For Seniors: Replace Windows Sounds with Visual Cues
Instead of alerting you to events using sounds, the hearing challenged can have Windows 7 provide visual cues. For the hearing impaired, Windows can provide a strong visual cue rather than a ringing or other sound that blends into the background.
For example, Windows might need to warn you that your laptop battery is low. You can have Windows flash a portion of the screen where you can't miss it.
Choose Start→Control Panel→Ease of Access and then click the Replace Sounds with Visual Cues link.
The Use Text or Visual Alternatives for Sounds window appears.
Choose the visual cues you want.
Select the Turn on Visual Notifications for Sound (Sound Sentry) option to have Windows give you a visual alert when a sound plays. Then select the type of visual warning you want, such as flashing the title bar for the active window.
To turn on text captions in place of sound warnings, select Turn on Text Captions for Spoken Dialog (When Available). Just keep in mind that this option isn’t available with some applications.
To save the new settings, click OK.
You're returned to the Control Panel; click the Close button to close the window.
This may seem obvious, but if you’re hard of hearing, you may want to simply increase the volume of the sound coming out of your speakers. You can modify your system volume by choosing Hardware and Sound in the Control Panel and then clicking the Adjust System Volume link. Most laptop keyboards also offer special volume keys you can click to quickly adjust system sounds.