Tag Archives: mouse

Computing for All

Computers are everywhere. It can be a little shocking to realize how many are incorporated into our lives. Cars, thermostats, refrigerators, ovens and stoves, hot tub controls, toys, cellphones, etc. are all controlled through a silicon chip. The best part?  The alternatively abled have been included in this explosion of technology.

Can’t type? Talk to your computer. Voice control has been included in every version of Windows® since XP. The updated version included with Windows®7 is so slick, I’ve started using it. There are also several very good third party voice control software companies around the globe.

There are left-handed and right-handed half keyboards with keys arranged for people with the use of one arm or hand. There are keyboards with one inch keys for people who have difficulty seeing clearly or for small children.

There are on-screen keyboards that you use with a mouse or touch screen. When activated, the one incorporated into Windows® 7 becomes available during system startup so a user can put in a username and password.

Need help using the mouse? There are mice that can be controlled by a thumb, a head movement, a toe or a knee press, moving your eyes, breathing into a straw or worn on a finger. My favorite is an oversized trackball mouse that uses different colors to identify the buttons. It dissolves the barrier for people with arthritis, or other arm/hand motion issues. It’s terrific for small children and seniors.

Remember, you can always slow down or speed up how your mouse reacts to both movement and button clicks.

Eyesight an issue? There are screen magnifiers for people whose eyesight is impaired. There are screen readers for people who are blind. Website programming includes descriptions of their pictures and graphics so screen readers can tell the user what the graphic is.

Fingers too big to comfortably use the miniature keyboards on smartphones? Bring some bling to your smartphone use with a jeweled-tone capacitive stylus. Even people who hinder themselves with inch to four-inch long fingernails can use touch screens with these clever little items. The best part: no more fingerprints on the screen!!

No electricity? Computers have been designed to work off hand or pedal powered generators.

I’m eagerly waiting for one that will clean my house, cook my dinner and run my errands.

As always, Your comments and ongoing discussions are always welcome.

Carol Smith,
Training Manager

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