GTT National Conference Call Summary Notes, LV and Blindness Features of Windows 10, 2019Jul10

GTT National Conference Call.


An Initiative of the Canadian Council of the Blind


Summary Notes

July 10, 2019


Find the CCB Podcast of this event at the link below:

05 GTT National Conference Call, Low Vision Features of Windows 10, July 10, 2019


Windows 10 Accessibility Primer


Following is a summary of the Windows10 accessibility primer Carrie Anton and Lyle Rollaman presented to GTT National Conference Call meeting attendees on July 10, 2019. Although the presentation was focused on low vision Windows access there is information that is also relevant to blind users. There are links to other resources so you can research more commands and tools. The commands provided are for Windows 10. The resource links provided take you to the Microsoft pages where you can choose the version of Windows you are using.  Also find at the bottom of this document links to three Microsoft Accessibility Learning Webinar Series episodes hosted by Microsoft staff related to low vision and blind access to Narrator and Magnification features built into Windows 10.


Windows Shortcut Keys

Learning Windows Shortcut Keys is important to be Efficient and to be able to perform functions when you cannot use a mouse.


Windows Ease of Access Center

This is where all Accessibility related settings can be adjusted.

Open the Ease of Access Center Windows logo key + U


This is a setting that adjusts the size and clarity of most items on your screen. The default is 125% but you can also customize it to what you want. Adjusting this to higher settings does require more scrolling of windows. Icons are larger, and text is larger without the stepping pixelating that often happens with magnifying things.


Right click anywhere on the desktop

Go to display settings

Scaling and Layout appear in the middle of the screen.



Magnifier allows you to enlarge the entire screen or sections of it. There are 3 viewing modes including full, lens, and docked. Magnifier’s application toolbar appears in the Taskbar at the bottom of the screen. It may also hover a magnifying glass on your screen. Click it and see the tools like plus, minus, zoom percentage, View, and a gear for settings.

Turn Magnifier on Windows logo key + Plus (+)  
Turn Magnifier off Windows logo key  + Esc  
When Magnifier is on, zoom in or out Windows logo key  + Plus (+) or Minus (-)  
Zoom in and out using the mouse scroll wheel Ctrl + Alt + mouse scroll wheel  
Open Magnifier settings Windows logo key  + Ctrl + M  
Pan in the direction of the arrow keys Ctrl + Alt + arrow keys  
Invert colors Ctrl + Alt + I  
Switch to full screen view Ctrl + Alt + F  
Switch to lens view Ctrl + Alt + L  
Switch to docked view Ctrl + Alt + D  
Cycle through views Ctrl + Alt + M  
Resize the lens with the mouse Ctrl + Alt + R  
Resize the lens with the keyboard Shift + Alt + arrow keys  
Quickly see the entire desktop when using full screen view Ctrl + Alt + Spacebar  

More About Magnifier


Mouse Enhancements

As one of the hardest things to find as a visually impaired person, the Pointer’s Size and Color often makes the difference in its visibility.

Also, if you can find your Mouse Settings in Control panel, you can adjust more mouse shapes and effects like pointer trails.

Press WindowsKey+U to open Ease of Access centre.

IN the Search box type, Mouse

Then the mouse panel appears and you can choose to change the look of the mouse, how it looks when moving, and more.

More on adjusting your

mouse settings


Cursor Thickness

In the Ease of Access Center, “Other Options” you can change the thickness of the typing cursor by using a horizontal left/right slider from a blinking vertical line to a thick blinking box. This makes finding where your cursor is much easier.

Color & High Contrast

There are many ways to change color of THE screens in Windows.

Magnifier’s invert color

Windows color filters – especially useful if someone has color blindness

Windows Themes – is a quick way to adjust all colors in every application for text, hyperlinks, buttons and active or inactive items.

I find that using a Windows Theme presents the best diversity of color especially high contrast. However, the possibility of losing information that is only represented by color is there. Take for example, a web page that is not coded for accessibility may eliminate colored items if a theme is enforced. You will need to be the judge of your own experience. For working with text and email Themes work great. For someone who is always on the web and uses cues from images and color, themes won’t work well.

Use invert colors of Magnifier or similarly the Color & High Contrast Invert setting. Keep in mind certain colors have hard to read inversions like organize and green. Yellow’s invert is blue. White is black.

Turn your High Contrast Theme on or off press Left Alt + left Shift + Print Screen
Turn your color filter on or off press Windows logo key  + Ctrl + C

Text to Speech to Read What is Magnified

There is a built-in screen reader called Narrator which I’ll mention later. For those of us who just want reading in MS Office documents there is a Speech feature you can activate. It reads aloud any text you select in the document. It can be activated by keyboard shortcut or a button in the Quick Access Toolbar at the top of the application. This feature is available in Microsoft Office 2013, 2016 and of course Office365.


Narrator is a full-blown screen reading application that does just that, it reads the screen. Again, keyboard shortcuts are handy in controlling and navigating documents.

Narrator has a setting panel that allows you to customize the way narrator acts such as voice, cursor and pointer following. Narrator also lets you “highlight the cursor” which is where it is reading, a red box appears around where Narrator is reading. This is useful when I am trying to hover my mouse over text I want read.

On many keyboards, the Windows logo key is located on the bottom row of keys, to the left or right of the Alt key.

Open Narrator settings Windows logo key  + Ctrl + N
Turn Narrator On or Off Windows logo key + Ctrl + Enter for Windows 10

Windows Logo Key  + Enter for Windows 7/8


More on Getting Started with Narrator

There are several ways to read text using Narrator. The first and simplest way is to use the arrow keys to navigate text if you’re interacting with a document in a word processor, such as Microsoft Word.

If an app doesn’t support text reading commands, Narrator will say “not on explorable text.” In this case, use Scan Mode to navigate and read text. While in scan mode you need to listen for Narrator saying scan on or scan off, otherwise, the letters or arrow keys you use are actually moving in your document.

Move to the next or previous word

Turn Scan Mode On or Off Caps lock + Spacebar.
Read by paragraph in scan mode Up and Down arrow keys
Read by character Left and Right arrow keys
To activate an item that you want to use, such as a button in an app, a link in a webpage, or a text box Press the spacebar
Move to the start or end of a line of text in an app or webpage Home and End
Move to the beginning or end of text Ctrl + Home and Ctrl + End
Move to the next or previous word Ctrl + Left arrow and Ctrl + Right arrow
Move to the next or previous line Ctrl + Up arrow and Ctrl + Down arrow


To learn more about Scan Mode.

Speech Recognition

A great feature for dictating to the computer as well as in documents. The trick to anyone using speech recognition software is to recognize when mistakes are made. You can open programs, control menus, click buttons and dictate text.  First be in a quiet environment with a microphone connected to your computer.  At the start menu type Speech Recognition or just speech and it will appear in the Start Menu.

More about Speech Recognition


Microsoft Accessibility Learning Webinar Series


Microsoft Accessibility Learning Webinar Series for low vision and blindness on YouTube


Accessibility Learning Webinar Series: Magnifier and Low Vision Features in Windows 10, Feb 27, 2019


Accessibility Learning Webinar Series: Narrator 101, Jan 30, 2019


Accessibility Learning Webinar Series: Narrator 101 for the May 2019 Update to Windows 10, Jul 2, 2019


For more information please contact your GTT Coordinators:


Albert Ruel                   or                             Kim Kilpatrick

1-877-304-0968,550                                    1-877-304-0968,513         


CCB Backgrounder:


The CCB was founded in 1944 by a coalition of blind war veterans, schools of the blind and local chapters to create a national self-governing organization. The CCB was incorporated by Letters Patent on May 10, 1950 and is a registered charity under the provisions of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

The purpose of the CCB is to give people with vision loss a distinctive and unique perspective before governments.  CCB deals with the ongoing effects of vision loss by encouraging active living and rehabilitation through peer support and social and recreational activities.

CCB promotes measures to conserve sight, create a close relationship with the sighted community and provide employment opportunities.


The CCB recognizes that vision loss has no boundaries with respect to gender, income, ethnicity, culture, other disabilities or age.

The CCB understands in many instances vision loss is preventable and sometimes is symptomatic of other health issues.  For the 21st century, the CCB is committed to an integrated proactive health approach for early detection to improve the quality of life for all Canadians.

As the largest membership organization of the blind and partially sighted in Canada the CCB is the “Voice of the Blind™”.


CCB National Office

100-20 James Street Ottawa ON  K2P 0T6

Toll Free: 1-877-304-0968 Email: URL: