Microsoft has touched on the accessibility features in its upcoming Windows 11 update.
In a new video from Microsoft, some of the changes to Windows 11 and accessibility have been detailed, with it being said the team is aware of there being things they can do better, and that they want to go beyond that.
The team highlights that Ease of Access, as it is called currently, is being renamed in Windows 11 to Accessibility. The change will also include a new icon, so instead of it being a…clock, circle, arrow thing, it’s now a vector of a person. The video goes into how the team consulted with disabled people to ensure that the new operating system is designed for the users, even using the quote, “Nothing about us, without us”.
Contrast themes are the key feature presented in the video, showing new high contrast themes in action with different intensities from a light mode, a dark mode. and a high contrast mode. To name them specifically, there are the following: Default (None), Aquatic, Desert, Dusk, and Night Sky.
A new start-up screen is also touched on with a new sound that allows blind or visually impaired users to know the device is awake and ready to use. The new sounds throughout Windows 11 “follow the visual personality” of the themes as well, so the user can apparently hear light mode or dark mode sounds.
This video comes after Microsoft’s accessibility blog from earlier this month where it was detailed that the new OS would feature familiar features such as Narrator, Magnifier, Closed Captions, and Speech Recognition. While the blog post already highlights everything mentioned in the video, it’s still good to see them in action, and how the team has worked to ensure the new OS will be accessible.
Windows 11 and its improved accessibility area should be available later in 2021 and will be a free upgrade for compatible Windows 10 devices. We’ll be sure to look into the update some more when it does launch.