Including all learners
There are a number of ways of finding out what accessibility options are on offer for the computer operating system that you are using. One of the simplest ways is to use the Help files, easily found by pressing F1 when you are on the desktop, then searching for ‘Accessibility Options’. Although, while every operating system has adaptations that offer support to users with a variety of needs, due to security controls they sometimes need the help of a technician
to set them up, particularly on networks. This means that even if you know how you want the computer to be adapted you may find you need to get help in order to make these changes. (In the National Occupational Standards there are several references to making sure children can access learning and that computers are adapted to their needs [STL 7.1 P3,5 and K18,19,22,24; STL 8.1 P3,4,6,7 and K11,12].)
Microsoft Windows, the most commonly used operating system, provides a number of ways of adapting the machine to the needs of the individual, and a variety of routes to finding them – and to turning them on and off – including through the use of shortcuts. If you have not used these before, the best place to start is probably the ‘Ease of Access Center’. From the Start button click on All Programs and then Accessories, and from there, select Ease of Access. Another way of finding this is to right click on the desktop and choose the Personalize option, which has a link directly to Ease of Access. And it can also be found in the Control Panel: again click on the Start button, then choose Control Panel and find it there. However, the quickest route is to hold down the Start key and then press U on the keyboard.