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:
- Keyboard adaptations or accessibility options in Windows of IOS systems. Keyguards, Braille keys, key size and contrast overlays help for vision.
- Alternate keyboards like Big Keys, BAT One handed keyboard, and mini keyboards.
- Software operated with mouse clicks and alternative devices. Onscreen keyboards like SofType, EZKeys, and Windows onscreen are some good examples.
- Mouse alternatives like separate mouse pad, mini-joysticks, trackballs, large roller mouse, touch screen, touch computers, dwell software like Magic Cursor or Dragger.
- Speech input like Dragon or Windows speech recognition work well for those with the ability to speak.
- Vision changes to the screen like screen magnifiers through accessibility or commercially like Zoomtext and Jaws.
- Head operated mouse like Tracker Pro, HeadMouse, LaZee Mouse, and SmartNav are all examples of this method.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!