Mac Operating System (OS) Accessibility

Where can you adjust the accessibility settings on your computer?

You will be able to change your settings of your Mac computer by going into the System Preferences pane. Here you will find the Universal Access pane, which will allow you to configure your computer in four areas: Seeing, Hearing, Keyboard and Mouse. 

What settings can be changed on your computer?

There is a number of built in accessibility features of the Mac OS that will help you input into the computer with greater ease. This includes:
  • Adjustable key repeat and delay – allows you to adjust the key repeat rate and the delay until a key repeats when you hold it down.
  • Assignable Modifier keys – Locations of modifier keys (e.g., Ctrl, Alt, etc.) on the keyboard can be changed.
  • Mouse and Trackpad sensitivity – can be adjusted for tracking speed, double-click speed and scrolling speed.
  • On Screen keyboard – a virtual on screen keyboard called the Keyboard Viewer, can be used with a pointing device instead of a standard keyboard.
  • Slow Keys – adjusts the keyboard response so the inadvertently repeated keystrokes are ignored.
  • Voice Recognition – Speakable Items lets you control your computer with your voice instead of a keyboard.
  • Sticky Keys – a feature that will allow those who may have difficulty pressing multiple keys at one time. StickyKeys allows you to press one key at a time instead of pressing them simultaneously.
  • Mouse Keys – a feature for individuals who have difficulty using a mouse.  MouseKeys allow you to use the numeric keypad to control the movement of the mouse.
A number of settings can be enabled on your computer in order to alter the way the information that is displayed on the computer. The following settings are offered in the Mac OS:
  • High Contrast and Reverse Video – allows you to increase and decrease the contrast, remove colour, and reverse the video to black on white or white on black. 
  • Safari Reader – removes the visual distractions from online articles.
  • Screen Flash – instead of an audible alert, this feature enables you have the whole screen flash when a Mac application needs attention.
  • Size of icons – Dock Magnification will allow you to customize how large the icons are in the Dock.
  • Size of the mouse pointer – or Cursor Magnification allows you to make the pointer larger to make it easier to view.
  • Screen Reader – VoiceOver reads out loud while you are using the computer.
  • Screen Magnifier – Zoom magnifies items on the screen


Apples’ Accessibility Page - Find out how to adjust the settings on your computer here!

BBC’s My Web My Way – a site that provides information on how to make web browsing easier by using the accessibility options of your computer. Resources are provided for Windows, Mac and Linux OS.