Secrets of the Ease of Access Center

If you are a Windows user without any physical handicaps, chances are you’ve never even looked at the “Ease of Access Center” in the Window 7 control panel. However, there are some interesting things in there!

I find Mouse Keys to be handy from time to time, especially if I’ve been doing a lot of mousing and my hand needs a break. (This isn’t recommended on a laptop with an embedded number pad.) You can find those settings under the Make the mouse easier to use options. There are also different mouse style options than you’d find under the regular mouse settings – good for when you are doing presentations and want to make the mouse easier for others to follow.

Under Use this computer without a display, you’ll find the setting to adjust how long notification boxes stay open. This is adjustable up to 5 minutes. You can also change the thickness of the blinking cursor in the Make this computer easier to see section.

Under Make the keyboard easier to use there is the a couple hidden gems. First, “underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys” can make it easier for you to perform some tasks without reaching for the mouse.

Finally, if you aren’t impressed with the new Aero “Snap” features for docking your windows to the sides and top of the screen, you can turn them of by selecting “Prevent windows from being automatically arranged when moved to the edge of the screen.” For those of you who like shoving windows to the side to take advantage of screen real estate, this gives you that power back.

Not only can you find some interesting options for occasional use, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with what Windows can do for someone who may need some adjustments in order to use their computer to the best of their abilities.


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