Customize Keyboard for Physically Disabled Windows 8 Users


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What Is Keyboard Customization?

Keyboard customization is a process in which default keyboard settings are modified according to users’ personal preferences. In most cases, default keyboard settings are quite adequate for normal people. However the settings are modified so that physically challenged people can use the computer with ease.

Settings to be Customized

To customize a keyboard for physically challenged people, all or some of the following settings must be modified:

Mouse Keys

Windows 8 users can configure the keyboard so that the arrow keys in the Num Pad can be pressed to move the mouse pointer on the screen. While enabling Mouse Keys feature, users can specify the top speed and the acceleration of mouse movement when the arrow keys are pressed. If users want, they can also configure Num Pad of the keyboard to be used as Mouse Keys when Num Lock is off.

Sticky Keys

Sticky Keys is a feature in Windows 8 which, when enabled, eliminates the requirement of pressing multiple keys simultaneously to perform certain tasks. For example, when Sticky Keys feature is enabled, users can press Ctrl and S keys one at a time to save a document.

Toggle Keys

Toggle Keys is a setting in Windows 8 which, when enabled, produces a sound every time Num Lock, Caps Lock or Scroll Lock is enabled or disabled. This helps physically challenged people know when a toggle key feature is turned on or off.

Filter Keys

Users can enable Filter Keys to prevent Windows from typing one character multiple times, in case its corresponding key is kept pressed for longer duration. With the help of Filter Keys, users with slow movements can easily type the contents without having to be quick with key-presses while working on the keyboard.

In order to configure keyboard in Windows 8, no administrator account is required and even standard (non-administrator) users can customize the default settings to best fit their needs.

How to Customize Keyboard Settings?

To customize keyboard settings for physically disabled Windows 8 users, steps below must be followed:

  1. Log on to Windows 8 computer with any user account on which keyboard settings are to be customized.
  2. Click Desktop tile from the Start screen.
  3. Right-click anywhere on the desktop screen.
  4. From the displayed context menu, click Personalize.
  5. On Personalization window, click Ease of Access Center from the bottom of the left pane.

    Click Ease of Access Center

  6. On Ease of Access Center window, click Make the keyboard easier to use under Explore all settings section.

    Click Make the Keyboard Easier to Use

  7. On Make the keyboard easier to use window, check Turn on Mouse Keys checkbox under Control the mouse with the keyboard section to enable Mouse Keys.
  8. Under Make it easier to type section, check Turn on Sticky Keys checkbox to enable Sticky Keys.
  9. Under the same section, check Turn on Toggle Keys, checkbox to enable Toggle Keys.
  10. Check Turn on Filter Keys checkbox under the same Make it easier to type section to enable Filter Keys.

    Check All the Checkboxes

  11. Once done, click OK to save the modified settings.

Note: Optionally Set up Mouse Keys, Set up Sticky Key, and Set up Filter Keys options can also be clicked to configure the settings more granularly for Mouse Keys, Sticky Keys and Filter Keys respectively.

Vivek Nayyar

Vivek Nayyar

Works as Systems Admin in Siskin Technologies, India. Corporate trainer on Microsoft and Cisco platforms. Specialized in Virtualization Technology. LAN Consultant for some local organizations. Technical Writer and Author.
Vivek Nayyar

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