Published: Mar. 16, 2009
Updated: Oct. 6, 2011
Apple’s Macintosh OS has an excellent set of assistive tools built into the operating system. It is capable of text magnification and text to speech conversion without additional software.
Apple’s commitment to accessibility is evident throughout the Mac OS X operating system, which is not only easy to use by design, but also includes a wide variety of features and technologies specifically designed to provide access to users with disabilities.
Apple refers to these features collectively as Universal Access and has integrated them into the operating system so they can be used in conjunction with a variety of applications from Apple and other developers.
Universal Access: Get an overview of all the new Apple tools that make their computers accessible for people with vision impairment.
Accessibility Technologies in Mac OS X -- Vision: Discover the various features the Mac uses to make viewing their computer screens more accessible.
|Option-Command-8||Turn on Zoom|
|Option-Command-+ (plus)||Zoom in|
|Option-Command-- (minus)||Zoom out|
|Control-Option-Command-8||Switch to White on Black|
|Control-F1||Turn on Full Keyboard Access When Full Keyboard Access is turned on, you can use the key combinations listed in the table below from the Finder.|
|Control-F2||Full Keyboard Access: Highlight Menu|
|Control-F3||Full Keyboard Access: Highlight Dock|
|Control-F4||Full Keyboard Access: Highlight Window (active) or next window behind it|
|Control-F5||Full Keyboard Access: Highlight Toolbar|
|Control-F6||Full Keyboard Access: Highlight Utility window (palette)|
|Command-F5 or fn-Command-F5||Turn VoiceOver on or off (Mac OS X 10.4 or later)|
|Control-Option-F8 or fn-Control-Option-F8||Open VoiceOver Utility (Mac OS X 10.4 or later)|
|Control-Option-F7 or fn-Control-option-F7||Display VoiceOver menu (Mac OS X 10.4 or later)|
|Enable/disable VoiceOver Control-Option lock (Mac OS X 10.4 or later)|
The Universal Access preference pane allows you to turn on Mouse Keys. When Mouse Keys is on, you can use the numeric keypad to move the mouse.
Learn more about technology and computer settings to aid users with low vision: