Keyboard/mouse/input

Additional Keyboard Options for Your iPad

 

While the iPad has a nice large keyboard, it does not allow touch typing. While you can use Bluetooth keyboards and Apple's iPad Keyboard Dock, there are new alternatives. 

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A Good Place To Begin…When the Mouse is Difficult or Impossible to Use

The mouse, which comes standard with many desktop and laptop computers, can be difficult or impossible for some people to use.  Gripping, pressing, dragging, and other required physical movements can make a standard mouse impractical. This article offers a range of mouse options to consider, from changing mouse settings, to performing mouse functions without fingers, hands, and arms. 

Understanding the purpose of the standard mouse

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Assistive Technology for People with Limited or No Use of Their Hands

This article provides an overview of alternative strategies that people with physical disabilities can use to augment or replace use of their hands.

Optimizing Hand Use

Many people, even those with severe difficulty using their hands, prefer to maximize their manual capabilities rather than use alternative strategies. Fortunately, there is a wide range of assistive technologies that can help with this:

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Touchscreen Use and Accessibility Issues

Touchscreens are becoming ubiquitous in mobile devices: tablets, smartphones, e-readers, etc. However, individuals who have either visual or dexterity disabilities (or both) may have difficulties using standard touchscreen technology. This article covers the types of problems that people may experience, as well as innovations that attempt to address these barriers.

Vision

Traditional touchscreen use, like mouse use, requires good hand/eye coordination. If users cannot see the target, they cannot activate it. This affects opening applications, using the virtual keyboard, and most other touch screen functions. Recent touchscreens have built-in solutions for this problem:

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Accommodating Individuals with Multiple Disabilities

Assistive technologies, like their mainstream counterparts, are often designed with assumptions about user capabilities. For example, screen readers for blind users require extensive keyboard use, which may cause problems if the user also has difficulty using their hands. Creative strategies may help people with more than one disability to accomplish their goals using technology.

Consulting with the User

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Microphones for Speech Recognition

Speech recognition systems perform best when used with an appropriate microphone. This article talks about different microphone options and how to get the best results from each.

Headset microphones work well because they keep the microphone close to the user's voice. Place the headset's microphone consistently, near the corner of the user's mouth. Avoid placing it where it will get bumped or pick up the sound of breath.

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Free Computer AT Already in Macintosh Computers

The Macintosh OS X operating system built-in accessibility features to make the monitor, keyboard, or mouse easier to use for many people. This article provides information on these features, including how to turn them on and use them. Some of these features are also available in earlier Macintosh systems; please contact us if you would like more information. Another good resource on Macintosh accessibility is the AT Mac blog.

Mouse Assistance/Alternatives

MouseKeys

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Free Computer AT Already in Windows Computers

The Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8 operating systems all include a wide range of built-in accessibility features. These can be activated to make the monitor, keyboard, or mouse easier to use for many people. This article provides information on these features, including how to turn them on and use them in all three versions of Windows. Most of these features are also available in earlier Windows systems.

Mouse Assistance/Alternatives

MouseKeys

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Assistive Technology and Elders

When considering assistive computer technology for elders, three issues need to be addressed: how will they need to be accommodated, what technology exists to provide accommodations, and how can these technologies be presented so elders will use them.

How Do Elders Need To Be Accommodated?

For elders, disability exists on a continuum of severity. Some disabilities are a natural part of aging and are generally mild.  Other disabilities rise in incidence with age, and may be mild to severe. Finally, more people with mild to severe long-term disabilities are living well beyond retirement age.

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Refreshable Braille Devices

Individuals who can read braille may prefer it to audio as a means of accessing information from a computer. This is particularly true for programmers and others who need to closely proofread their work. Refreshable (electronic) braille displays allow blind individuals to access on-screen text.

Refreshable braille devices have multiple braille 'cells', spaces on a surface that correspond to the 2-column-3-row layout of braille dots. Each cell has 6 pins that can be raised or lowered electronically, creating the dot pattern for the character. For example, the letter 'a' is created by raising only the top left pin.

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