Some of the most underrated features of Mac products are the accessibility features. Built in to every Apple product, the accessibility supports and customizations prevent the need for third-party products. Not familiar with what’s available? Here’s a quick rundown of the Mac accessibility features and how to access them.
How to Access Mac Accessibility Features
To explore accessibility options and turn on features, navigate to System Preferences > Accessibility. On the left-hand side of the Accessibility menu you will see features divided into four categories based on support needs: Vision, Media, Hearing, and Interacting.
Available Mac Accessibility Features
Within the Accessibility Vision menu you may impact Display, Zoom, and VoiceOver. For Media you have control over descriptions and captions. You may customize Audio options within the Hearing menu. And the Interacting menu gives you options for the Keyboard, Mouse & Trackpad, Switch Control, and Dictation.
For those with vision impairment, Mac accessibility features offer a number of edits including setting the screen to grayscale, inverting colors, increasing contrast and increasing cursor size. Furthermore, you can set keyboard shortcuts for zoom and you can tell your Mac to zoom based on the keyboard focus or with your cursor movement. Critical for those that are nearly or completely without sight, VoiceOver features will read the computer screen aloud as a user navigates. Additionally, the Descriptions menu allows users to turn on spoken descriptions of video content.
For those with hearing impairment, Mac accessibility features allow you to turn on subtitles and customize their look and feel. You can also set the screen to flash when an sound alert occurs and you have many ways to adjust the computer’s volume.
Individuals with disabilities that impact mobility or timing can adjust the keyboard with unique Sticky Keys or users can turn on Slow Keys. Similarly, the speed and reactivity of the mouse and trackpad is adjustable. Users can also control the Mac mostly or entirely via Dictation. Finally, all users can set the Mac to allow control from various devices while bypassing others (so the Mac may be controlled entirely from a keyboard and not a trackpad or vice versa).
With the breadth and depth of Mac accessibility features, there are rarely needs for third-party software or devices. Have you tried some of the Mac accessibility features? What did you think? How would you rate its usefulness?