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 three 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

There is a new braille keyboard available for Android

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

  • JAWS and Teams - Freedom Scientific have released a FREE training course and some excellent cheat-sheets for those that want to use Teams with JAWS

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 Digital Accessibility Hub, 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.
  • Braille printer.

Via the Network

The free screenreader NVDA is available from our software database.

Dolphin Easy Reader - free app for accessing books from the RNIB Bookshare. Its reads EPUB and PDF. This helps with finding title and reading books from RNIB Bookshare. Download for iOS and Android.

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.)