We want to ensure that everyone has access to all the information on our website. Making simple changes to your computer or browser can help, so we've included quick and easy 'How to' guides from the BBC website for you to follow.
Make your keyboard easier to use
There are a number of ways you can adapt your computer to make it easier to use the keyboard. These guides explain how to customise your operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux), so that you can use the keyboard with one hand, for instance, or minimise accidental keystrokes. You can also set up the on-screen keyboard and learn shortcuts and other tricks to reduce the amount of typing you need to do.
There are a number of ways to do this: visit the how-to guides on the BBC.
Magnify your screen
If increasing the text size on your operating system or web browser does not make text easy to read, then the next step is to magnify the screen. These guides explain how to use the magnification software that is built in to your operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux). There are also third-party software applications available.
Instructions How to Turn on Magnification on Windows, Linux and Mac computers via BBC
Change your fonts
Some people find certain text styles or fonts difficult to read on their computer and on websites. For example, a serif style such as Georgia that appears on this site or a 'cluttered' script such as Helvetica narrow. Most people find a sans-serif style such as Arial or Verdana more comfortable. Others find a monospaced font such as Courier easier to read - these may include people with dyslexia.
These guides explain how to change the font in your operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux). You can also change the default font in specific programmes such as web browsers, which will make it easier to use this website and the many websites we link to.
Change fonts on your computer
Change fonts in your browser
Change text and background colours
Some people find certain text and background colour combinations difficult to read, while others prefer to always have a specific colour, such as white text on a black background. These guides explain how you can change the text and background colours in your operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux) and browser to better suit your needs.
Change the colours on your computer and browser
Make your computer talk aloud
You can make your computer talk in a number of ways, which can be a valuable facility for people who have difficulties with reading, for someone who can't see very well or at all, and for those who need to give their eyes a rest. These guides explain how to use the built-in speech function in your operating system (Windows, Mac or Linux). There are also third-party screen-readers and text-to-speech software applications available.
Turn on the speech function on your computer
Examples of full screenreaders include Jaws and Window-Eyes. There are also freeware screenreaders such as NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access), Thunder and NaturalReader. Some commercial packages, such as SuperNova, LunarPlus and ZoomText, offer magnification and speech. Full screenreader packages can be quite expensive but offer a lot of features, such as reliable speech output, which is essential for effective access for a blind user.The only built-in screenreader that is included as part of a computer operating system at present is VoiceOver, which is included with Mac OS 10.4 or later.
An overview of screenreaders
New College Durham offers specialist services to students who are disabled within the learning environment (including those with dyslexia). For more details click here.