The Windows 10 Creators Update slated for Spring 2017 has seen quite a few preview versions, but most articles covering them (including ours, unfortunately) focus on aspects for regular users, such as 3D and so on. But the Windows 10 Creators Update supports accessibility functions as much as it does other experiences.
For those with disabilities, Microsoft has introduced several features that can be seen on the preview versions. For example, the Narrator feature for the Creators Update now includes braille support as well as a choice of 10 new and different voices. In addition, Narrator works seamlessly with the Microsoft Edge browser, allowing users to easily fill out forms and navigate through heading levels.
When used on the XBox One, Narrator settings can even be modified by rate of speech and voice pitch. Also, on all Windows 10 devices, Narrator will take precedence over other audio applications such as Spotify. Basically, the system will do a “volume ducking” when music is playing, suppressing other audio when Narrator wants to communicate something.
Microsoft is not leaving Office 365 out of the accessibility equation, either. Next year’s rollout of Windows 10 Creators Update will see enhanced development capabilities for people with disabilities, some of which are already in preview for Office Insiders. One such is Computer Vision Cognitive Service, essentially an artificial intelligence boost for inserting different text descriptions for images and links that Microsoft is bringing to several more Office applications.
For now, the Windows 10 Creators Update is only available in preview mode on the Insider Program. We’ve shown you how to get on the program:
How to Get a Free Windows 10 Upgrade
If you’re not yet on Windows 10 but have a licensed older version – Windows 7 or 8.1 – then you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free using the Assistive Technologies offer. After Windows 10 closed its doors to the free upgrade on July 29, they left a side door open. Users using assistive technologies can still get a free upgrade to Windows 10. Win 10 can also be clean-installed to a system running older OS versions of Windows. Both methods are described in the article below:
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