It's no coincidence that employers regularly stump up for us deskbound bunnies to have eye tests. Working in front of a monitor, day-in, day-out, can make your eyes deteriorate – or at least accelerate the process. And some of us didn't have the best eyesight to begin with

This article appears in the March 07 issue of PC Advisor, onsale now in all good newsagents.

But the good news is that Windows has plenty of workarounds. Without a PC, the everyday communication that we take for granted simply wouldn't be possible.

With alternative input devices – such as oversized keyboards, paddles and sticks – all users can process word documents and emails. And Windows' display options make reading text far easier.

Visual alerts can be substituted for audible ones, while speech-recognition can replace a keyboard for those who find typing difficult.

Email can be dictated, while IM (instant messaging) can be used to conduct real-time conversations. However, you needn't be disabled to benefit from Windows' accessibility and customisation options.

We each have our own desktop preferences, whether it's the amount of detail we wish to be displayed at once, or how we input and receive information. If you share your computer with someone else, it's likely their preferred setup will differ from yours. Set up separate user accounts and each will have a Windows layout that's just right.

Vista promises enhanced tools that will make this easier and its Ease of Access Center can be invoked from the moment the PC fires up. That said, most of us won't get our hands on Vista any time soon.

In the meantime, XP has had a fair stab at these tools. If you've yet to discover them, there's a rundown of how to make XP work your way in this month's PC Advisor.