Basics

Accessibility on my phone

Windows Phone 8 provides lots of ways for you to personalize your phone, and it has built-in accessibility features that can make it easier to see, hear, and use your phone.

To change the text size

You can choose from five different text sizes for phone, People, email, messaging, and the lock screen.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Ease of access.

  2. Under Text size, move the slider until the sample text size is the size you want.

To use a high-contrast theme

High contrast makes everything easier to read by changing all of the icons and text to black and white and providing a solid background behind words that would otherwise be on top of pictures.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Ease of access.

  2. Turn on High contrast.

Tips

  • You can also choose one of the theme colors for the phone that provides higher contrast on its own. The highest contrast theme is the dark background with red (not crimson). To change the accent color, go to Settings Settings icon > Theme.
  • To change the color scheme for the calendar, on Start, tap Calendar Calendar icon > More More icon, and then tap Settings. Select the color you want to use for each calendar.
  • It's easier to see what's in the foreground in your Photos Hub with a plain background. On Start, tap Photos Photos icon > More More icon, and then tap Choose background.

To use the screen magnifier

The screen magnifier lets you use gestures to enlarge any page you're viewing.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Ease of access.

  2. Turn on Screen magnifier.

  3. On any page you want to magnify, do either of the following:

    • To zoom in the maximum amount, double-tap with two fingers.
    • To change the magnification, use two fingers to double-tap and hold, then pan up or down to increase or decrease magnification.

    Tip

    It may take a few tries to get the hang of the two-finger double-tap. If it's not working for you right away, try angling your fingers so they aren't too far apart, and so they both touch your phone at the same time.

To turn on Mobile Accessibility

Mobile Accessibility is a set of accessible apps with a screen reader, which helps you use your phone by reading the application content aloud. The applications include phone, text, email, and web browsing. When Mobile Accessibility is turned on, notifications like alarms, calendar events, and low battery warnings will be read aloud. To use Mobile Accessibility, your phone needs to have Windows Phone software version 8.0.10501.127 or later. See How do I update my phone software? for more information about updating your phone.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Ease of access.

  2. Tap Download to get the Mobile Accessibility app from the Store.

    Note

    You can also get Mobile Accessibility from the Windows Phone Store on the web and download it from your computer. See Get apps from Windows Phone Store for more information.

  3. Once the app has downloaded and installed, in Ease of access, turn on Mobile Accessibility.

  4. Tap Restart phone.

    After your phone restarts, a message about the lock screen will be read aloud. Tap the lock screen at any time to hear the time, date, and notifications read aloud. To unlock your phone, flick the screen up. (If you have a password, tap any number key to hear that number read aloud, then double-tap to enter the number as part of your password.)

    If this is the first time you've turned on Mobile Accessibility, you'll be presented with a training session to help you quickly learn how to use it. (You can return to the training at any time by triple-tapping the screen to access the Quick Menu, then selecting Support > Touch Training.) Otherwise, the Mobile Accessibility home screen will load.

    Tips

    • To close Mobile Accessibility, press the Back Back button button on your phone when you’re on the Mobile Accessibility start screen, then flick left or double tap Yes in the confirmation message to exit. To open Mobile Accessibility again, turn your screen off and on again or press the Camera button.
    • Want to turn off Mobile Accessibility, so it doesn’t start when your phone does? In Settings Settings icon, tap Ease of Access, turn off Mobile Accessibility, then tap Restart phone.
    • If you’re using a PIN for your SIM card, you’ll need to turn off SIM security in Phone Settings before you can use Mobile Accessibility. For more info about SIM security, see Use a PIN to lock my SIM card.
    • Read more about Mobile Accessibility, its features, and how to use it on the Mobile Accessibility website.

Here are the basic gestures for Mobile Accessibility. For more info about gestures, see the Mobile Accessibility website.

Do this To

Slide

Explore the contents of the screen. The screen reader will read any element you touch.

Single tap

Select the closest element.

Double tap

Activate the last element that's read aloud. It's like pressing the Enter key on your keyboard.

Flick left to right

Select the next element.

Flick right to left

Select the previous element.

Triple tap

Open the Quick Menu in Mobile Accessibility.

Two-finger tap

Interrupt the screen reader.

Note

Mobile Accessibility may not be available in your country or region.

To turn on more options for Speech

You can make calls, search the web, open apps, or listen to text messages with Speech. In Ease of access, you can turn on more features that help you use your phone hands-free or even eyes-free.

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Ease of access.

  2. Turn on Speech for phone accessibility. This allows the following things:

    • Talking caller ID for phone calls. When you get a call, your phone will announce the name or number of the caller.
    • Speed dialing. To assign a speed dial number, say "Save speed dial" and then follow the instructions. Once you assign some speed dial numbers, you can use the "Call speed dial" command to call them. Say "Call speed dial number" (where number is the assigned speed dial number).
    • Turning call forwarding on or off using Speech. Say "Turn call forwarding on" or "Turn call forwarding off."

    Tip

    You can also find the instructions for using these Speech features on your phone by tapping Help Help icon after Speech opens.

  3. To have your phone announce and read incoming text messages, tap Settings > Speech, then turn on Play audio confirmations. Tap Read aloud incoming text messages, and then choose when you want to hear the announcements—all the time, or only when you're using a Bluetooth and/or a wired headset.

  4. When your phone announces an incoming text, you can say "Read it" or "Ignore." Then you can dictate and send a reply.

Note

Speech may not be available in your country or region.

More tips for making your phone easier to use

Here are some other ideas for making your phone easier to use:

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