Information Services Division


Visual Impairments

Those with visual impairments may benefit from such adaptations as provided by screen-reading software (JAWS, for example), or screen-magnification tools (ZoomText, for example), but simpler changes may also be of benefit, such as background colour changes, or browser-specific magnification tools.

VI News - New Apps

There are two new apps on the market,

One for iPhones called 'Be My Eyes' which enables blind users to connect to sighted volunteers to help with simple short tasks. An Android version is due out soon.

The other is for iPhones and iPads and enables the user to point their camera at something and be told what colour it is - great for matching clothes. It's called ColorSay

Adjusting your screen in your operating system

The guides below will help you to make your desktop interface more accessible. Each operating system has slightly different ways to do this, so please ensure you click on the relevant link for your specific operating system.

How to guides

The following guides are works in progress, so please watch this space for updates:

  • Adjusting your screen in Windows 8(.1)
  • Adjusting your screen in Windows 10
  • Adjusting your screen in MacOS
  • Adjusting your screen in Linux (Generic)

Adjusting your screen in your web browser

Enlarging the screen in web browsers

To enlarge or reduce the screen within Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Safari, use Ctrl combined with the + or - keys respectively. To return the screen to normal size use the Ctrl+0 (zero) combination.

Firefox-specific tools

Blank Your Monitor: This is a plugin for Firefox, which will allow you to make changes to the colour scheme of a website; it is most frequently used to invert the typical "dark-text-on-light-background" colour scheme found on most webpages.

Software and Hardware

There are many options for potentially helpful assistive technologies.

In the SENIT Suite, ZoomText and JAWS are available for trying out and/or training. There are also links below for you to download demo copies:

  • ZoomText is screen-magnification software, and it has the additional ability to change colour schemes, fonts, cursors, and pointers, to enable you to see the screen and its contents better. It also has a version that has screen-reading built in.
  • JAWS (Job Access With Speech) is screen-reading software, which allows the user to navigate the computer using only keyboard shortcuts.

Additionally, there are some free software downloads available from the RNIB website.

There are also many types of hardware to support you, from basic acrylic sheet magnifiers through to portable CCTV devices. You can view a selection on the links below:

The RNIB can also help with any questions you may have about support outside of the workplace.

Something else to consider is Access to Work, which is a funding body that can help with some costs of equipment and support within the workplace. Information can be found on the Access to Work website.

(Please note that we cannot accept responsibility for any issues related to these downloads.)