“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” ~C.G. Jung
One question I’m frequently asked as it relates to my sight loss is how I’m able to do some of the things I do like; work on the computer, read, watch tv, cook, grocery shopping, travel independently, walk my dog, makeup application, coordinating outfits, to name a few. The short answer is with training I’ve learned how to accomplish day-to-day tasks with low-tech labeling tools like fluorescent bump dots or Ott lamp to high-tech gadgets like video magnifiers or CCTVs (closed circuit televisions).
Several decades ago when I first heard the term “paperless office” I thought there’s no way this will work. I couldn’t comprehend what would happen to my paper filing systems I mean I had many years worth of pay stubs, bank statements, health records, financial records, household data and on and on.
Thankfully as technology evolves I do too. I went from someone who had to keep every scrap of paper because “you just never know when you’ll need it” to a shredding maniac and transferred my paper filing skills to digital. Today, I do everything online and I have no need for paper other than to scan it to my computer if need be.
Since my life literally revolves around my computer I felt the time was right to show you how I use it especially in view of the fact that my magnifying/screen reading software of choice is not compatible with my system. Windows has built-in accessibility or “Ease of Access” which includes a narrator, magnifier, high contrast, closed captions, keyboard, mouse and other options.
My laptop is connected to a 32-inch flat screen television which I use as a monitor. With such a nice size screen, I have more desktop real estate to manage multiple programs with increased magnification. I’ll describe each of the screenshots in this post to give you an idea of how I use Windows 10 built-in accessibility.
- I’ve pinned the narrator and magnifier tools (highlighted) to my taskbar at the bottom of my screen. This way I don’t have to hunt for the settings.
- When I open the magnification tool the control menu pops up. In this screenshot, the plus and minus signs allow for an increased or decreased view. There are 3 optional views from which to choose (full screen, floating lens or docked lens). The magnifier goes up to 1600% however at this setting there is very little on the screen.
- No matter what optional view is chosen (this is full screen) there is a transparent magnifying glass (arrow highlight) that I can click on at any time to change my settings.
- When I click on the magnifying glass the magnification menu appears so I can alter my adjustments.
- This screenshot shows the available viewing options and keyboard shortcuts.
- The highlighted circle shows what the lens option looks like. It will magnify wherever the mouse is moved.
- The narrator menu has a number of options such as voice, speed, pitch and volume. In addition, you can select how the narrator starts, navigation and create keyboard shortcuts.
Life is different after you develop a disability, but when the focus is placed on what you can do, with some adaptations, life continues onward.