I.T. Lab Operations
The computer workstations at Emerson College all run either Macintosh OS X or Windows 7. Both operating systems are equipped with a number of accessibility options to facilitate usability for special needs users.
Mac OS X Accessibility
On campus Mac workstations, Universal Access preferences can be opened from the menu bar at the top of the screen. Here, users can activate and set preferences for seeing, hearing, keyboard, and mouse assistance options.
Mac OS X features a VoiceOver Utility, which can be accessed through the Universal Access preference pane. This utility is a full-featured screen-reader with USB refreshable braille display support. VoiceOver's Portable Preferences allows users to easily bring their VoiceOver preferences to any Mac workstation session by simply plugging in a USB flash drive. For a tutorial on using VoiceOver, press ctrl + opt + command + F8 while VoiceOver is activated (using either the Universal Access preference pane, or by pressing command + F5).
For more information on VoiceOver and other Mac OS X Accessibility preferences, please visit Apple's Accessibility page. For additional information regarding accessibility and Mac computing in general, please visit its Accessibility Resources page.
Windows 7 Accessibility
Windows 7 also comes with a number of accessibility options built in. Choose Start menu > Control Panel, then click Ease of Access to bring up the Ease of Access Center. This panel allows users to set options to accommodate difficulties with seeing or hearing, or with using the keyboard or mouse.
Descriptions of the options available, as well as links to step-by-step instructions for setting these options, can be found on the Windows Accessibility page.
Accessibility in the Library
The Iwasaki Library has an adaptive technology reference kiosk to assist users while they are in the library. This workstation is outfitted with screen magnification software, screen reader software, and software that reads scanned or electronic text aloud. The library also provides a text magnifier at this workstation. Staff assistance is provided at this workstation for users who request it.
For more information about this workstation, please see the library's Adaptive Technology Workstation Policy page.