macOS Accessibility Settings

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To Open Accessibility Settings

  1. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences
  2. Click the Accessibility Icon
MacOS System Preferences Panel

Make Text, Icons and the Pointer Bigger

Make Text Bigger Using Hover Text

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Zoom
  2. Check Enable Hover Text
enable hover text press command to enable large text view under the cursor

Tips & Notes

Hover text works by enlarging the text under the mouse pointer when a modifier key, command by default, is pressed. Text size and font can be adjusted according to preference using the options button.


Make Everything Bigger

  1. System Preferences > Displays > Display Tab
  2. Choose scaled next to Resolution
  3. Select a scaling using the options provided
Display Scaling Adjustment

Tips & Notes

Display scaling makes everything on the screen look bigger but can make less information available on the screen requiring more scrolling.

Large Mouse Pointer

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Display
  2. Select the Cursor Tab
  3. Adjust the pointer size slider
Pointer Adjustment

Tips & Notes

Optional: check the shake mouse pointer to locate option the find mouse more easily.

Adjust Colors and Contrast

Apply Color Filters

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Display
  2. Select the Color FiltersTab
  3. Enable Color Filters and choose a filter type
Color Filter Adjustment

Tips & Notes

Choose from: 

  • Grayscale
  • Color tint
  • Deuteranopia
  • Protanopia
  • Tritanopia


Enable Dark Mode

  1. System Preferences > General
  2. Select an option next to Appearance
Dark Mode Selector

Tips & Notes

Dark mode replaces the standard light background & dark text system theme with a dark background light text theme which can make text easier to read for some individuals and may reduce eyestrain.  

Use Night Shift

  1. System Preferences > Displays
  2. Select the Night Shift Tab
  3. Schedule sunset to sunrise or create a custom schedule
Night Light Settings

Tips & Notes

Night Light reduces the blue light emitted from the computer screen. Reducing blue light may reduce eye strain when used in dimly lit or dark settings. 

Magnify Apps and Text or Use a Screen Reader

Use Zoom to Magnify the Screen

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Zoom
  2. Choose between Use keyboard shortcut or use the scroll wheel to Zoom
Turn on Zoom

Tips & Notes

Zoom can enlarge the entire screen, or parts of it as needed. Options can be adjusted using the Zoom style selector in the Zoom settings area.

Zoom Apps

One the Web: Command + 

In Microsoft Office: Using the Zoom Slider (lower right corner of the window)

Tips & Notes

Use these shortcuts to quickly increase the size of the text in programs such as any web browser or in productivity applications such as Microsoft Word or Outlook.

Use the Built-In Screen Reader

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > VoiceOver
  2. Select Enable VoiceOver
enable voice over

Tips & Notes

VoiceOver is a screen reader designed to support individuals who are blind or who have limited vision. 

Audio Adjustment and Captioning

Activate Mono Audio

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Audio
  2. Select Play stereo as mono
mono audio setting

Tips & Notes

Mono audio may improve the listening experience for individuals who have significantly better hearing in one ear by combining the left and right audio channels into one channel.

Adjust How Captions are Presented

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Captions
  2. Adjust the appearance of the caption text
  3. Adjust appearance of the caption's background
caption settings

Tips & Notes

The closed captions settings provide several options for displaying captions for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Captions can also be useful for people in noisy environments or who otherwise have difficulty listening. Options include adjusting the color, size, style and presentation of the caption text and its background.

Hands-free Dictation and Voice Control

Turn on Dictation

  1. System Preferences > Keyboard > Display
  2. Select the Dictation Tab
  3. Select Dictation on

Press CTRL twice to use Dictation wherever typing is enabled.

dictation setting

Tips & Notes

The computer must be connected to the internet to use dictation.

Turn on Voice Control

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Voice Control
  2. Enable Voice Control
voice control setting

Tips & Notes

Voice control is designed for people who need assistance operating the computer by voice and requires some training to use effectively.  Use dictation instead for more limited assistance with typing.

Adaptive Keyboard and Mouse Settings

Activate Sticky Keys

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Keyboard
  2. Enable Sticky Keys

sticky Keys settings

Tips & Notes

Sticky keys is designed to enable one handed activation of multi-key combinations such as Command + P (print) or Command + Tab (switch windows). The feature holds down each system key (Command, Option, Shift or Control) until an alpha-numeric key is pressed. 

Turn on Slow Keys

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Keyboard
  2. Enable Slow Keys

slow keys setting

Tips & Notes

Slow Keys can be used to ignore brief or repeated keystrokes and may be useful for people who have difficulty targeting keys or who have tremor in their hands. The feature includes three settings which can be individually adjusted: Slow Keys: tells the keyboard to wait before accepting more keystrokes to avoid inadvertent key presses.

Use the Accessibility Keyboard

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Keyboard
  2. Select Enable accessibility keyboard
accessibility keyboard settings

Tips & Notes

The on-screen keyboard may be an alternative to the hardware keyboard for individuals who have limited or no use of their hands because it can be controlled using external ability switches, adaptive pointing devices such as head pointing or using eye gaze.

Control the Mouse with the Keyboard

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Pointer Control
  2. Enable Mouse Keys
mouse keys setting

Tips & Notes

Allows control of the mouse using the numeric keypad on the hardware keyboard.

Use Facial Gestures or Switches Instead of Mouse Buttons

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Pointer Control
  2. Enable Alternate pointer actions
alternate pointer settings

Tips & Notes

Alternate pointer actions allows a switch or facial expression to be used in place of mouse buttons for pointer actions like left -click and right-click.

Control the Mouse with Head Movements

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Pointer Control
  2. Enable head pointer
head pointer settings

Tips & Notes

Allows control of the mouse using head movements captured by the computer's camera.

Support Focus, Reading and Writing

Configure Do Not Disturb

  1. Control Center > Do Not Disturb
  2. Select a duration


focus assist settings

Tips & Notes

Do Not Disturb silences most notification sounds and pop-up alerts.

Use Spoken Content 

  1. System Preferences > Accessibility > Spoken Content
  2. Select Speak Selection
  3. Select Speak items under the cursor
spoken content settings

Tips & Notes

The spoken content feature offers several options including:

  • Speak announcements such notifications and alerts.
  • Speak Selection which speak selected text when option + esc is pressed (default)
  • Speak items under the pointer which speaks text under the mouse pointer as it moves around the screen.
  • Speak typing feedback which speak characters or words as they are typed.
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