Friend With Cerebral Palsy Needs Accessibility Software. Can You Help Me Find Some?

Hi All,

I have a friend who has cerebral palsy, and I’m wondering if anyone has any good links to software that would be able to help him use his keyboard more efficiently.

He currently uses a head-stick, so using the keyboard is an excruciatingly laborious affair.

He mentioned to me that he used to use a program for Mac called (I think) ‘1-finger’ where he could type the first letter of a word and it would suggest words for him, possibly based on words he has used frequently before. He has since changed computers to a Windows-based OS and laments that he doesn’t have this old program.

Does anyone know of any Windows-compatible software that would help him be able to type more efficiently? I think his current setup is really frustrating for him, since this is his main mode of communicating.

If anyone can help by referring me to some useful software, your efforts could change his life. He’s got a caregiver that can help him set up the software and I think he could probably afford spend some money to buy it, though free software would be ideal, of course.

Thanks,

NobleBaron

You may want to contact these folks —> http://www.ucp.org/ and see what tools they might recommend.

Also, check out these folks —> http://trace.wisc.edu/

This is not your question, but it may be useful: there are programs that “click” the mouse for you. A free one that I’m aware of is called “ActiveClick.” It clicks when you pause on an object for a certain amount of time. You can also use it to move text around.

No first hand experience with this in particular, but I do some work with accessibility software and can at least point you in a direction - the term for what you’re looking for is “word prediction software.” Aurora

http://www.enablemart.com/productDetail.aspx?pid=307&dept=21&store=10

is one with a bunch of features (also pretty pricy).
A quick search also pulled up WordQ

which is a bit less spendy and offers a free 30 day trial. Good luck!

CMC fnord!

Also wondering- you’d mentioned the computer was his main mode of communicating, so I’m guessing his speech is impaired? If he can speak clearly, voice recognition and speech-to-text are built in to XP and Word, and there is other software that does it better. If not, then those word predictors above will also synthesize speech and output it.

I’m sorry, I should have clarified: my friend lacks both articulate speech and motor coordination in his hands, so voice recognition and anything requiring use of mouse/trackerball would probably not be helpful.

I really appreciate everyone’s feedback and suggestions… I’m grateful for any input.

My friend and I have a (mostly one-sided) email correspondence, so I can really empathize with his communication challenges. I feel like I’m one of the few people with whom he has expressed his frustration-- I can hardly imagine how difficult it must be for him.

:slight_smile:

Thanks!

NobleBaron

If your friend can control the pointer/cursor (you know, the thing on the screen) then Point-N-Click will work, also on that site is Point-N-Click virtual mouse and they both work the same way.

Typing or mouse clicking only requires that you be able to move the mouse pointer, “While testing Click-N-Type on various Windows Operating Systems and seeing the obvious value of the AutoClick feature we decided to follow a good example and carry the concept one step further creating an AutoMouse feature making the computer even more accessible to the disabled. Why should a severely disabled person be limited to only one program that someone else has to open for them? Point-N-Click was born.” “AutoClick has a user adjustable timer to determine how long the mouse pointer must dwell over a key before a “Mouse Click” is simulated for that key.”(or mouse button)

The GUI is completely configurable with the CNTDesigner Keyboard Designer, the keyboard can be any size square or rectangle, fully opaque or translucent, the keycaps can also can be any size. The key layout is configurable, Qwerty, Dvorak, ABC, Scanning, as is the selection of keys, a full 101 key keyboard or just the keys you need to type. You can create multiple keyboard layouts and switch between them.

Take a look at this demo.
Download it and play with it, these two programs will give your friend complete control of the computer.

CMC fnord!

Wow, thank you… I’ve just sent him a list of questions including his mouseability and I’ll see if he’s aware of Point-N-Click.

Much appreciated,

NobleBaron