Resource: Windows 10 Workshop Notes from an AEBC Workshop held by Teleconference on October 18, 2016

Windows 10 Workshop Notes
Presented by Albert Ruel and Jennifer Jesso
with the AEBC on October 18, 2016
Upgrading to Windows 10
• Windows 10 had a free upgrade period which ended in July, but people with disabilities are still able to upgrade for free
• To upgrade, visit
• You can also contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk at 1-800-936-5900 – they can answer questions about upgrading and also take over one’s computer to troubleshoot
Screen Reading Software
• Most screen readers are now compatible with Windows 10
• JAWS must be version 16 or above
• Window-Eyes must be version 9.2 or above, and is available free to anyone who has purchased Office 2010 or above or subscribes to Office 365 – see
• System Access works with Windows 10 as upgrades are included in the purchase
• NVDA is a free, open-source screen reader that supports Windows 10
• Narrator is a screen reader that is included in Windows 10 and has seen vast improvements since previous versions of Windows
• Guide is a product from Dolphin Computer Access that greatly simplifies the user interface and supports Windows 10 with version 9.04 and above
Screen Magnification
• Windows 10 comes with a built-in screen magnification program called Magnifier, which provides full-screen magnification and colour inversion, but no mouse or pointer enhancements and no font smoothing
• ZoomText supports Windows 10 as of version 10.1
• MAGic supports Windows 10 as of version 13
Accessible Software Compatibility
• Kurzweil 1000 supports Windows 10 with version 13 and above – there have been some issues with it converting to trial mode after Windows upgrades and needing to re-register
• OpenBook supports Windows 10 as of version 9.0
• FineReader (a mainstream OCR software) supports Windows 10 as of version 11
• OmniPage (another mainstream OCR application) supports Windows 10 as of version 18
• Be aware that when upgrading you may have problems with drivers for scanners or document cameras, drivers may need to be updated
• Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome are all accessible and work on Windows 10
New Changes in Windows 10
• The Start Menu is back, though it’s more complex than the Start Menu in Windows 7 and includes Web and other search results by default. To learn how to alter/configure your Start Button consider a textbook by CathyAnne Murtha called, ” An Immersion into Windows 10 with JAWS for Windows”.
• The File Explorer app now goes to a Quick Access view instead of Computer when it’s opened with Windows Key + E (this setting can be changed back)
• From the Start Menu one may search for This PC, and a shortcut to the Desktop can be added for easier use. Once again, consider purchasing CathyAnne’s textbook to learn how to add This PC to your Desktop.
• The new Microsoft EDGE browser is not yet fully accessible
• Narrator has been greatly improved and can now function as a capable screen reader, especially on touchscreen devices such as tablets, and when accessing the built-in app called Windows Mail.
• There is a new built-in voice-activated personal assistant named Cortana (similar to Apple’s Siri), though use of Cortana is not yet fully accessible but is still usable. CathyAnne’s textbook covers this topic as well.
Navigation and Keyboard Commands
• Navigation is nearly identical to earlier versions of Windows, with small changes. To learn a wide range of JAWS and Windows Key Commands access the following link:
• Apps and programs can be set up on the Taskbar and quickly accessed with the Windows key plus numbers 1-0. CathyAnne’s textbook is a great resource for learning how to maximize the use of your Taskbar.
• Ribbons are now the norm in many programs – they are accessible, but different from menu navigation and act slightly differently with different screen readers (to ensure ribbons work in JAWS with shortcuts, make sure Virtual Ribbons is turned off). CathyAnne Murtha offers textbooks for both JAWS and Window-Eyes screen readers.
• First-letter navigation works as usual, and the first few letters can be used to jump directly to an item in any list view (including the desktop). CathyAnne’s textbooks can guide you in learning more about First Letter Navigation.
• The spellchecker in Word 2013 and later has changed; the keyboard commands may not work or may work on their own (without holding alt), but spellcheck can also be used directly in the document without the need to launch the spellchecker. CathyAnne’s textbooks can guide you in learning more about spellchecking.
• Quick navigation keys in screen readers such as JAWS and NVDA make online navigation much faster and make it possible to “skim” a webpage; these also work in Word documents, e-mails, and PDFs if activated. The toggle to turn on and off Quick Navigation Keys is Insert + the letter Z. To learn more about QNK check the web page below:
• Top Tech Tidbits is a weekly newsletter with links to technology-related articles:
• AccessWorld is a free newsletter published by AFB six times a year that covers a variety of technology-related topics such as new accessible products:
• Get Together with Technology is a technology sharing program run by the CCB, which has extensive archives available on the blog:
• Freedom Scientific has many webinars on how to use JAWS with various applications, including some focused on Windows 10:
• CathyAnne Murtha produces a range of Windows, Browser, MS Office and screen reader textbooks, one of which is called, An Immersion into Windows 10 with JAWS for Windows. See the link below for a full list of available textbooks:

2 thoughts on “Resource: Windows 10 Workshop Notes from an AEBC Workshop held by Teleconference on October 18, 2016

  1. Hi, Albert,

    Thanks so much for this very ehlpful post! As someone who jumped all the way from Windows XP to Windows 10, I’ve found the new platform incredibly different. Ribbons? When not on presents under a tree, I thought they belonged in women’s hair!

    I’ve learned a lot through your blogs and suggestions. Thanks to you and the rest of the GTT team for providing me answers before I’ve asked the questions.

    Ho, ho, hope everyone has a great holiday season,

    Bob and Gus the Reindeer



  2. Hi Albert

    Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

    On the Zoomtext 10.1 to update to ZoomText for the Windows 10 there is a charge to those who want to go to Windows 10 from ZoomText to recover the programing costs to set up the ZoomTExt for windows 10.

    The cost is $50.00 USD to get the updated program for ZoomTEXT 10.1

    Thanks Claude


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