Windows 10 Anniversary Update will offer improvements for Assistive Technology users

Microsoft outlined the many improvements that will be offered for Assistive Technology PC users in the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

In a blog post, Microsoft repeated its previous plans to give people who need Assistive Technology on their PC a chance to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10 for free even after the offer expires for most users on July 29. It also outlined a number of improvements for Narrator that will be included in the Anniversary Update, including faster text-to-speech voices that can average 800 words a minute, along with a number of new languages.

Narrator will also include a new navigation feature called Scan Mode:

Scan Mode is turned on with a press of CAPS LOCK and SPACE. While you are in Scan mode you can press SPACE to activate an item of interest, such as following a link on a web page or pressing a button in an app.

More accessibility improvements are also coming, via the update, to Microsoft Edge, Mail, Groove Music and Cortana:

You can more reliably operate search and Cortana with the keyboard, including things like navigating using arrow keys and tab order. There are also Improvements to high contrast that make the Cortana UI more legible in all contrast modes. The team has also made a number of general fixes that improve the experience with Cortana when using accessibility tools such as Windows Speech Recognition, Narrator and other screen-readers.

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is scheduled to begin its roll out on August 2.

John Callaham