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Assistive technology overview

There are a number of ways that all digital devices (computers, tablets and phones) can be made easier to use for those with additional needs.

This section looks at the different ways to access the most common features on the most popular devices and systems (Windows, Mac OS, iPhones and android).

There are common ways that devices can be made easier to use.

Screen readers and voice overs

These will read out any text on the screen in a easy to understand voice in a wide range of languages.  Screen readers can also communicate using braille.


These allow you to select an area of the screen to appear bigger and clearer.

Display adjustments

These can allow you to change the colours on the screen to make it clearer, including inverting the colours and making them high contrast.

Speech to text & voice control

This is where you speak to the device and it will type what you say on screen.  You can also use this to control the device with your voice.

Visual alerts

These will make something appear or flash on the screen when something makes a noise on your computer, such as an incoming phone call.

Keyboard alterations

Such as on screen keyboards, "sticky keys", noises to let you know you have pressed a certain key (such as shift) and ways to ignore repeated key presses.

Audio descriptions

This is where the computer will describe visual parts of the screen.

Last updated: 03/03/2021