I use a MacBook Pro with OS X 10.9. One thing I’ve learned about the accessibility options on my MacBook is that they are similar to the options on my iPad and iPhone. Apple uses the same features across their systems, which makes them more accessible to users. I love that each Mac comes with assistive technology built in. You can find it by going to System Preferences>Accessibility.
Here are the available technologies on my MacBook.
Display: In this section I have the ability to change the color of my screen to gray scale or invert the colors. I am able to adjust the contrast. I can also increase the cursor size. I inverted the colors and realized right away that this option is not for me. My eyes had a hard time adjusting to the change.
Zoom: In this section I can access the built in magnifier. I can turn on shortcuts and adjust how the zoom works and to what extent it zooms in. I had to look up what one of the shortcut symbols was. I’ve always wondered. (It stood for the option key) The only problem is I couldn’t get the window to go away and I think I turned off all shortcuts.
Voiceover: I did not know I had this option. Voiceover is a screen reader. It provides both spoken or a braille description. There are lots of features built in this one option. For more information, visit http://www.apple.com/accessibility/osx/voiceover/
Audio: One of the options found here is to have the screen flash when an alert sound occurs. Users also can have sound played in Mono. This is important if the user is using headphones. A lot of the time stereo sound plays different channels in each year. If the user is hearing impaired in one ear, they miss out. Selecting mono puts all the channels in both ears.
Captions: Built in the MacBook is a captioning service. It provides captions for supported apps like iTunes.
Another option not found in my Accessibility list in System Preferences but talked about on the Apple website is the use of iMessage and Facetime. Both allow the user to communicate. iMessage doesn’t require the user to speak and Facetime allows the user to see expressions and even be able to read lips.
This section has several options for controlling the keyboard, mouse, switch control, speak able items.
A user can change the sensitivity of the keyboard and mouse. One of the more interesting features I learned about was the speakable items. The MacBook allows the user to control the computer with their voice instead of the keyboard.
Overall, I am impressed by the different options that are available on my MacBook. I am interested in how they compare to PC. For more information about the accessibility of IOS and OS X devices, visit the following website http://www.apple.com/accessibility/