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Month: October 2017

How to fix Magnifier issues after Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is now rolling out to users worldwide. As discussed in an earlier post, there are many great accessibility improvements including the addition of the Eye Control feature along with many subtle improvements to Narrator and Magnifier.

However, a number of users have reported that since updating there have been issues with Magnifier. There are essentially two issues: the first is that the computer becomes jerky and slow when Magnifier is turned on, the second is that it jumps around the screen unexpectedly when used in partnership with Narrator.

The good news is that both issues can be quickly fixed, returning Magnifier to a similar state before the upgrade took place.

The reason for the first issue is that Microsoft have improved their bitmap smoothing with the update, meaning that the magnified area looks less blocky, and this feature is turned on by default after the update. However, for older computers with integrated graphics the processing required may be lacking, and as a result the computer becomes slow with jerky movements when Magnifier is turned on, but returns to normal speed when Magnifier is turned off.

The second issue relates to the use of Magnifier and Narrator being turned on at the same time. In this instance, Microsoft have enabled a feature by default that allows the Magnifier to follow the area that Narrator is reading. This can be useful, but if you zoom into a small area it may seem like the screen is jumping all over the place every time Narrator reads something out.

Magnifier settings in Windows 10

Image of Magnifier settings with Bitmap Smoothing and Follow Narrator settings unticked

To address these issues, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to Ease of Access
  3. Select the Magnifier section on the left-hand side
  4. On the right-hand side, untick the ‘Enable Bitmap Smoothing’ option. Unticking this option will make the Magnifier smoother and less jerky
  5. Untick the ‘Follow Narrator Cursor’ option: this will stop Magnifier from following every word read out by Narrator, providing you with greater control of Magnifier

This issue and solution has been personally verified on three computers upgraded ot the Fall Creators update.

Additional information on Windows 10 accessibility features can be found in the Accessibility section of the Microsoft website.

W3C WAI updates Web Accessibility Laws and Policies listing

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has recently updated its Web Accessibility Laws and Policies list. This list provides guidance as to which countries and regions have formal policies and legislative frameworks to support the preparation of online content for people with disabilities. In most cases this includes support for the internationally recognized Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and other associated policies such as accessible procurement.

According to the list, countries and regions that currently have formal laws and policies related to web accessibity include:

  • Australia
  • Canada                     
  • China            
  • Denmark                    
  • European Union                  
  • Finland                     
  • France                      
  • Germany                  
  • Hong Kong               
  • India              
  • Ireland                       
  • Israel                         
  • Italy                
  • Netherlands             
  • Norway                      
  • Republic of Korea               
  • Switzerland              
  • United Kingdom                  
  • United States of America               

The listing also provides links to the relevant policy in each country or region. While this list provides information on countries and regions with formal policies, there are other countries that follow WCAG 2.0 principles such as Thailand and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but in a less formalized manner.

Additional information on W3C web accessibility standards and resources can be found at the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative home page.