This article describes how to configure Windows XP keyboard and mouse options that can make it easier for people with motion disabilities to work at the computer.
People who have motion disabilities can benefit from the accessibility features that make it easier to manipulate the keyboard and mouse. However, the accessibility features that are included with Windows XP do not provide substitute technologies that are as robust as some programs that have been designed specifically for this purpose. To learn about additional programs, search for "accessibility" on the Microsoft Web site.
On-Screen Keyboard is a utility that displays a virtual keyboard on the screen and allows users with motion disabilities to type data by using a pointing device or joystick. On-Screen Keyboard is intended to provide a minimum level of functionality for users with motion disabilities. The program in which you want to type characters must be active while you are using On-Screen Keyboard. To start On-Screen Keyboard, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to Accessibility, and then click On-Screen Keyboard.
On-Screen Keyboard has three typing modes:
In Clicking mode, you click the on-screen keys to type text.
In Scanning mode, On-Screen Keyboard continually scans the keyboard and highlights areas where you can type keyboard characters by pressing a key or using a switch-input device.
In Hovering mode, you use a mouse or joystick to point to a key for a predefined period of time, and the selected character is typed automatically.
In the Minimum time to hover box, click a number to adjust the minimum hover time.
NOTE: If the mouse pointer remains over a character for the specified hover time, the character is selected and typed.
To set the typing mode to Clicking:
On the Settings menu, click Typing Mode.
In the Typing Mode dialog box, click Click.
NOTE: When you point to a character, it is highlighted. Click the highlighted character to select it.
Use the Keyboard menu item to select the following items:
An enhanced keyboard that includes the numeric keypad, or a standard keyboard that does not include the numeric keypad.
A keyboard display with the keys in the standard layout, or in a block layout in which the keys are arranged in rectangular blocks. Block layout is especially useful in scanning mode.
A display of the U.S. standard keyboard (101 keys), the universal keyboard (102 keys), or a keyboard (106 keys) with additional Japanese language characters.
Use the Settings menu item to select the following items:
Click Click Sound to add an audible click when you select a key.
Click Always on Top to keep your keyboard displayed on your screen when you switch programs or windows.
Change the font to make it easier to see the keyboard characters. Click Font. In the Font dialog box, click a font, font style, and font size. The selected font options affect only the appearance of the On-Screen Keyboard keys; they do not affect the font that is used in the selected program.
You can use the Accessibilities tool in Control Panel or the Accessibility Wizard to configure additional options that assist users with motion disabilities. To do this, click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Accessibility Options.
To start the Accessibilities tool, click Accessibility Options. Then select the appropriate options on the Keyboard and Mouse tabs.
To start the Accessibility Wizard, click Configure Windows to work for your vision, hearing, and mobility needs. Answer the questions in the wizard and make the appropriate selections.
The following options are available:
StickyKeys: Enables simultaneous keystrokes while pressing one key at a time.
FilterKeys: Adjusts the response of your keyboard.
ToggleKeys: Emits sounds when you lock keys such as CAPS LOCK, SCROLL LOCK, or NUM LOCK.
MouseKeys: Enables the keyboard to perform mouse functions.
SerialKeys: Allows the use of alternative input devices instead of a keyboard and mouse.