UPDATE: Narrator and reader functionality in Windows 10 were updated in the Anniversary Update. Check for updates to make sure you have the latest features. For more information, check out our more recent blog, “Making progress on accessibility with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update”.
This blog post was written by Rob Sinclair, Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer. Rob is responsible for the company’s worldwide strategy to develop software and services that make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to see, hear, and use their computers.
On July 29, Windows 10 becomes available for PCs and tablets, and will be available on additional devices by the end of the year. If you currently use Assistive Technologies (AT), like screen readers or magnifiers, your experience on Windows 10 will be similar in many ways to what you are accustomed to on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. In addition, Windows 10 introduces new features and applications that will continue to improve as we deliver Windows as a service to our customers over time.
For the most accessible Windows 10 experience possible, I suggest the following:
- Ask your AT manufacturer about Windows 10 compatibility, their recommended upgrade process, and timing.
- Set your default web browser to Internet Explorer for a more accessible web browsing experience.
- Install a 3rd party PDF reader like Adobe Reader, for a more accessible PDF reading experience.
- Use the Outlook and Office desktop applications for a more accessible email and productivity experience.
- If you have a secondary computer, consider upgrading this one first, to familiarize yourself with the Windows 10 experience.
If you have upgraded to Windows 10 and find your AT is not working as expected, or you’ve encountered an accessibility issue, please consider the following options:
- Contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for support.
- Contact your AT manufacturer for more information.
We’re continuing to work with our AT partners to improve the accessibility of the Windows 10 experience and we value your feedback. If you haven’t done so already, please consider joining the Windows Insider Program to share your experiences and suggestions with us.