It is not always clear what operating system is best. In my case, Windows 10 with Office 365 is the best choice. This is because I can use Windows solution as a cross platform along with my iOS devices. Below is a list of the computers and mobile solutions promoting my independence through tech.
- Laptop with 32gb of RAM and 512gb SSD
- Windows 10
- Microsoft Office 365
- Internet Explorer 11
- JAWS 18
- Microsoft One Drive as the cloud storage solution
- Wireless keyboard and headset
- 128gb iPhone 6S Plus and 64gb iPod Touch
- iOS 10.2
- Microsoft Office 365 apps, i.e. Word, Excel, Power Point, and Office Lens
- Microsoft One Drive as the cloud storage solution
Let’s talk about my access needs. I work virtually at home or on the road. Working at two very different locations requires different hardware and software configurations. At home the use of a laptop and wired input devices, lets me work anywhere within range of the wired devices. With Office 365, I always have the current software and security updates installed. Using One Drive with one terabyte of cloud storage, the need for a large hard drive (which is prone to failures) is not required. My data is secured and backed up in the Cloud, and it’s available on any of my devices.
When I’m on the road, whether I’m traveling for pleasure or supporting the disabled community through support groups, I have everything I need in my shoulder bag. I can keep up with emails, text messaging, social media with my iPhone. I can give presentations with my iPod Touch that is connected to a projector and PA system so I do not have to worry about being interrupted by any notification on my iPhone.
But take note! There is always a learning curve when migrating to new software. In updating to Windows 10 and Office 365, there are new concepts that need to be understood and learned, such as Startup menu, Windows short cut key, Screen Reader, Office16 with 365.
Migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10, can be a challenge if you don’t understand the Start Menu and Windows Short Cut Keys! Once you know this information, you will need to learn the JAWS Keys.
Here’s how to configure the Start Menu:
Use the following website as a tutorial to help learn the Start Menu:
The Start Menu of Windows10 is a powerful tool that provides access to your computer and the Web.
The Start Menu consists of the following elements that you need to learn:
- The Search Edit Field
- Start Menu List
Use the following website as a tutorial to help learn the list of Windows 10 Short Cut Keys
Some examples of Windows logo shortcut keys are:
- Windows logo key to Open or close Start Menu
- Windows logo key + I to Open Settings
- Windows logo key + X to Open the Quick Link menu
- Windows logo key + Enter to Open Narrator
There are a host of other keyboard shortcuts. Command prompt keyboard shortcuts are the standard keyboard shortcuts used throughout Windows. Some of these includes Control plus C, V, and X to copy, paste, and cut text respectively.
Common Dialog box keyboard shortcuts include Ctrl plus Tab to move forward through tabs, Tab to move forward through options, and Spacebar to select or clear the check box. Some examples of File Explorer keyboard shortcuts are Alt plus D to jump to the address bar, Ctrl plus E to select the search box, Ctrl plus N to open a new window, and Ctrl plus W to close the active window.
It is also important to review the new features in the most current version of JAWS. There are new keystrokes that makes navigating and reading easier. The following links a great tutorial for these keystrokes.
JAWs employs Layered keystrokes, which are key strokes requiring you to first press Insert plus Spacebar and releasing prior to pressing the modifier key. Layered keystrokes are easy to use and remember, and they do not interfere with native keystrokes within applications. Once you enter a layer, press the QUESTION MARK key to get a list of available keyboard commands within that layer.
Navigation Quick Keys for HTML: Radio Button tap A, Button tap B, Combo Box tap C, Edit Box tap E
Office 365 is an online subscription service. With Office 365, you automatically get the latest versions of Office programs such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Office 365 is even fully accessible online through its web interface. This makes its accessibility features work a little differently than Office desktop programs; shortcuts might not be the same and the page layouts are different. However, all the keyboard shortcuts and other accessibility features that you know from the browser work in Office Online. The below link is a wonderful tutorial to learn how to extract the most from Office 365.
OneDrive is free online storage that comes with your Microsoft account. Save your files there and you’ll be able to get to them from any PC, tablet, or phone. Use the following as a tutorial for One Drive: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17184/windows-10-onedrive
To save a document you’re working on to OneDrive, select a OneDrive folder from the list of save locations. To move files to OneDrive, open File Explorer and then copy them into a OneDrive folder. This automatically synchronizes files with your computer.
OTHER NOTES and COMMENTS
With the Anniversary release of Windows 10, the Windows embedded screen reader, called Narrator, is evolving into an alternative screen reader. While lacking the complete features of JAWS, Narrator steadily improves with each update to Windows. Currently it is feasible to rely on Narrator to conduct anything from simple emailing and web surfing goals to drafting documents in Word and other applications. If you are using One Drive, your documents are available. The below links provide tutoring on the use of Narrator.
In conclusion, just updating to Windows 10 is worth the effort, as an upgrade. However, as a total solution it is exceptional. I have selected a hardware and software platform that meets my needs: simple updates to the operating systems with little or no interaction, automatic version updates of applications software, automatic saving and backup to the Cloud and the right platform for working at home or away. With all that said, the solution was worth the time and money invested.
Other Reference links: