Welcome to the "Apple desktop: Accessibility" course. You'll learn about some of the accessibility features of your computer, including how to make text and images bigger, how to make your mouse easier to use, and how to use voice commands to get things done.
Accessibility features are designed to make your Apple computer easier and more comfortable to use. This is especially useful if you experience low vision, are hard of hearing, or find it difficult to use the mouse and keyboard.
Many of your computer's accessibility settings are controlled from System Settings. To open it, look for the Apple icon at the top left of the screen, and click on it to open the Apple menu. Now click on System Settings, and the System Settings panel will appear.
Scroll down the list of options on the left side of the panel until you see Displays. Click this, and some Display options will appear on the right side of the panel.
Under the picture of your computer, you'll see a row of square icons which represent larger to smaller screen text. The one on the left is the largest you can make the text on your computer screen. The icon on the far right will give you the smallest text. You can click these to trial each one and see what works best for you. For this demonstration though, we'll leave this set to Default, which is the second option from the right.
Your Apple computer has many other helpful features to make it easier to use, and you can find many of them in the Accessibility menu. From the list of options on the left of the System Settings panel, click on Accessibility. The Accessibility menu will appear on the right side of the panel with lots of options. It's worth exploring these later to see which ones can help the most. For now, let's look at how to make the mouse easier to use.
The mouse pointer is the small arrow you see on your screen when you move your mouse. If you have trouble seeing it, it's a good idea to make it bigger and have it move more slowly. Let's look at this now.
From the Accessibility menu in System Settings, look for the Vision category near the top and click Display. Scroll down until you see the Pointer options. The first option can help you locate the mouse pointer if you lose it. When this switch is blue that means this setting is on, and you can move your mouse quickly back and forth to make the pointer bigger, making it easier to locate it.
The next option lets you increase the size of the pointer. Use your mouse to click and drag the button on the slider to the right to make the pointer larger, and back to the left to make it smaller. When you're happy with the size of the pointer, take your finger off the mouse to set it.
You can also change how fast the mouse pointer moves on the screen so it's easier to see. On the left side of the System Settings panel, scroll down until you see Mouse, and click on it to see some Mouse options on the right side of the panel. The first option, Tracking speed, lets you change how fast the pointer moves on the screen. If you want the pointer to move more slowly, use your mouse to drag the button on the slider to the left. To test the new pointer speed, release the button on the slider and move your mouse in different directions to move the pointer around on the screen. If you want it to move more quickly, drag the button on the slider to the right. Keep adjusting the slider until you're happy with the result.
We're now going to look at your computer's automated voice assistant feature, which is called Siri. From the main menu on the left side of the System Settings panel, look for Siri & Spotlight, and you click on it to see the Siri & Spotlight options.
Siri listens to you speak and can respond to instructions. It can help you with lots of things, such as informing you of your local weather, reminding you of an appointment, or giving you the answer to a question. To enable this feature, look for the first option at the top of the Siri & Spotlight panel. If the switch adjacent to Ask Siri is grey, that means this feature is off, so click it to turn it on.
A pop-up box will appear to inform you that Siri shares some of your information with Apple. If you're worried about doing this, you can click Siri Privacy to learn more about this or just click Cancel. You can keep using your computer without Siri, and follow along with the rest of this course to see how it works. But if you're comfortable to continue, click Enable. Another pop-up box might appear asking If you want to allow Apple to store your voice recordings. You don't have to do this to use Siri, so click Not Now. The switch next to Ask Siri is now blue, which means that this feature is enabled.
If you want Siri to listen and respond to you when you say "Hey Siri", you'll need to click the switch next to Listen for "Hey Siri". If this is the first time you've used this feature, Apple might ask you to Set Up "Hey Siri". This is because your computer still needs to identify your unique voice. Click Continue and follow the instructions. Say, "Hey Siri". "Hey Siri, send a message." And "Hey Siri, how's the weather today?" And anything else it asks you to say. When it's finished, click Done.
If you can't see the option, Listen for "Hey Siri" this means that your computer isn't compatible with this feature and can't listen out for "Hey Siri" to launch the voice assistant. Don't worry though. There's another way you can launch Siri. Just look closely at the top right of your screen and you might notice that a small Siri icon that's appeared. Let's practise using Siri now.
If you can see an icon in the top right of your screen, you can simply click this to launch Siri. If, however, you don't have this icon in the top menu and your computer does support Hey Siri, all you have to do is say "Hey Siri". A blue orb will appear in the top right of the screen. This means that Siri is listening and you can start speaking to ask a question or provide an instruction.
"Search the web for pictures of cheesecakes." When you finish speaking, Siri will respond to you. For this demonstration, photos of cheesecakes have appeared under the Siri icon in the top right of the screen. Click See more images in Safari to open the Safari browser and explore the search results for pictures of cheesecakes. Click on the red dot in the top left to close Safari and return to the desktop.
You can use Siri to open an application, dictate an email, and much more.
You should now know how to change the size of text on your screen, alter the size and speed of your mouse pointer and use Ask Siri. There are lots more accessibility options to help make your computer just right for you too.
If you're unsure about any steps, you can rewind the video, or click the chapter headings to jump to the start of a chapter. If you're ready to move on, there are many other courses to explore on Be Connected.