Windows and Windows NT for users with disabilities. Specific instructions for downloading the files immediately follow this list.


You need

Customizing Windows for Individuals with Disabilities (describes all of the other documents in this list and includes links to download them; this article will be updated when new versions of Microsoft operating systems are released)

Microsoft Knowledge Base article 165486.

Customizing Microsoft Windows 98 for individuals with disabilities


Customizing Microsoft Windows 95 for individuals with disabilities


Customizing Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 for individuals with disabilities


Customizing Microsoft Windows NT 3.1 and 3.5 for individuals with disabilities (includes Access Pack for Microsoft Windows NT, which provides features for people who have difficulty using a keyboard or mouse, or who are deaf or hard-of-hearing)


Customizing Microsoft Windows 3.1 for individuals with disabilities


Customizing Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.1 for individuals with disabilities


Customizing Microsoft Windows 3.0 for individuals with disabilities


Access Pack for Microsoft Windows 3.0 and 3.1, which provides features for people who have difficulty using a keyboard or mouse, or who are deaf or hard-of-hearing


Dvorak keyboard layouts for people who type with one hand (already included in Windows NT version 3.5 and later)


To Download the Files

If you have a modem or other type of network connection, you can download these accessibility files from the following network services:

  • The Microsoft Accessibility and Disabilities Web site on the Internet, .

  • Support Online from Microsoft Technical Support at . Choose the appropriate application from the list labeled "My search is about" (or choose "All Products) and enter "165486" in the text box labeled "My question is." The search results will display a link to the Knowledge Base article, "Customizing Windows for Individuals with Disabilities," which includes links to all of the documents listed above. 

    For other accessibility articles, choose the appropriate application from the list labeled "My search is about" and enter "kbenable" in the text box labeled "My question is." 

  • Microsoft Internet server at, in /softlib/mslfiles. 

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 (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.

Technical Assistance

For technical assistance in the United States, you can contact Microsoft Technical Support 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 the 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 available in other formats to make them more accessible.

Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 provides documentation in the form of Books Online (SQLBOL.chm, MSDSSBOL.chm) and online Help, which are installed automatically with the product. You can increase the font size of topics to make them more readable and print them as needed. Keyboard shortcuts are included in some of the Help systems for SQL Server applications as well.

If you have difficulty reading or handling printed documentation, you can obtain many Microsoft publications from Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, Inc. RFB&D distributes these documents to registered, eligible members of their distribution service, either on audio cassettes or on floppy disks. The RFB&D collection contains more than 80,000 titles, including Microsoft product documentation and books from Microsoft Press®. You can download many of these books from the Microsoft Web site at .

For more information, contact Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic at the following address or phone numbers:

Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, Inc.
20 Roszel Road
Princeton, NJ 08540

World Wide Web:

(609) 452-0606
(609) 987-8116 

Utilities to Enhance Accessibility

A wide variety of hardware and software products are available to make personal computers easier to use for people with disabilities. 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" by using a mouse or their voice. 

  • Word or phrase prediction software that allow users 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. 

Getting More Accessibility Information

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


Microsoft provides a catalog of accessibility aids that can be used with the Windows and Windows NT operating systems. You can obtain this catalog from our Web site or by phone:

Microsoft Sales Information Center
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-6393

World Wide Web:
Voice telephone:
Text telephone: 
(800) 426-9400
(800) 892-5234

Macintosh Disability Solutions

For more information on products and services for the Macintosh for people with disabilities, contact:

Apple Worldwide Disability Solutions Group

World Wide Web:
Voice telephone:
Text telephone: 
(800) 600-7808
(800) 755-0601

Trace R&D Center

The Trace R&D Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison publishes a database of more than 18,000 products and other information for people with disabilities. The database is available on their site on the World Wide Web. The Trace R&D Center also publishes a book, titled Trace ResourceBook, which provides descriptions and photographs of about 2,000 products.

To obtain these materials, contact:

Trace R&D Center
University of Wisconsin
S-151 Waisman Center
1500 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI 53705-2280

World Wide Web:
(608) 262-8848

Assistive Technology Programs and Trained Evaluators

Computers and other assistive devices can help persons with disabilities to overcome a variety of barriers. For general information and recommendations on how computers can help you with your specific needs, you should consult a trained evaluator. For information about locating programs or services in your area that may be able to help you, please contact :

National Information System
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208

Voice/text telephone:

(803) 777-1782
(803) 777-9557