By: Teresa Westerbur, OTR/L

Therapists are often active participants in assistive technology evaluations to determine the appropriate computer access for individuals with disabilities.  There are many adaptations available but I have listed my top 10 below:

  1. Keyboard adaptations or accessibility options in Windows of IOS systems. Keyguards, Braille keys, key size and contrast overlays help for vision.
  2. Alternate keyboards like Big Keys, BAT One handed keyboard, and mini keyboards.
  3. Software operated with mouse clicks and alternative devices. Onscreen keyboards like SofType, EZKeys, and Windows onscreen are some good examples.
  4. Mouse alternatives like separate mouse pad, mini-joysticks, trackballs, large roller mouse, touch screen, touch computers, dwell software like Magic Cursor or Dragger.
  5. Speech input like Dragon or Windows speech recognition work well for those with the ability to speak.
  6. Vision changes to the screen like screen magnifiers through accessibility or commercially like Zoomtext and Jaws.
  7. Head operated mouse like Tracker Pro, HeadMouse, LaZee Mouse, and SmartNav are all examples of this method.
  8. Switch access through use of Morse Code, single or dual switches using sip and puff, grasp switch, proximity switches, string switch, and  chin switch to name a few.
  9. Eye tracking devices that allow user to dwell or click on chosen areas of computer screen to type or speak using synthesized speech like MyTobiiDynavox, PRC, Forbes, and Words+ devices to name a few.
  10. Integrated powered mobility controls that allow individual to control their wheelchair and operate their computer, environmental controls and/or speech generated device through joystick, sip and puff or adapted switches.

To learn more about Teresa and her course on adaptive strategies using assistive technology click here!