Customizing Windows or Windows NT

There are many ways you can customize Microsoft Windows to make your computer more accessible.

  • Accessibility features are built into Windows. These features are useful for individuals who have difficulty typing or using a mouse, have moderately impaired vision, or who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The features can be installed during Setup, or you can add them later from your Windows installation disks. Look up "accessibility" in the Windows Help index for information about installing and using these features.
  • Many of the features that make current versions of Windows more accessible can be added to earlier versions of Windows and to MS-DOS® through Access Packs. You can download these files by modem, or you can order them on disks from Microsoft.
  • You can use Control Panel and other built-in features to adjust the appearance and behavior of Windows to suit varying vision and motor abilities. These include adjusting colors and sizes, sound volume, and the behavior of the mouse and keyboard.
  • Dvorak keyboard layouts make the most frequently typed characters on a keyboard more accessible if you have difficulty using the standard "QWERTY" layout. There are three Dvorak layouts: one if you are a two-handed user, one if you type with your left hand only, and one if you type with your right hand only. You do not have to purchase any special equipment to use these features.

The specific features available, and whether they are built in or must be obtained separately, depend on which operating system you are using.

To Download the Access Packs, Application Notes, and Alternative Keyboard Layouts by Modem

If you have a modem, you can download these files from the following network services:

  • Microsoft's World Wide Web site on the Internet. On the Microsoft home page (, point to All Products at the top of the page. When the menu appears, click on Microsoft Accessibility. Information and downloadable resources are available from this page.

  • Microsoft's Internet server,, in /softlib/mslfiles.

  • MSN, the Microsoft Network online service.

  • CompuServe®. Type GO MSL.

  • Genie®.

  • Microsoft Download Service (MSDL), which you can reach by calling (425) 936-6735 any time except between 1:00 A.M. and 2:30 A.M. Pacific time.

    MSDL supports 1200, 2400, 9600, 14400, or 28800 baud rates (V.32 and V.42), with 8 data bits, no parity, and 1 stop bit.

  • Various user-group bulletin boards (such as the bulletin-board services on the Association of PC User Groups network).

To Order the Access Packs, Application Notes, and Alternative Keyboard Layouts on Disks by Phone

If you do not have a modem, within the United States you can order the Access Packs, Application Notes, and Alternative Layouts on disks by calling Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400 (voice) or (800) 892-5234 (text telephone).

In Canada, you can call (905) 568-3503 or (905) 568-9641 (text telephone).

See Also

Accessibility for People with Disabilities | Microsoft Services for People Who Are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing | Microsoft Documentation in Alternative Formats | Third-Party Utilities to Enhance Accessibility | More Accessibility Information | Microsoft Visual FoxPro Product-Specific Accessibility Information