Here you will find links to local Assistive Technology and Computer Learning Resources, as well as links to reviews of many new, innovative hands-free software applications and products for Windows and Macintosh users that make using a computer much easier for people with limited motor skills or hearing and sight disabilities.
Medication Reminder Watches and Devices
12 Alarm CADEX Medication Watch
Never Forget to take your Medications Again! The Cadex Medication Reminder Watch is easy to program, easy to use, and easy to read with large text display.
Program up to 12 medication reminders (sound alarm + optional text alarm, no vibration) including reminder text message (name and strength of medication or other prompts). Message scrolls across the display. Settings are done on the watch (excellent easy to understand manual).
TabTimer – Helping to Keep People on Time
Tab Timer supplies medication reminder devices: Pill Reminder, Pill Dispenser, Pill Timer, Vibrating Watches, and Vibrating Clocks (Bed Shakers) to help keep medications on time at tab time. TabTimer products can be used as reminders for taking regular medications or vitamins at tab time, as well as a reminder for any regular task. Tab Timer reminders are particularly useful for people on strict medication schedules for use as a pill timer or pill reminder. Form more information please visit www.tabtimer.com.
The San Diego Assistive Technology Center (SDATC) offers many opportunities for increasing your knowledge about assistive technology solutions through the hands-on exploration of a wide array of adapted computer hardware, software, environmental control access, and AAC devices.
This site provides links to articles and assistive technology resources for people with disabilities.
Assistive Technologies strives to remove the “dis” from disability and encourage each person’s ability through the implementation of modern technologies.
Microsoft Computer Accessibility Resources
Computer Learning Resources in San Diego, CA
Assistive Technology Products
Keyboards and On-Screen Keyboards
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a computer keyboard that you could customize to your liking? You could make the keys any size or color. They could have pictures on them. They could do anything you choose, like type a certain character, even a whole word or series of commands. Virtual keyboards can have several pages with each having a unique layout and function.
A free Windows and DOS application that displays a virtual on-screen keyboard for people who cannot type using a physical keyboard.
Use your keyboard as a pointing device to perform computer operations without taking your hands off the keyboard.
Built-in optical overlay-detection, allows the keyboard to detect which overlay is placed on top of the keyboard. Overlays can be changed without commands to the computer thus allowing users to handle a large range of overlays independently.
A virtual on-screen keyboard that allows you to type using a mouse, trackball, head pointer, or other mouse emulator to type characters into Macintosh applications.
Offer keys that are 4 times larger than a typical keyboard and works with both Windows and Macintosh computer.
Windows or Macintosh keyboard with built-in mouse that allows people with disabilities easy access to the Internet, email, and computer programs with a hand-held wand or mouth-stick.
An on-screen keyboard that offers point-and-click typing using pointing devices such as a head pointer, mouse, trackball.
Computer Mouse and Trackballs
MagicCursor is for people who can’t, or don’t want to click the mouse button. MagicCursor performs all the mouse button functions automatically through software. All you need to be able to do is point and MagicCursor automatically takes care of the rest. It is an ideal companion for the Tracker head operated mouse products. Instead of clicking the mouse button, simply dwell over the item you want to select. After a preset amount of time, MagicCursor will automatically perform the click for you. MagicCursor is for people using a head pointer like Tracker who have difficulty using a standard mouse to supply mouse clicking functions, including individuals with Quadriplegia, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, ALS, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and any other disability where the user has little or no control of their hands to use a standard mouse. Compatible with Windows Vista, XP, and 2000.
Kensington Orbit Optical Trackball (For those with large hands.)
Logitech Marble Mouse (For those with small hands.)
Where trembling is the main problem, finding the right mouse offers the best chance of improving mouse control. Trackball mice are inexpensive and readily available at most major computer stores and through online distributors. It is recommended that you go into a computer store and try out different trackball mice to be sure you find one that meets your needs.
If you are experiencing slowness of movement and muscle stiffness, you may want to consider looking into ergonomic and split keyboards which can help reduce arm, hand, back, and shoulder stress. Adjusting the mouse, keyboard, and screen resolution settings may also prove very helpful, as well as considering investing in a larger monitor if you are experiencing problems with impaired vision.
If you are having problems with muscle stiffness and trembling, I recommend that you look into different types of arm supports and rests. Other ergonomic solutions include electric tables and chairs that can be raised and lowered to facilitate variable working positions and which may also help reduce clicking errors.
SteadyMouse is free software designed to assist people with hand tremors commonly associated with Parkinson’s and other neurological disorders.
A free utility for people who can move a mouse but have difficulty clicking the mouse buttons.
Data entry interface driven by a mouse, stylus, or eye-tracker.
A hands-free mouse for people with carpal tunnel, RSI, and other disabilities allowing you to control your computer by simple head movements.
Filtering unintentional movements caused by hand tremor, this device allows for much smoother movement of the cursor for improved accuracy of mouse operation.
Mouse for quadriplegics with all of the functions of a standard 5-button mouse or wheel mouse.
The new HeadMouse Extreme connects to the computer or augmentative communication device through a USB port and operates using standard mouse drivers. Both the HeadMouse Extreme and the HeadMouse for Portables provide easy access to the Vanguard II, Vantage, Pathfinder, and SpringBoard for people with limited or no use of their hands. HeadMouse is a wireless optical tracking system that includes an Optical Sensor and an interface unit. The sensor uses infrared light to track a small reflective dot that is placed on the user’s forehead or glasses. When the HeadMouse user moves their head, the mouse pointer on the screen will move proportionally.
A hands-free cursor control system for people with ALS, spinal cord injuries, and other disabilities.
Wireless head-pointing device for Macintosh and Windows includes a “sip-and-puff” switch.
A hands-free mouse alternative that connects to your computer through a USB port allowing precise cursor control through simple head movements.
Computer device takes the place of a mouse for people with little or no hand movement.
Speech Recognition Software
Dragon NaturallySpeaking, the world’s best-selling speech recognition software, gives you everything you need to be more efficient with your PC.
For Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, and Vista, this popular screen-reader can pronounce American English, Brazilian Portuguese, British English, Castilian Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Finnish, French, German, and Italian.
A widely-used screen-reader for Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, and Vista that supports speech synthesizers and over Braille displays.
Includes a variety of accessibility features that allows those with vision, hearing and motor skills disabilities to more easily use their Macintosh computer.
Blind and Visually Imapired
A web-based screen reader that enables blind people to access the web from any computer with a sound card.
This 12-cell refreshable Braille display can be used to write and read SMS text messages and operate your mobile phone or PDA.
Designed to enhance career opportunities for the visually-impaired by providing fast and flexible access to the wealth of software used by business and professionals.
Helps people with limited vision access Web content more easily.
A 24-cell refreshable Braille display that serves as a Braille terminal for PC screen readers.
Offers English, French, and Spanish versions of its Internet browser for Windows 95, 98, NT, and 2000 that displays on a Braille bar or can be spoken by a speech synthesizer.
Offers magnification, speech and Braille support to give people with visual impairments the ability to access Windows.
A text-to-speech file for making books on CD on Macintosh computers by translating text files into audio files that can then be converted to mp3′s.
A free, text-based UNIX system which works with Emacs that can speak the information on visual screen displays.
Enables you to control your computer, dictate e-mails and letters, and have your computer read documents back to you.
With speech to iPod-ready iTunes tracks and quick voice access, Proloquo offers a multi-lingual speech and communication system for Mac OS X users who cannot speak.
Provides access to all console programs for Lynx, Pine, and Gnu/Linux operating systems.
For Windows 95, 98, Me, NT4, 2000, XP, and Vista, Hal includes the Dolphin Orpheus Speech System and Microsoft’s MSAPI Speech Synthesizer that can pronounce words in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish, as well as Grade 1 and 2 Braille.
A text-to-speech communication aid for people with speech impairments offering a dual display option, choice of keyboard layouts, and languages.
A system for scanning books and other printed materials into a computer and then speaks it aloud through a voice synthesizer.
This device turns a computer or scanner into a reading machine for people with visual impairments. Documents placed on the scanner can be translated into speech or Braille.
Allows books and text embedded in graphics to be spoken back through a voice synthesizer, including the ability to create MP3 and WAV file as well .brf and .brl Grade 2 Braille formats.
Scans and translates text from books and other printed matter into speech.
This document reader includes a DEC talk Voice, an OCR reader, a flat bed scanner, a computer, and a screen reader.
Offers people with visual impairments the advantage of speech output.
ChatterVox includes a rechargeable amplifier, speaker and headset, and can boost your voice volume by as much as 18 decibels. Click on ChatterVox for more information.
Web Browsers and Magnification
A specialized Web browser, suitable for touch-screen systems, with fully integrated Web awareness, assessment, and training modules.
Offers 2x to 10x screen magnifier amplification for Windows 3.x, 95, 98, NT, Windows 2000, and Vista that can be positioned anywhere on your computer screen.
Level 1 provides 2x to 16x magnification, Level 2 provides synchronized magnification and screen reading. Works with Windows Vista, XP, ME, 2000, NT4, 98, 95, and DOS.
Offers people with visual impairments the advantage of speech output.
This compact machine includes an internal hard disk, flat bed scanner, a text recognition program, and a speech synthesizer.
Scan reading materials and have them read back to you as continuous read, line-by-line, word-by-word, or letter-by-letter. Includes 29 voices in 19 language dialects and 12 major languages.
Eye & Head Tracking
Enables people to use their eyes to operate a computer or telephone.
Combines an eye tracker and a viewer that measure the position of the eye. Users look at a specific word, letter or character in front of their eyes and “type” by holding their gaze until a selection is confirmed by light and sound.