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Computers & Computer Aids

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Introduction

In these modern times Computers are an essential piece of equipment for most people, but they are even more important Assistive Devices for persons with disabilities, including persons with Mobility Impairments. With the advent of the Internet and theApple computer multitude of businesses supported online, one's imagination is the only limit. You can do just about anything from your home computer, including operating a business, doing research, socializing, listening to music, watching TV & movies, playing games, reading books, purchasing products, doing banking and taking part in discussions. Therapeutic treatments and support groups are even available on-line through your computer. Many persons with Mobility Impairments turn to computers to assist them in the tasks mentioned above and there are a number of Assistive Devices & adaptions available to purchase which make almost any computer accessible for anyone to use.

Once you've had a computer, you will wonder how you ever managed without it, you don't need to spend a fortune to buy one, you can start off with a cheaper one & slowly upgrade as you feel the need arises.

The availability of this computer equipment and Assistive Devices is increasing thanks to various Organizations and Companies such as Edit Microsystems who have made concerted efforts to make sure that this equipment is easily available for persons with disabilities in South Africa. To find out more about these Computers, Electronic Aids and Assistive Devices and the companies that provide them, please read the article below and click on the links provided.

Edit Microsystems: is a leading supplier of educational and corporate technology solutions in Southern Africa. Edit Microsystems aims to find alternative, cutting-edge ways to improve teaching and learning in the education sector and toEdit Microsystems improve business communication in the corporate sector. Edit Microsystems provides services to educators; education departments; corporate social investors; parents; other government departments and corporate managers. Through on-going support and professional development, Edit Microsystems can help find the right solution for your particular environment.

Edit Microsystems have various branches around South Africa including in Cape Town. You can contact them on: Tel: (021) 433 2520 or email them at: info@editmicro.co.za. You can also visit them at their offices in Cape Town at: Unit 601,The Point Shopping Centre (Galleria), 76 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town, 8005 or visit their web site to find out more: www.editmicro.co.za

Choosing The Right Type Of Computer

Before purchasing a computer, you will need to decide whether a desktop or laptop would be best suited for your needs. Both have advantages and disadvantages, depending on what they will be used for, so you would firstly need to look at the reason for purchasing a computer and then the advantages and benefits of both desktops and laptops, which would then determine which one would suit your needs.

Take a look at the advantages and benefits of both desktops and laptops below, to help you decide which to purchase.

Desktops

Desktop computers offer a variety of benefits, they not as portable as a laptops, but can be a more affordable and powerful option, with more features than Laptop computers, therefor ideal for a classroom, office or organisation. There are also a variety of other advantages that Desktops have over Laptop, which include:

  • Desktop computers are easier, and less expensive, to upgrade.
  • Desktop computers are generally less expensive overall and offer a better overall value.
  • Desktop computers have a more comfortable keyboard and a much easier to use mouse. It should be noted that an aftermarket large, comfortable Keyboard and Mouse or Trackball, are also possible.
  • Desktop computers generally have larger monitors, but bigger monitors can also be connected to Laptops.
  • Desktop computers have a lower risk of theft, which means less chance of losing your data and having to pay to replace your computer.

There are a variety of different types of Desktops which are available from various companies in South Africa, including:Desktop Computers

Desktop Computers From Edit Microsystems: Edit Microsystems can supply desktop computers from all brands to your unique specification requirements. If you know what you are looking for, you can send them your specifications and they will quote you. If you are unsure about your computing needs, you can contact them, so that one of their highly trained sales staff can assist you to find the ideal solution based on what you would like to use the computer for. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Laptops

A Laptop, sometimes called a Notebook, is a portable personal computer, which has a Keyboard and screen that can be folded shut for transportation. Laptops are extremely useful for working on while traveling or for people who have to spend time in bed or hospital and still need to work on their Laptops.

Other advantages of a Laptop computer, as compared to a Desktop computer include:

  • Laptop computers are highly portable and allow you to use your computer almost anywhere.
  • If you are an international student, a laptop computer will be much easier to transport from home to school and back again.
  • Laptop computers take up less room on a desk or table and can be put away when not in use.
  • Laptop computers have a single cord to contend with, rather than the multiple cords associated with desktop computer use.
  • A more comfortable Keyboard and Mouse or Trackball can be purchased to use instead of those used by the Laptop.
  • Desktop computers generally have larger monitors, but bigger monitors can also be connected to Laptops to use when at home.

While the list of advantages of a laptop computer may seem sparse when compared to a desktop computer, essentially, the choice comes down to portability versus functionality and cost. While desktop computers are less expensive, more powerful and morelaptop user-friendly, there is a lot to be said for being able to work, check emails, chat online, write papers and play video games anytime and anywhere you like. This is particularly true if you are a person with Mobility Impairments. An External Hard Drive can also be used to store and backup work if space is an issue.

There are a variety of different types of Laptops which are available from various companies in South Africa, such as:

Laptops from Edit Microsystems: Edit Microsystems can supply Laptop computers from all brands to your unique specification requirements. If you know what you are looking for, you can send them your specifications and they will quote you. If you are unsure about your computing needs, you can contact them, so that one of their highly trained sales staff can assist you to find the ideal solution based on what you would like to use the Laptop for. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

As mentioned above a Laptop uses a pointing device called a touch pad or track pad, which can be very difficult to use if your disability effects your hands. I am a C5 Quadriplegic and use a Trackball & wireless keyboard, set with "sticky keys", "key board shortcuts" & "Numb Pad" for finer work. I often battle with pressure sores and am sometimes laid up in bed. I use an Adjustable Bed, which enables me to be able to sit up enough to work in bed with my Laptop on an Over Bed Table, which means that there is no down time in my business. I can therefore consider that my laptop, one of my best buys.

Companies such as Edit Microsytems also supply Desks for both Desktops and Laptops, as well a wide variety of other Accessories, such as Laptop Bags and Laptop Carts. Visit Edit Microsytems to find out more or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Read the article below to find out more about Trackballs and Accessibility Tools & Resources such as "Sticky Keys", "Key Board Shortcuts" & the "Numb Pad", or visit our Pressure Care Products page to find out more about Adjustable Beds and Over Bed Tables.

Monitors

All computers comprise of  a Monitor, whether they are Desktops or Laptops. A Monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial form, it usually comprises the display device, circuitry, casing, and power supply. The display device in modern monitors is typically a thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) with LED back lighting.

Touch screen Monitors are also available for certain types of software, particularly those that do not require pixel-accurate pointing. These monitors use touching of the screen as an input method, items can be selected or moved with a finger, and finger gestures may be used to convey commands. The screen will need frequent cleaning due to image degradation from fingerprints.

There are several types available, but you should try to avoid using 'add on' touch-screens such as those that fasten over your standard monitor, as these devices lack the accuracy and robustness of modern touch monitors and can cause problems as some learners are more interested in trying to pull them off than using them appropriately.

There are a variety of different types of Monitors which are available from various companies in South Africa, such as:

Monitors  From Edit Microsystems: Edit Microsystems can also supply LCD or LED monitors in a wide range of sizes and connectivity options. Their monitor range includes touch screen monitors, which are ideal in a special education needs environment. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Keyboards

Standard keyboards and mice are functional ways of interacting with your computer and increasingly other devices like tablets. However, these standard devices can pose difficulties for many people, especially those users with physical, sensory, or cognitive challenges. There are lots of other options available. Being physically comfortable when using your technology is extremely important and extends beyond having a keyboard or mouse that is comfortable to use.

Poor-posture, over-stretching or discomfort can result in aggravating existing conditions or in developing longer-term issues such as Repetitive Strain injuries (RSI’s). Good posture and comfortable working is important for everyone and finding something that works for you is obviously more important in preventing problems than in reaction to them.

The standard computer keyboard is designed to be used with two hands and has a number pad on the right-hand side, which obviously favours right-handed people.

Alternatives to the standard keyboard include:

  • Ergonomic Keyboards
  • Keyboards With Larger Keys
  • High-Contrast Keyboards
  • Early Learning Keyboards
  • Smaller, Compact Keyboards
  • Keyguards & Other Specialist Keyboards
  • Typing Without A Keyboard

Ergonomic Keyboards

Ergonomic Keyboard are designed to promote a better typing position for your hands and wrists and therefore reduce the chance of strains and discomfort that can ultimately lead to significant issues such as Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI). Ergonomic keyboards ‘split’ the keyboard in two, placing each half on a curve so your arms are at a more comfortable, relaxed angle when typing.

Some ergonomic keyboards are on a fixed curve, on others, the two halves are hinged in the middle so the angle can be adjusted, and some the two halves are completely separate and only joined by a connecting wire. More contoured Keyboards are a further development of the split concept. These place the finger keys into two cupped depressions at shoulder width, with function keys set in-between for use with the thumbs. These fully ergonomic keyboards require very little movement of the arms and wrists and are designed to reduce the risk of RSI. Similar keyboards (with a non-QWERTY layout) are also available for single-handed users, for either left or right-handed use.Single Handed Keyboards (Right or Left Hand Options)

These Keyboards are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:

MALTRON Single Handed Keyboards: (pictured right) have been developed as a logical step forward to meet the needs of those who need to type with one hand. The shape matches natural hand movement and the key arrangement minimises finger movement, raising speed and relieving frustration. The special shape and letter layout have been very carefully planned, taking into account the limited number of keys that can be accessed quickly and comfortably.

Word-processing input speeds of 85 words per minute have been demonstrated by operators using Maltron single handed keyboards. The fully ergonomic shape ensures freedom from strain and no RSI type problems have been reported in over 10 years, although all the work is done by one hand! Both Left and Right hand models are designed for “Touch Typing”.

These keyboards have Push-On Push-Off keys for Shift, Control and Alt functions; essential for single hand operation. Windows keys are also included. This keyboard is USA English and has a USB connector. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Keyboards With Larger Keys

Keyboards with larger keys (like BigKeys and Jumbo Keyboards) make it easier to locate keys for persons with Visual Impairments and provide a bigger ‘target area’ for persons with Mobility Impairments. Options are also available with upper- or lower-case layouts. Various types Keyboards with larger keys are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:

Jumbo XL II Keyboard: The Jumbo XL II Keyboard (pictured right) is an ideal first keyboard for users learning their first keyboard and also suitable for special needs. The keyboard consist of a chunky one inch square keys that are colour coded and easy to find and press. The colours assist users to identify punctuation marks, vowels and consonants. All the standard keys are included in the Jumbo XL II Keyboard. It has separated function keys such as f keys, shift keys and a windows key on both sides of the keyboard.Accuratus Monster 2 – Mixed Colour Upper Case Childrens Keyboard with Large Keys

The Jumbo XL II Keyboard connects to your (Windows or Mac) computer via USB connectivity as standard. There are two extra USB ports on the right hand side which are could be used for attaching a numeric keypad, a mouse, trackball, webcam etc. Available in uppercase white keys with black letters and uppercase or lowercase colour coded keys. USB connection.
Dimensions are 48.2cm x 17.9cm x 3.4cm.
 Technical Specifications include a Jumbo XL II Qwerty Keyboard White Uppercase USB and a Jumbo XL II Qwerty Keyboard Coloured Lowercase USB, Jumbo XL II Keyguard. These Keyboards and a variety of others are also available to purchase from companies such as Edit Microsytems, contact them to find out more about these types of products which are available, or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are also available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you, or visit our Computer Aids for persons with Visual Impairments to view other products available .

High-Contrast Keyboards

High visibility keyboards use high-contrast colours to make the keys easier to locate. There are many different colour combinations with either the keys or the letters as the ‘stand-out’ colour (eg. yellow on black, black on yellow, black on white, white on black). Various types of these Keyboards are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:

Clevy Contrast Keyboard: The black and white Clevy Contrast Keyboard (pictured right) has been developed in close cooperation with various low vision experts. This keyboard provides a better contrast than the colored version, making it even more useful for the visually impaired. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you with the product that you are looking for.

Early Learning Keyboards

Early Learning Keyboards have a simple layout, since there are no function keys. Ideal as an introduction to keyboarding. Connects to USB or PS2 connectionsVarious types of these Keyboards are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:

Accuratus Monster 2 - Early Learning Keyboard with Large Keys and Printed Child Friendly Design: For young children the Monster 2 Early learner (pictured right) is the perfect entry into computing, with large oversized keys grouped in different colours and a special printed case making learning easy and fun. The monster 2 also has a detachable wrist pad to make the early stages of typing much easier. The keyboard layout is based on a standard UK keyboard layout so when a child grows up and progresses to an adult board the keys will be in all the normal places.Accuratus Monster 2 – Early Learning Keyboard with Large Keys and Printed Child Friendly Design

Keyboard Features and Specifications include a USB interface; Pure white case with modern gloss piano white beveled edge; Fun printed graphics on keyboard and wrist pad, making learning easy and fun; Large 1 inch square keys (24mm); Two port USB 2.0 Hub in the rear. It has the same outer size as a conventional keyboard. Mixed brightly coloured keys – vowels, consonants, numbers, special characters and normal typing keys. Easy to learn text written on the keys (tab, capitals, shift, spacebar, enter and backspace), so that you can easily find these keys if you are unfamiliar with a keyboard Large F1 to F12 function keys, including separate Escape key Separate – and + keys,just like the usual number pad – and + keys, one touch for easy maths sums in education Designed with spill holes in the base of the keyboard so that any minor spillages can escape without damaging the keyboard membrane Lowercase legends or large bold legends on high vis/contrast models Durable fold down feet providing keyboard tilt Tactile feedback responsive keys Correct UK key layout based on a conventional keyboard for easy transition Capitals (Caps lock) green status LED Full retail packaging. Physical Specifications Dimensions: 465 x 180 x 27 mm (l x w x h) Weight: 770g Cable Length: 1.5M. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Smaller, Compact Keyboards

Compact keyboards, as their name suggests, are smaller keyboards. The actual key sizes are quite similar to a standard laptop keyboard and, like a laptop, space is saved by removing the number pad (this can be separate, or some have one that slides out when needed). A compact keyboard frees-up desk space and allows you to bring your mouse (or other things you use) closer to your centreline, which helps to reduce the chance of strains by over-extending. As they are smaller, compact keyboards can fit more easily between the arms of a wheelchair and are often more comfortable to use for single-handed users.

Various types of these Keyboards are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:

Accuratus K82D - USB Premium Mini Scissor Key Keyboard with Trackball: The Accuratus K82D mini keyboard (pictured right) is specially designed for meeting high spec requirements. Boasting one of the smallest footprints out of all Accuratus keyboards, the K82D is perfect for situations where space saving is essential. The keys on this keyboard are scissor key design, giving you a very soft and tactile touch for hours of comfortable typing. Accuratus K82D – USB Premium Mini Scissor Key Keyboard with Trackball

The K82D has an integral trackball with left and right mouse buttons giving the complete keyboard and mouse solution. With all these features, top quality design and durability, the K82D is an ideal keyboard for every situation; office, home, POS and industrial purposes. Keyboard Features and Specifications include a USB ‘plug and play’ connection; Black case and keys, with other colours made on request. The Mini UK key layout is available in other languages on request, the keys have a soft and tactile feel to allow for comfortable and natural typing. ; Slim true scissor key, key mechanism Clear easy read key legends Integrated 800dpi optical trackball with left and right mouse buttons Status LED’s (Caps, Num & Scroll Lock) Designed with an internal metal plate to enhance the protection against ESD Dimensions are compatible to Cherry G84-4400 keyboard Brown box environment friendly packaging Physical Specifications Dimensions (L x W x H): 370 x 139 x 20mm Weight: 600g Cable Length: 1.67 M. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Keyguards & Other Specialist Keyboards

There are a wide variety of different types of Keyguards and specialist keyboards that can assist persons with disabilities, including persons with Mobility Impairments. Keyguards are rigid plates with holes designed to work with specific keyboards. The holes are positioned over each key and significantly reduce the chance of accidental keypresses. The guard also allows you to rest your hands and arms on the guard without pressing any of the keys. Guards can be removed and fitted for use only when required. It is usually easier to purchase a keyboard and guard together rather than trying to get a guard to fit a specific keyboard. 

Various types of these Keyguards are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:Clevy Keyguard

Clevy Keyguard: Is ideal for people with temporary or permanent motor skill difficulties, the Clevy Keyguard (pictured right) can prove to be a valuable addition to any of the different type of Clevy Keyboards. The Clevy Keyguard enables users with motor skill difficulties to let their hands rest on the keyboard without unwantedly hitting any keys and guides the user’s fingers towards the right keys. The surface of the Keyguard has been matted to make its appearance calmer to the eyes prevent reflecting light causing any flickering. The Clevy Keyguard fits all current models of the Clevy Keyboard, so you can use the same keyguard for the coloured, contrast and wireless models. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.

As mentioned above, there are also various types of these Keyboards which are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems, who sell the following products:

The Maltron Expanded Keyboard: This keyboard was initially designed for Persons with Cerebral Palsy in mind, The Maltron expanded keyboard (pictured right) is designed to provide better access for physically disabled and visually impaired users. A metal keyguard helps to prevent accidental key presses and protects against any impact damage. It is robustly designed with a strong steel construction to withstand heavy use, and has a smooth wipe-clean surface. The keyboard may also be placed on the floor or fixed at the foot of a bed to be used by toes.Maltron Expanded Keyboard

This keyboard can be configured by the user to support QWERTY (US English layout) or FOU (Frequency of Use) Letter layouts. The FOU layout may be selected by a special key combination and places the most commonly used keys in a central position on the keyboard, which reduces hand or foot movement to a minimum. The key tops are easily relocated to support either layout by taking off the top cover. Layout diagrams are included in the handbook. Supplied set up with QWERTY (Default) or FOU layout as requested.

The large surface area (62cm x 23cm) and built in keyguard are designed to reduce keyboard errors, enabling a higher work rate as a result of more accurate typing and data input. It has a USB connector with an in-line 5-pin DIN type snap-connector. The snap-connector is designed to separate if the connector cable is accidentally pulled tight, thereby helping to prevent damage to the keyboard or computer. It has large, clear characters and key labels – black on white for alphanumeric and cursor keys, black on pink for function keys and black on yellow for control keys (alternative options are available if required).

An audio-visual feedback system for the Expanded Keyboard can also be selected as a purchase option which will enable the Maltron Expanded Keyboard to “beep” and show a light whenever a key is correctly pressed. The feature may be turned on or off as desired and may be particularly useful for people with cerebral palsy (CP) who will not need to focus on the keyboard to confirm if a key has been pressed correctly. These keyboards are available to purchase from companies such as Edit Microsytems, please contact them to find out more about the features it offers, or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from companies such as Edit Microsystems, Maltron also produce a keyboard for people with no use of their hands. The head /mouth stick keyboard has a shape and layout to match natural head movement and minimise the amount of movement needed from the stick.

Contact Edit Microsytems to see what other types of these products they can supply, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you, or Click Here to find out more.

Typing Without A Keyboard

As mentioned above, you do not have to use a physical keyboard to control or type on your computer, tablet or smartphone. There are a variety of possible alternatives, including using:

  • On-Screen Keyboard
  • Eye Tracking and Head Tracking Systems
  • A Switch Input Button
  • Voice/Speech-Recognition (Speech-To-Text) Software

On-Screen Keyboards

On-screen keyboards are the way most people now type on tablets and smartphones but are also standard features on most operating systems. Letters can be selected using a touchscreen, a mouse, a switch, or a joystick. Touchscreens use sensors in the screen to track movement and selections and are a very direct and method of interacting with your device. Tablets and smartphones use touchscreens as well as many laptops. Touchscreen monitors are also available for use with desktop computers. Touch screen Monitors are also available for certain types of software, particularly those that do not require pixel-accurate pointing. These monitors use touching of the screen as an input method, items can be selected or moved with a finger, and finger gestures may be used to convey commands. The screen will need frequent cleaning due to image degradation from fingerprints.

There are several types available, but you should try to avoid using 'add on' touch-screens such as those that fasten over your standard monitor, as these devices lack the accuracy and robustness of modern touch monitors and can cause problems as some learners are more interested in trying to pull them off than using them appropriately.

There are a variety of different types of Monitors which are available from various companies in South Africa, such as:

Monitors  From Edit Microsystems: Edit Microsystems can also supply LCD or LED monitors in a wide range of sizes and connectivity options. Their monitor range includes touch screen monitors, which are ideal in a special education needs environment. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.

There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Switch Input Buttons

Switch Input Buttons sends a signal to the computer when activated, the switch can also be replaced with a sensor that detects an eye blink, a puff down a tube or any reliable body movement. An on-screen keyboard, word or pictogram board is used to highlight rows, columns or groups, gradually narrowing-down a selection with each activation of the switch until the desired word or letter is the last option left. Switches work well with cause and effect programmes that require simple choices but are in no means limited to this; skilled operators have few restrictions to what they can do. These types of products are available from various companies in South Africa, including Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:Big Buddy Button

The Big BuddyButton: Which is a durable and reliable single switch device which requires a slight touch on its surface for activation. The Big Buddy Button (pictured right) best suits users with severe upper extremity and motor disabilities. The Big Buddy Button is compatible with various mounting systems to suit the user’s individual needs. It has a mechanical type of switch and a wired connection type, with a pressure type activation. Contact Edit Microsytems, to get a quote, or find out more about this product, including it's Technical Specifications.

The Leaf Switch: is a 3 inch round foam pad device that is activated by gently pressing against the leaf in one direction and used together with electronic devices such as computers. The type of switch is mechanical, it has a wired connection type and the type of activation is a light touch pressure. Contact Edit Microsytems, to get a quote, or find out more about this product, including it's Technical Specifications.

There are also a wide variety of various other types of these products which are available from companies such as Edit Microsytems, contact them to see what other types of these products are available, or Contact Us to find out more.

Eye Tracking and Head Tracking Systems

Eye Tracking and Head Tracking systems both operate an onscreen keyboard using the mouse. These devices were initially designed for use by people with very limited movement, eye tracking hardware and software is now relatively inexpensive and can present an interesting alternative for people experiencing temporary or situational disabilities; for example, a parent could hold their baby and still be able to interact with their computer.

Head Movement Tracking: Uses head movement to control the cursor, which can be done with a wearable headset, or using a camera. With head movement tracking, the cursor is ‘driven’ around the screen in the same way as using a joystick. elections are made using a switch that can be controlled by a puff or bite. 

Eye tracking systems: Track eye movement, using it to plot the position of the cursor on the screen. Dwelling on a location triggers a ‘click’. This can be used to control programmes as well as to type when used with the on-screen keyboard. Tracking eye movement means that the cursor does not need to be driven around the screen and so is typically much faster than head movement tracking.

Both Head Tracking and Eye Tracking Systems are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:

Irisbond Duo Eye Tracker: Eye Gaze Control Made Easy (pictured right) is simple to setup, calibrate and operate, the Irisbond Duo is the perfect eye tracker starter solution for the classroom, it is designed for simplicity and ease of use, suited for those new to eye gaze and for use with all levels of ability. It’s licensed for an unlimited number of devices and users allowing you to swap connection from a standard desktop PC to a more mobile solution such as a laptop or tablet at any time. You no longer need specialistIrisbond Duo Eye Tracker support and training to get started. Launch the Easy Click software and follow the two-step setup process to be eye gazing in seconds. It requires no screen measuring or training to use and is designed to be intelligent and intuitive. A simple 2 step guide to position and calibrate enables you to get set up and start using in s 0-point or an easy 1-point calibration gives great functional accuracy for users with limited attention skills.

Irisbond Duo will follow your gaze on the screen and let you move the cursor and issue mouse commands through input methods such as “dwell” and “blink”. The Irisbond Duo can be used with many children and adults with conditions including Physical Difficulties; Communication Difficulties; Intellectual Disabilities; ALS and Multiple Sclerosis; Cerebral Palsy; Rett Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Contact Edit Microsytems, to get a quote, or to find out more about this product.

There are also various other types of these products sold by Edit Microsytems, contact them to find out more or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Voice/Speech-Recognition (Speech-To-Text) Software

Voice/Speech-Recognition Software enable you to run your computer entirely with your voice, it converts speech to text, and allows users to perform commands and even move the mouse without touching anything. Voice recognition is a practical way of controlling your computer and a very efficient means of getting information down and is useful for people who find typing difficult, painful or impossible, such as someone who has a physical disability, but it can also by-pass issues with things like spelling or grammar and so can be a great help to people with learning differences like dyslexia.

There are a variety of options available including a free one that comes with windows & Dragon Naturally Speaking also known as Dragon for PC. This speech recognition software package, runs on Windows personal computers . It requires quite a bit of RAM (Random Access Memory) to run well & the right microphone. This type of Software is available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:Dragon

Dragon Naturally Speaking: Dragon (pictured right) is the world’s best-selling speech recognition software. You can use Dragon to convert your speech into digital, editable text, making your computing tasks simpler and faster. From capturing your thoughts and creating documents or reports, to email and searching the web, to using simple voice commands to control many of the popular programs you use every day - Dragon Naturally Speaking is the speech recognition software of choice.

Dragon has been used successfully in many schools for alternative assessment of learners with special education needs, where the (English-speaking) learner cannot write for themselves. This replaces the need for a scribe. There are several different licensing options of dragon, depending on your user profile and functional requirements. Use the following feature matrix to help you choose the right version of Dragon for your needs. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote.

 Edit Microsytems also provide a variety of other types of Software that can assist you, contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Microphones, Speakers & Headsets

There are many different microphones that work well with Voice/Speech-Recognition Software, but the better microphone results in better accuracy. The person using it, talks into a mike & the words are then translated into text. After you set it up, it provides a Tips function, which you can leave on for a while so you keep learning tricks every time you start the software. You will also need to train it to learn & understand your voice. If used correctly, it should improve every time you use it. Your voice, how you use the microphone, your environment, and your PC are a few of the variables that determine what is a good microphone for you, the same applies to the microphones you will find comfortable, it is a personal preference. The Microphones vary in type & price & include:

  • Basic headsets & mike
  • Cordless headsets & mike
  • USB headsets & mikes
  • Microphones mounted on a desk.

Each type of these Microphones have their pros & cons & are available from various companies throughout South Africa, such asEasi Headphones Edit Microsystems, who sell a variety of products including:

Easi-Headphones: Are robust headphones with replaceable parts, designed especially for schools. Easi-Headphones (pictured right) are a durable alternative for ICT suites and have a robust headband and replaceable ear cushions, which make them last even longer. The replaceable ear cushions have been designed to cover the whole ear to minimise outside noise and to increase comfort and the cable is quick release to reduce strain. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this product and to receive a quote.

Edit Microsystems also provide a variety of other Headset- Speakers and Microphone devices to suit your needs, including various portable headsets which allow you to engage in a variety of activities anywhere anytime. They include the:

Polaroid Bluetooth headphones: The new Polaroid Bluetooth headwear for all indoor and outdoor activities and listen to your favourite music anywhere, anytime without the hassles of wires or cables. The Polaroid Bluetooth headphones (pictured right) arePolaroid Bluetooth headphones: ThePolaroid Bluetooth headwear incorporated directly into the beanies and connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone or MP3 Player with a soft touch control button, you have the option to control your music directly on the beanies. The Bluetooth headphones can easily be removed for ease of washing. Specifications include a Bluetooth 4.1 headband Transmission distance : 10 m, Battery : Li-ion 3.7v/180mah, Playtime: 6 Hours, Charge time: 2.5 hours Compatible with most Bluetooth enabled devices Stream music wirelessly with no dangling cables. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this product and to receive a quote.

Edit Microsystems also provide a variety of other portable headsets which allow you to engage in a variety of activities anywhere anytime. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Other Types Of Software

There is also a wide variety of other types of Software which is available to purchase from Companies such as Edit Microsystems, who can supply you with a wide range of pre-loaded software, including Microsoft Windows and Office, as well as various other programs that can assist persons with Mobility Impairments to operate a computer and type easily, such as:Penfriend XP 4.1

Penfriend XP 4.1: The  Penfriend XP 4.1 (pictured right) is an application tool specially designed for users with Dyslexia or physical disabilities. The application allows users to add word prediction, speech and an onscreen keyboard. The application allows users to add word prediction, speech and an onscreen keyboard which is compatible with most other software programs. It works with your word processor and tries to guess the word you are typing when the first, second and third letter has been entered. Complete the word with one key press. Learns the words you used recently and frequently and improves when you use it. saving feature allows for work to be saved by each individual user enabling easy access for teachers. Includes an edit and add topic feature for vocabulary. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this Software and to receive a quote, or Click Here to find out about Penfriend XL 4.1.

Edit Microsystems can also supply software such as Clicker 6 program for Primary schools and Yenka for high schools. If you are blind or have low vision, contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about Software such as Dolphin Supernova or Contact Us for more information.

Mouse Alternatives

The regular Mice/Mouse which is purchased and used with most computers can be difficult to use by young children and persons with Mobility Impairments who have limited use of their hands, including persons with Arthritis and persons with carpal tunnel syndrome. Trackballs and some other mouse alternatives are also handy when desk space is at a premium and are also easier to use and require less overall effort. They are recommended if you are already suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and experience pain when moving your forearm. There are many different types of Alternative Mice/Mouse available, depending on your disability, impairment, or difficulty. It is important to choose one that fits the hand well, feels comfortable and is easy to use, it often takes a little while to get used to using a new type of mouse and can feel a little clumsy at first. Alternatives to the standard mouse include:

Ergonomic Mice

Ergonomic Mice have been designed to reduce muscle strain and decrease discomfort (while using the mouse) associated with a injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and tendonitis. Compared to other mice, an Ergonomic Mouse is designed to fit a more natural hand position when being used. Ergonomic Mice often come in left- and right-handed orientations and in different sizes, to ensure the mouse fits comfortably. Vertical mice realigning the wrist to a more natural ‘handshake’ position, transferring movement onto the more powerful shoulder muscles. Adjustable Ergonomic mice are hinged along one side and allow for the mouse to alternate between a flatter more traditional position and the vertical, this encourages a variable wrist position and can help move from a normal mouse to a vertical. There are various types of these products which are available from companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more.

Roll Bar Mice

Roll Bar Mice are positioned directly in front of the keyboard and have a ‘bar’ that slides left and right and rolls for up and down movement, eliminating the need to reach for the mouse and reducing unnecessary wrist movements, which can stress your neck, shoulders and elbows. Many of these Roll Bar mice include handy shortcut buttons including double click and copy & paste. The position of the bar allows it to be operated with your thumbs and keeps your hands on or close to the keyboard. There are various types of these products which are available from companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more.

Trackball/Roller Ball Mouse

A Trackball or Rollerball Mouse remains stationary with the cursor controlled by rolling a ball with your thumb, fingers, palm, or back of the hand. There is therefor little to no wrist movement, which is ideal for persons with limited hand function who battle to use both the regular Mouse which is sold with a Desktop Computer, or the Mouse Pad used with a Laptop. A Trackball is basically an upside-down mouse with an exposed protruding ball, which is used to move the pointer. The Trackball has no limits on effective travel and the operator just continues rolling, whereas a mouse would have to be lifted & re-positioned. Some Trackballs have notably low friction, as well as being made of dense material such as glass, so that they can be spun to make them coast. The Trackball's buttons may be differently situated to that of a typical mouse and you get a variety of different types and styles of Trackballs, including cordless ones, which can be handy. You will need to find one that suits your needs and pocket, as the Trackball is generally more expensive than the normal mouse and more difficult to find in South Africa. Trackballs are however available in South Africa from companies such as Edit Microsystems, who sell some of the following products:Trackball or Rollerball

Logitech Trackman Marble Mouse: The Logitech Trackman Marble Mouse (pictured right) has a sleek ambidextrous design that fits either hand comfortably and stays in one place, therefore allowing the user to move the cursor without moving your arm. Thanks to the large Marble trackball and advanced optical technology, the TrackMan Marble provides smooth tracking and superior precision. The convenient controls allow moving quickly between documents or browsing your favorite Web sites easily with the large, easy-to-reach Back/Forward buttons. There is zero setup required, it has a flexible wired connectivity, which means that you just plug the cable into your USB or PS/2 port and it works right out of the box. The programmable controls allow you to configure the buttons to do exactly what you want like switching applications, opening browser windows or jump to full screen while watching videos . The Logitech Trackman Marble Mouse is available from various companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more, or click the Read More link to find out more about this product.

The Microspeed PC-TRAC/MAX-TRAC: The Microspeed PC-TRAC/MAX-TRAC is a three button trackball. The trackball (pictured right) includes a low profile case acting like a  Computers & Computer Aids To view the service providers & suppliers of products that are available in your area, click the button to the right. Products & Service Providers Contents: To jump to the topic you would like, click on the links below Introduction Choosing The Right Type Of Computer Desktops Laptops Monitors Keyboards Ergonomic Keyboards Keyboards With Larger Keys High-Contrast Keyboards Early Learning Keyboards Smaller, Compact Keyboards Keyguards & Other Specialist Keyboards Typing Without A Keyboard On-Screen Keyboards Switch Input Buttons Eye Tracking and Head Tracking Systems Voice/Speech-Recognition (Speech-To-Text) Software Microphones, Speakers & Headsets Other Types Of Software Mouse Alternatives Ergonomic Mice Roll Bar Mice Trackball/Roller Ball Mouse Large Trackball Mice Touchpads (Trackpads) Pen Mice & Graphics Tablets Joysticks Foot Mouse Accessibility Tools & Resources Keyboard Shortcuts Windows System Key Combinations Windows Program Key Combinations Mouse Keys Move the pointer using Mouse Keys Sticky Keys Typing Stick, Mouth stick & Adjustable Head Pointers Disclaimer References Introduction In these modern times Computers are an essential piece of equipment for most people, but they are even more important Assistive Devices for persons with disabilities, including persons with Mobility Impairments. With the advent of the Internet and theApple computer multitude of businesses supported online, one's imagination is the only limit. You can do just about anything from your home computer, including operating a business, doing research, socializing, listening to music, watching TV & movies, playing games, reading books, purchasing products, doing banking and taking part in discussions. Therapeutic treatments and support groups are even available on-line through your computer. Many persons with Mobility Impairments turn to computers to assist them in the tasks mentioned above and there are a number of Assistive Devices & adaptions available to purchase which make almost any computer accessible for anyone to use. Once you've had a computer, you will wonder how you ever managed without it, you don't need to spend a fortune to buy one, you can start off with a cheaper one & slowly upgrade as you feel the need arises. The availability of this computer equipment and Assistive Devices is increasing thanks to various Organizations and Companies such as Edit Microsystems who have made concerted efforts to make sure that this equipment is easily available for persons with disabilities in South Africa. To find out more about these Computers, Electronic Aids and Assistive Devices and the companies that provide them, please read the article below and click on the links provided. Edit Microsystems: is a leading supplier of educational and corporate technology solutions in Southern Africa. Edit Microsystems aims to find alternative, cutting-edge ways to improve teaching and learning in the education sector and toEdit Microsystems improve business communication in the corporate sector. Edit Microsystems provides services to educators; education departments; corporate social investors; parents; other government departments and corporate managers. Through on-going support and professional development, Edit Microsystems can help find the right solution for your particular environment. Edit Microsystems have various branches around South Africa including in Cape Town. You can contact them on: Tel: (021) 433 2520 or email them at: info@editmicro.co.za. You can also visit them at their offices in Cape Town at: Unit 601,The Point Shopping Centre (Galleria), 76 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town, 8005 or visit their web site to find out more: www.editmicro.co.za Choosing The Right Type Of Computer Before purchasing a computer, you will need to decide whether a desktop or laptop would be best suited for your needs. Both have advantages and disadvantages, depending on what they will be used for, so you would firstly need to look at the reason for purchasing a computer and then the advantages and benefits of both desktops and laptops, which would then determine which one would suit your needs. Take a look at the advantages and benefits of both desktops and laptops below, to help you decide which to purchase. Desktops Desktop computers offer a variety of benefits, they not as portable as a laptops, but can be a more affordable and powerful option, with more features than Laptop computers, therefor ideal for a classroom, office or organisation. There are also a variety of other advantages that Desktops have over Laptop, which include: Desktop computers are easier, and less expensive, to upgrade. Desktop computers are generally less expensive overall and offer a better overall value. Desktop computers have a more comfortable keyboard and a much easier to use mouse. It should be noted that an aftermarket large, comfortable Keyboard and Mouse or Trackball, are also possible. Desktop computers generally have larger monitors, but bigger monitors can also be connected to Laptops. Desktop computers have a lower risk of theft, which means less chance of losing your data and having to pay to replace your computer. There are a variety of different types of Desktops which are available from various companies in South Africa, including:Desktop Computers Desktop Computers From Edit Microsystems: Edit Microsystems can supply desktop computers from all brands to your unique specification requirements. If you know what you are looking for, you can send them your specifications and they will quote you. If you are unsure about your computing needs, you can contact them, so that one of their highly trained sales staff can assist you to find the ideal solution based on what you would like to use the computer for. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote. There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you. Laptops A Laptop, sometimes called a Notebook, is a portable personal computer, which has a Keyboard and screen that can be folded shut for transportation. Laptops are extremely useful for working on while traveling or for people who have to spend time in bed or hospital and still need to work on their Laptops. Other advantages of a Laptop computer, as compared to a Desktop computer include: Laptop computers are highly portable and allow you to use your computer almost anywhere. If you are an international student, a laptop computer will be much easier to transport from home to school and back again. Laptop computers take up less room on a desk or table and can be put away when not in use. Laptop computers have a single cord to contend with, rather than the multiple cords associated with desktop computer use. A more comfortable Keyboard and Mouse or Trackball can be purchased to use instead of those used by the Laptop. Desktop computers generally have larger monitors, but bigger monitors can also be connected to Laptops to use when at home. While the list of advantages of a laptop computer may seem sparse when compared to a desktop computer, essentially, the choice comes down to portability versus functionality and cost. While desktop computers are less expensive, more powerful and morelaptop user-friendly, there is a lot to be said for being able to work, check emails, chat online, write papers and play video games anytime and anywhere you like. This is particularly true if you are a person with Mobility Impairments. An External Hard Drive can also be used to store and backup work if space is an issue. There are a variety of different types of Laptops which are available from various companies in South Africa, such as: Laptops from Edit Microsystems: Edit Microsystems can supply Laptop computers from all brands to your unique specification requirements. If you know what you are looking for, you can send them your specifications and they will quote you. If you are unsure about your computing needs, you can contact them, so that one of their highly trained sales staff can assist you to find the ideal solution based on what you would like to use the Laptop for. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote. There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you. As mentioned above a Laptop uses a pointing device called a touch pad or track pad, which can be very difficult to use if your disability effects your hands. I am a C5 Quadriplegic and use a Trackball & wireless keyboard, set with "sticky keys", "key board shortcuts" & "Numb Pad" for finer work. I often battle with pressure sores and am sometimes laid up in bed. I use an Adjustable Bed, which enables me to be able to sit up enough to work in bed with my Laptop on an Over Bed Table, which means that there is no down time in my business. I can therefore consider that my laptop, one of my best buys. Read the article below to find out more about Trackballs and Accessibility Tools & Resources such as "Sticky Keys", "Key Board Shortcuts" & the "Numb Pad", or visit our Pressure Care Products page to find out more about Adjustable Beds and Over Bed Tables. Monitors All computers comprise of a Monitor, whether they are Desktops or Laptops. A Monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial form, it usually comprises the display device, circuitry, casing, and power supply. The display device in modern monitors is typically a thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) with LED back lighting. Touch screen Monitors are also available for certain types of software, particularly those that do not require pixel-accurate pointing. These monitors use touching of the screen as an input method, items can be selected or moved with a finger, and finger gestures may be used to convey commands. The screen will need frequent cleaning due to image degradation from fingerprints. There are several types available, but you should try to avoid using 'add on' touch-screens such as those that fasten over your standard monitor, as these devices lack the accuracy and robustness of modern touch monitors and can cause problems as some learners are more interested in trying to pull them off than using them appropriately. There are a variety of different types of Monitors which are available from various companies in South Africa, such as: Monitors From Edit Microsystems: Edit Microsystems can also supply LCD or LED monitors in a wide range of sizes and connectivity options. Their monitor range includes touch screen monitors, which are ideal in a special education needs environment. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote. There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you. Keyboards Standard keyboards and mice are functional ways of interacting with your computer and increasingly other devices like tablets. However, these standard devices can pose difficulties for many people, especially those users with physical, sensory, or cognitive challenges. There are lots of other options available. Being physically comfortable when using your technology is extremely important and extends beyond having a keyboard or mouse that is comfortable to use. Poor-posture, over-stretching or discomfort can result in aggravating existing conditions or in developing longer-term issues such as Repetitive Strain injuries (RSI’s). Good posture and comfortable working is important for everyone and finding something that works for you is obviously more important in preventing problems than in reaction to them. The standard computer keyboard is designed to be used with two hands and has a number pad on the right-hand side, which obviously favours right-handed people. Alternatives to the standard keyboard include: Ergonomic Keyboards Keyboards With Larger Keys High-Contrast Keyboards Early Learning Keyboards Smaller, Compact Keyboards Keyguards & Other Specialist Keyboards Typing Without A Keyboard Ergonomic Keyboards Ergonomic Keyboard are designed to promote a better typing position for your hands and wrists and therefore reduce the chance of strains and discomfort that can ultimately lead to significant issues such as Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI). Ergonomic keyboards ‘split’ the keyboard in two, placing each half on a curve so your arms are at a more comfortable, relaxed angle when typing. Some ergonomic keyboards are on a fixed curve, on others, the two halves are hinged in the middle so the angle can be adjusted, and some the two halves are completely separate and only joined by a connecting wire. More contoured Keyboards are a further development of the split concept. These place the finger keys into two cupped depressions at shoulder width, with function keys set in-between for use with the thumbs. These fully ergonomic keyboards require very little movement of the arms and wrists and are designed to reduce the risk of RSI. Similar keyboards (with a non-QWERTY layout) are also available for single-handed users, for either left or right-handed use.Single Handed Keyboards (Right or Left Hand Options) These Keyboards are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products: MALTRON Single Handed Keyboards: (pictured right) have been developed as a logical step forward to meet the needs of those who need to type with one hand. The shape matches natural hand movement and the key arrangement minimises finger movement, raising speed and relieving frustration. The special shape and letter layout have been very carefully planned, taking into account the limited number of keys that can be accessed quickly and comfortably. Word-processing input speeds of 85 words per minute have been demonstrated by operators using Maltron single handed keyboards. The fully ergonomic shape ensures freedom from strain and no RSI type problems have been reported in over 10 years, although all the work is done by one hand! Both Left and Right hand models are designed for “Touch Typing”. These keyboards have Push-On Push-Off keys for Shift, Control and Alt functions; essential for single hand operation. Windows keys are also included. This keyboard is USA English and has a USB connector. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote. There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you. Keyboards With Larger Keys Keyboards with larger keys (like BigKeys and Jumbo Keyboards) make it easier to locate keys for persons with Visual Impairments and provide a bigger ‘target area’ for persons with Mobility Impairments. Options are also available with upper- or lower-case layouts. Various types Keyboards with larger keys are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products: Jumbo XL II Keyboard: The Jumbo XL II Keyboard (pictured right) is an ideal first keyboard for users learning their first keyboard and also suitable for special needs. The keyboard consist of a chunky one inch square keys that are colour coded and easy to find and press. The colours assist users to identify punctuation marks, vowels and consonants. All the standard keys are included in the Jumbo XL II Keyboard. It has separated function keys such as f keys, shift keys and a windows key on both sides of the keyboard.Accuratus Monster 2 – Mixed Colour Upper Case Childrens Keyboard with Large Keys The Jumbo XL II Keyboard connects to your (Windows or Mac) computer via USB connectivity as standard. There are two extra USB ports on the right hand side which are could be used for attaching a numeric keypad, a mouse, trackball, webcam etc. Available in uppercase white keys with black letters and uppercase or lowercase colour coded keys. USB connection. Dimensions are 48.2cm x 17.9cm x 3.4cm. Technical Specifications include a Jumbo XL II Qwerty Keyboard White Uppercase USB and a Jumbo XL II Qwerty Keyboard Coloured Lowercase USB, Jumbo XL II Keyguard. These Keyboards and a variety of others are also available to purchase from companies such as Edit Microsytems, contact them to find out more about these types of products which are available, or to receive a quote. There are also various other types of these products which are also available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you, or visit our Computer Aids for persons with Visual Impairments to view other products available . High-Contrast Keyboards High visibility keyboards use high-contrast colours to make the keys easier to locate. There are many different colour combinations with either the keys or the letters as the ‘stand-out’ colour (eg. yellow on black, black on yellow, black on white, white on black). Various types of these Keyboards are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products: Clevy Contrast Keyboard: The black and white Clevy Contrast Keyboard (pictured right) has been developed in close cooperation with various low vision experts. This keyboard provides a better contrast than the colored version, making it even more useful for the visually impaired. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote. There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you with the product that you are looking for. Early Learning Keyboards Early Learning Keyboards have a simple layout, since there are no function keys. Ideal as an introduction to keyboarding. Connects to USB or PS2 connectionsVarious types of these Keyboards are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products: Accuratus Monster 2 - Early Learning Keyboard with Large Keys and Printed Child Friendly Design: For young children the Monster 2 Early learner (pictured right) is the perfect entry into computing, with large oversized keys grouped in different colours and a special printed case making learning easy and fun. The monster 2 also has a detachable wrist pad to make the early stages of typing much easier. The keyboard layout is based on a standard UK keyboard layout so when a child grows up and progresses to an adult board the keys will be in all the normal places.Accuratus Monster 2 – Early Learning Keyboard with Large Keys and Printed Child Friendly Design Keyboard Features and Specifications include a USB interface; Pure white case with modern gloss piano white beveled edge; Fun printed graphics on keyboard and wrist pad, making learning easy and fun; Large 1 inch square keys (24mm); Two port USB 2.0 Hub in the rear. It has the same outer size as a conventional keyboard. Mixed brightly coloured keys – vowels, consonants, numbers, special characters and normal typing keys. Easy to learn text written on the keys (tab, capitals, shift, spacebar, enter and backspace), so that you can easily find these keys if you are unfamiliar with a keyboard Large F1 to F12 function keys, including separate Escape key Separate – and + keys,just like the usual number pad – and + keys, one touch for easy maths sums in education Designed with spill holes in the base of the keyboard so that any minor spillages can escape without damaging the keyboard membrane Lowercase legends or large bold legends on high vis/contrast models Durable fold down feet providing keyboard tilt Tactile feedback responsive keys Correct UK key layout based on a conventional keyboard for easy transition Capitals (Caps lock) green status LED Full retail packaging. Physical Specifications Dimensions: 465 x 180 x 27 mm (l x w x h) Weight: 770g Cable Length: 1.5M. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote. There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you. Smaller, Compact Keyboards Compact keyboards, as their name suggests, are smaller keyboards. The actual key sizes are quite similar to a standard laptop keyboard and, like a laptop, space is saved by removing the number pad (this can be separate, or some have one that slides out when needed). A compact keyboard frees-up desk space and allows you to bring your mouse (or other things you use) closer to your centreline, which helps to reduce the chance of strains by over-extending. As they are smaller, compact keyboards can fit more easily between the arms of a wheelchair and are often more comfortable to use for single-handed users. Various types of these Keyboards are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products: Accuratus K82D - USB Premium Mini Scissor Key Keyboard with Trackball: The Accuratus K82D mini keyboard (pictured right) is specially designed for meeting high spec requirements. Boasting one of the smallest footprints out of all Accuratus keyboards, the K82D is perfect for situations where space saving is essential. The keys on this keyboard are scissor key design, giving you a very soft and tactile touch for hours of comfortable typing. Accuratus K82D – USB Premium Mini Scissor Key Keyboard with Trackball The K82D has an integral trackball with left and right mouse buttons giving the complete keyboard and mouse solution. With all these features, top quality design and durability, the K82D is an ideal keyboard for every situation; office, home, POS and industrial purposes. Keyboard Features and Specifications include a USB ‘plug and play’ connection; Black case and keys, with other colours made on request. The Mini UK key layout is available in other languages on request, the keys have a soft and tactile feel to allow for comfortable and natural typing. ; Slim true scissor key, key mechanism Clear easy read key legends Integrated 800dpi optical trackball with left and right mouse buttons Status LED’s (Caps, Num & Scroll Lock) Designed with an internal metal plate to enhance the protection against ESD Dimensions are compatible to Cherry G84-4400 keyboard Brown box environment friendly packaging Physical Specifications Dimensions (L x W x H): 370 x 139 x 20mm Weight: 600g Cable Length: 1.67 M. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote. There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you. Keyguards & Other Specialist Keyboards There are a wide variety of different types of Keyguards and specialist keyboards that can assist persons with disabilities, including persons with Mobility Impairments. Keyguards are rigid plates with holes designed to work with specific keyboards. The holes are positioned over each key and significantly reduce the chance of accidental keypresses. The guard also allows you to rest your hands and arms on the guard without pressing any of the keys. Guards can be removed and fitted for use only when required. It is usually easier to purchase a keyboard and guard together rather than trying to get a guard to fit a specific keyboard. Various types of these Keyguards are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:Clevy Keyguard Clevy Keyguard: Is ideal for people with temporary or permanent motor skill difficulties, the Clevy Keyguard (pictured right) can prove to be a valuable addition to any of the different type of Clevy Keyboards. The Clevy Keyguard enables users with motor skill difficulties to let their hands rest on the keyboard without unwantedly hitting any keys and guides the user’s fingers towards the right keys. The surface of the Keyguard has been matted to make its appearance calmer to the eyes prevent reflecting light causing any flickering. The Clevy Keyguard fits all current models of the Clevy Keyboard, so you can use the same keyguard for the coloured, contrast and wireless models. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote. As mentioned above, there are also various types of these Keyboards which are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems, who sell the following products: The Maltron Expanded Keyboard: This keyboard was initially designed for Persons with Cerebral Palsy in mind, The Maltron expanded keyboard (pictured right) is designed to provide better access for physically disabled and visually impaired users. A metal keyguard helps to prevent accidental key presses and protects against any impact damage. It is robustly designed with a strong steel construction to withstand heavy use, and has a smooth wipe-clean surface. The keyboard may also be placed on the floor or fixed at the foot of a bed to be used by toes.Maltron Expanded Keyboard This keyboard can be configured by the user to support QWERTY (US English layout) or FOU (Frequency of Use) Letter layouts. The FOU layout may be selected by a special key combination and places the most commonly used keys in a central position on the keyboard, which reduces hand or foot movement to a minimum. The key tops are easily relocated to support either layout by taking off the top cover. Layout diagrams are included in the handbook. Supplied set up with QWERTY (Default) or FOU layout as requested. The large surface area (62cm x 23cm) and built in keyguard are designed to reduce keyboard errors, enabling a higher work rate as a result of more accurate typing and data input. It has a USB connector with an in-line 5-pin DIN type snap-connector. The snap-connector is designed to separate if the connector cable is accidentally pulled tight, thereby helping to prevent damage to the keyboard or computer. It has large, clear characters and key labels – black on white for alphanumeric and cursor keys, black on pink for function keys and black on yellow for control keys (alternative options are available if required). An audio-visual feedback system for the Expanded Keyboard can also be selected as a purchase option which will enable the Maltron Expanded Keyboard to “beep” and show a light whenever a key is correctly pressed. The feature may be turned on or off as desired and may be particularly useful for people with cerebral palsy (CP) who will not need to focus on the keyboard to confirm if a key has been pressed correctly. These keyboards are available to purchase from companies such as Edit Microsytems, please contact them to find out more about the features it offers, or to receive a quote. There are also various other types of these products which are available from companies such as Edit Microsystems, Maltron also produce a keyboard for people with no use of their hands. The head /mouth stick keyboard has a shape and layout to match natural head movement and minimise the amount of movement needed from the stick. Contact Edit Microsytems to see what other types of these products they can supply, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you. Typing Without A Keyboard As mentioned above, you do not have to use a physical keyboard to control or type on your computer, tablet or smartphone. There are a variety of possible alternatives, including using: On-Screen Keyboard Eye Tracking and Head Tracking Systems A Switch Input Button Voice/Speech-Recognition (Speech-To-Text) Software On-Screen Keyboards On-screen keyboards are the way most people now type on tablets and smartphones but are also standard features on most operating systems. Letters can be selected using a touchscreen, a mouse, a switch, or a joystick. Touchscreens use sensors in the screen to track movement and selections and are a very direct and method of interacting with your device. Tablets and smartphones use touchscreens as well as many laptops. Touchscreen monitors are also available for use with desktop computers. Touch screen Monitors are also available for certain types of software, particularly those that do not require pixel-accurate pointing. These monitors use touching of the screen as an input method, items can be selected or moved with a finger, and finger gestures may be used to convey commands. The screen will need frequent cleaning due to image degradation from fingerprints. There are several types available, but you should try to avoid using 'add on' touch-screens such as those that fasten over your standard monitor, as these devices lack the accuracy and robustness of modern touch monitors and can cause problems as some learners are more interested in trying to pull them off than using them appropriately. There are a variety of different types of Monitors which are available from various companies in South Africa, such as: Monitors From Edit Microsystems: Edit Microsystems can also supply LCD or LED monitors in a wide range of sizes and connectivity options. Their monitor range includes touch screen monitors, which are ideal in a special education needs environment. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote. There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you. Switch Input Buttons Switch Input Buttons sends a signal to the computer when activated, the switch can also be replaced with a sensor that detects an eye blink, a puff down a tube or any reliable body movement. An on-screen keyboard, word or pictogram board is used to highlight rows, columns or groups, gradually narrowing-down a selection with each activation of the switch until the desired word or letter is the last option left. Switches work well with cause and effect programmes that require simple choices but are in no means limited to this; skilled operators have few restrictions to what they can do. These types of products are available from various companies in South Africa, including Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:Big Buddy Button The Big BuddyButton: Which is a durable and reliable single switch device which requires a slight touch on its surface for activation. The Big Buddy Button best suits users with severe upper extremity and motor disabilities. The Big Buddy Button is compatible with various mounting systems to suit the user’s individual needs. It has a mechanical type of switch and a wired connection type, with a pressure type activation. Contact Edit Microsytems, to get a quote, or find out more about this product, including it's Technical Specifications. The Leaf Switch: is a 3 inch round foam pad device that is activated by gently pressing against the leaf in one direction and used together with electronic devices such as computers. The type of switch is mechanical, it has a wired connection type and the type of activation is a light touch pressure. Contact Edit Microsytems, to get a quote, or find out more about this product, including it's Technical Specifications. There are also a wide variety of various other types of these products which are available from companies such as Edit Microsytems, contact them to see what other types of these products are available, or Contact Us to find out more. Eye Tracking and Head Tracking Systems Eye Tracking and Head Tracking systems both operate an onscreen keyboard using the mouse. These devices were initially designed for use by people with very limited movement, eye tracking hardware and software is now relatively inexpensive and can present an interesting alternative for people experiencing temporary or situational disabilities; for example, a parent could hold their baby and still be able to interact with their computer. Head Movement Tracking: Uses head movement to control the cursor, which can be done with a wearable headset, or using a camera. With head movement tracking, the cursor is ‘driven’ around the screen in the same way as using a joystick. elections are made using a switch that can be controlled by a puff or bite. Eye tracking systems: Track eye movement, using it to plot the position of the cursor on the screen. Dwelling on a location triggers a ‘click’. This can be used to control programmes as well as to type when used with the on-screen keyboard. Tracking eye movement means that the cursor does not need to be driven around the screen and so is typically much faster than head movement tracking. Both Head Tracking and Eye Tracking Systems are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products: Irisbond Duo Eye Tracker: Eye Gaze Control Made Easy is simple to setup, calibrate and operate, the Irisbond Duo is the perfect eye tracker starter solution for the classroom, it is designed for simplicity and ease of use, suited for those new to eye gaze and for use with all levels of ability. It’s licensed for an unlimited number of devices and users allowing you to swap connection from a standard desktop PC to a more mobile solution such as a laptop or tablet at any time. You no longer need specialistIrisbond Duo Eye Tracker support and training to get started. Launch the Easy Click software and follow the two-step setup process to be eye gazing in seconds. It requires no screen measuring or training to use and is designed to be intelligent and intuitive. A simple 2 step guide to position and calibrate enables you to get set up and start using in s 0-point or an easy 1-point calibration gives great functional accuracy for users with limited attention skills. Irisbond Duo will follow your gaze on the screen and let you move the cursor and issue mouse commands through input methods such as “dwell” and “blink”. The Irisbond Duo can be used with many children and adults with conditions including Physical Difficulties; Communication Difficulties; Intellectual Disabilities; ALS and Multiple Sclerosis; Cerebral Palsy; Rett Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Contact Edit Microsytems, to get a quote, or to find out more about this product. There are also various other types of these products which are available from other companies, Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you. Voice/Speech-Recognition (Speech-To-Text) Software Voice/Speech-Recognition Software enable you to run your computer entirely with your voice, it converts speech to text, and allows users to perform commands and even move the mouse without touching anything. Voice recognition is a practical way of controlling your computer and a very efficient means of getting information down and is useful for people who find typing difficult, painful or impossible, such as someone who has a physical disability, but it can also by-pass issues with things like spelling or grammar and so can be a great help to people with learning differences like dyslexia. There are a variety of options available including a free one that comes with windows & Dragon Naturally Speaking also known as Dragon for PC. This speech recognition software package, runs on Windows personal computers . It requires quite a bit of RAM (Random Access Memory) to run well & the right microphone. This type of Software is available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:Dragon Dragon Naturally Speaking: Dragon is the world’s best-selling speech recognition software. You can use Dragon to convert your speech into digital, editable text, making your computing tasks simpler and faster. From capturing your thoughts and creating documents or reports, to email and searching the web, to using simple voice commands to control many of the popular programs you use every day - Dragon Naturally Speaking is the speech recognition software of choice. Dragon has been used successfully in many schools for alternative assessment of learners with special education needs, where the (English-speaking) learner cannot write for themselves. This replaces the need for a scribe. There are several different licensing options of dragon, depending on your user profile and functional requirements. Use the following feature matrix to help you choose the right version of Dragon for your needs. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote. Edit Microsystems also provide a variety of other types of Software that can assist you, contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you. Microphones, Speakers & Headsets There are many different microphones that work well with Voice/Speech-Recognition Software, but the better microphone results in better accuracy. The person using it, talks into a mike & the words are then translated into text. After you set it up, it provides a Tips function, which you can leave on for a while so you keep learning tricks every time you start the software. You will also need to train it to learn & understand your voice. If used correctly, it should improve every time you use it. Your voice, how you use the microphone, your environment, and your PC are a few of the variables that determine what is a good microphone for you, the same applies to the microphones you will find comfortable, it is a personal preference. The Microphones vary in type & price & include: Basic headsets & mike Cordless headsets & mike USB headsets & mikes Microphones mounted on a desk. Each type of these Microphones have their pros & cons & are available from various companies throughout South Africa, such asEasi Headphones Edit Microsystems, who sell a variety of products including: Easi-Headphones: Are robust headphones with replaceable parts, designed especially for schools. They are a durable alternative for ICT suites and have a robust headband and replaceable ear cushions, which make them last even longer. The replaceable ear cushions have been designed to cover the whole ear to minimise outside noise and to increase comfort and the cable is quick release to reduce strain. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this product and to receive a quote. Edit Microsystems also provide a variety of other Headset- Speakers and Microphone devices to suit your needs, including various portable headsets which allow you to engage in a variety of activities anywhere anytime. They include the: Polaroid Bluetooth headphones: The new Polaroid Bluetooth headwear for all indoor and outdoor activities and listen to your favourite music anywhere, anytime without the hassles of wires or cables. The Polaroid Bluetooth headphones arePolaroid Bluetooth headphones: ThePolaroid Bluetooth headwear incorporated directly into the beanies and connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone or MP3 Player with a soft touch control button, you have the option to control your music directly on the beanies. The Bluetooth headphones can easily be removed for ease of washing. Specifications include a Bluetooth 4.1 headband Transmission distance : 10 m, Battery : Li-ion 3.7v/180mah, Playtime: 6 Hours, Charge time: 2.5 hours Compatible with most Bluetooth enabled devices Stream music wirelessly with no dangling cables. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this product and to receive a quote. Edit Microsystems also provide a variety of other portable headsets which allow you to engage in a variety of activities anywhere anytime. Contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you. Other Types Of Software There is also a wide variety of other types of Software which is available to purchase from Companies such as Edit Microsystems who can also supply you with a wide range of pre-loaded software, including Microsoft Windows and Office, as well as various other programs that can assist persons with Mobility Impairments to operate a computer, such as: Penfriend XP 4.1: The Penfriend XP 4.1 is an application tool specially designed for users with Dyslexia or physical disabilities. The application allows users to add word prediction, speech and an onscreen keyboard. The application allows users to add word prediction, speech and an onscreen keyboard which is compatible with most other software programs. It works with your word processor and tries to guess the word you are typing when the first, second and third letter has been entered. Complete the word with one key press. Learns the words you used recently and frequently and improves when you use it. saving feature allows for work to be saved by each individual user enabling easy access for teachers. Includes an edit and add topic feature for vocabulary. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this Software and to receive a quote. Companies such as Edit Microsystems can also supply you with a wide range of pre-loaded software, including Microsoft Windows and Office. Primary schools and LSEN schools, have a look at our Clicker 6 program, and high schools check out Yenka. If you are blind or have low vision, contact us for more information on Dolphin Supernova. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about this Software and to receive a quote. Mouse Alternatives There are many different types of mice available and it is important to choose one that fits the hand well and feels comfortable and easy to use. Often it takes a little while to get used to using a new type of mouse and can feel a little clumsy at first. Alternatives to the standard mouse Ergonomic Mice Ergonomic Mice have been designed to reduce muscle strain and decrease discomfort (while using the mouse) associated with a injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and tendonitis. Compared to other mice, an Ergonomic Mouse is designed to fit a more natural hand position when being used. Ergonomic Mice often come in left- and right-handed orientations and in different sizes, to ensure the mouse fits comfortably. Vertical mice realigning the wrist to a more natural ‘handshake’ position, transferring movement onto the more powerful shoulder muscles. Adjustable Ergonomic mice are hinged along one side and allow for the mouse to alternate between a flatter more traditional position and the vertical, this encourages a variable wrist position and can help move from a normal mouse to a vertical. There are various types of these products which are available from companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more. Roll Bar Mice Roll Bar Mice are positioned directly in front of the keyboard and have a ‘bar’ that slides left and right and rolls for up and down movement, eliminating the need to reach for the mouse and reducing unnecessary wrist movements, which can stress your neck, shoulders and elbows. Many of these Roll Bar mice include handy shortcut buttons including double click and copy & paste. The position of the bar allows it to be operated with your thumbs and keeps your hands on or close to the keyboard. There are various types of these products which are available from companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more. Trackball/Roller Ball MouseTrackball or Rollerball A Trackball or Rollerball Mouse remains stationary with the cursor controlled by rolling a ball with thumb, fingers, palm, or back of the hand. There is therefor little to no wrist movement, which is ideal for persons with limited hand function who battle to use both the regular Mouse which is sold with a Desktop Computer, or the Mouse Pad used with a Laptop. A Trackball is basically an upside-down mouse with an exposed protruding ball, which is used to move the pointer, the Trackball has no limits on effective travel. With a trackball, the operator just continues rolling, whereas a mouse would have to be lifted & re-positioned. Some trackballs have notably low friction, as well as being made of dense material such as glass, so they can be spun to make them coast. The trackball's buttons may be differently situated to that of a typical mouse, you get a variety of different types & styles of trackballs, including cordless ones, which can be handy, you need to find one that suits you. The Trackball is more expensive than the normal mouse & can be difficult to find in South Africa. This type of Software is available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit MiThe Microspeed PC-TRAC/MAX-TRACnatureal hand rest and reduces wrist angle by mirroring the natural contour of the hand. It is user friendly and affordable and is Microsoft compatible. It is easy to plug into your computer through the USB port and the drag lock feature allows for a simple press and the drag button locked until you press a second time. It is supplied with a USB connector with a USB port to your computer and is available in colours black and grey. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about these products and to receive a quote.

Edit Microsystems also provide a variety of other Trackballs which allow you to operate computers easier, contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Large Trackball Mice

The Large Trackball Mice are easy to use and may be particularly helpful for users who lack fine motor skills, including children and people with limited hand use, learning difficulties, tremors or arthritis. Also, like the BIGtrack mouse (with switches) shown here, they can be strong and are often suitable for being operated by elbows or feet. These Large Trackballs can be used for easy precision. The large ball requires less fine motor control than a standard trackball and it is ruggedly built. This was the first type of Trackball that I used after injury and gave me good practice to eventually use a normal trackball. These large Trackballs are cheaper than normal Trackballs and are available from companies in South Africa, such as Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:big trackball

The BIGtrack: is an alternative mouse  designed for users with physical disabilities that can be used as a navigation tool for computers. The BIG track Trackball (pictured right) has a 3 inch trackball which makes it the largest trackball available. It has a left and a right mouse click button located behind the trackball to avoid unwanted mouse clicks. The BIGtrack can be connected to swiches and a second mouse allowing simultaneous participation between devices. The trackball includes a drag- lock feature and is available in a switch adapted version and has a USB or PS2 ports which allows for connection to Windows or Mac computers. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about these products and to receive a quote.

Edit Microsystems also provide a variety of other Large Trackballs including the BIGtrack Trackball Switch adapted, contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about this product, or to receive a quote, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Touchpads (Trackpads)

Touchpads (or Trackpads) are stationary pads operated by sliding (or swiping) your finger(s) across the surface; clicking can be done with buttons or by downwards pressure / tapping lightly on the surface. These types of products are available from various companies in South Africa, including Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:

The Glidepoint USB Touchpad: The Glidepoint USB Touchpad (pictured right) is an alternate to a standard mousing device which allows you to simply glide your finger over the surface and tap it gently or click the buttons to perform all input functions. There are 3Glidepoint USB Touchpads categories of desktop touchpads to choose from finding a solution to fit your digital lifestyle. The Glidepoint USB Touchpad enables easy and comfortable navigation to your computer forming basic mouse functions - glide, point, press and tap to activate the designated areas of the pad. The change of pad texture and colour feature allows for easy right click detection by double tapping and holding your finger on the pad. The GlideExtend feature enables easy movement of the cursor after you  have run into the touchpad’s edge. The one touch, zoom and scroll with distinctive sounds for each operation combining all the mouse functions into one durable touchpad. The programmable software allows you to go from fast on-screen movements to pixel point control. Quickly activate vertical/horizontal scrolling as well as magnification tools by gliding a finger along the touchpad edges. Cirque’s capacitive touch technology provides complete navigation control of any graphical interface, packed in a space saving, low friction, durable touchpad. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about these products and to receive a quote.

Edit Microsystems also provide a variety of other Joysticks which allow you to operate computers easier, contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Joysticks

Joysticks work in a similar manner to the controls on an electric wheelchair, with the joystick position determining the direction (and speed) of the mouse pointer. Additional buttons on the joystick can operate left, right and double clicks, as well as other common shortcuts such as cut and paste. These types of products are available from various companies in South Africa, including Edit Microsystems who sell the following products:Joystick C Lite

Joystick-C-Lite: The Joystick-C-Lite (pictured right) is an alternative mouse device and is designed for users with impaired motor skills. The Joystick-C-Lite consist of one big accessible button and 4 switch inputs. The device can be customised to the users individual needs and capabilities. The Joystick-C-Lite consist of one large accessible coloured buttons for easy selection. Includes configuration software included. Use the switch sockets to customise click actions: left click, right click, drag and drop, double click or nothing. Includes customisable covers and labels for the buttons. A non-slip and sturdy user experience. Simplify access for people with inaccurate movements with configuration of the joystick. Has four switch sockets for external 3.5mm switch access (excluding switches) Compatible with Mac and PC USB connections. Dimensions: 15cm x 21cm x 15cm. Speed independent from the action performed on the joystick. Contact Edit Microsytems to find out more about these products and to receive a quote.

Edit Microsystems also provide a variety of other Joysticks which allow you to operate computers easier, contact Edit Microsytems, to find out more about these types of products or to receive a quote, or Contact Us to see what other types of these products are available in South Africa if Edit Microsytems cannot assist you.

Pen Mice, Graphics Tablets & Foot Mouse

There are also various other options to controlling your computer, including Pen Mice, Graphic Tablets and the Foot Mouse.

Pen Mice: Pen mice are held in the hand like a pen. They tend to be quite ‘chunky’ sand are a similar size to a marker pen. Left and right click buttons are vertical on the pen shaft. There are various types of these products which are available from companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more.

Graphics Tablets: Graphics tablets require a specialist tablet to write on, but the pens they use are more pen-like than pen mice and generally more comfortable to hold. Graphics tablets tend to be more geared towards design than ergonomics. Many tablet manufacturers are beginning to produce a pen or ‘stylus’ as another means of interacting with the tablet and will allow you to make handwritten notes. There are various types of these products which are available from companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more.

Foot Mouse: The Foot Mouse systems are typically designed to use both feet. One foot controls the cursor using a slip-on puck on a mat. The other foot controls switches, often with single and double click or other options controlled by separate buttons. There are various types of these products which are available from companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more.

Accessibility Tools & Resources

Accessibility Tools provide options for people using computers who have Learning, Vision, Hearing, or Mobility Impairments. They include the following features:

  • Use the narrator feature to have text read to you.
  • Use the speech recognition feature to control your computer with voice commands or convert speech to text so you do not need to type.
  • Activate keyboard and visual features to make navigating your computer easier.
  • You can turn on several accessibility options from Ease of Access settings, a central location for features such as Narrator, Magnifier, Closed captions, and High contrast. See the following sections for these and other accessibility options.

Disability Answer Desk

The Disability Answer Desk is a where customers with disabilities get support with Microsoft Office, Xbox Accessibility, and Windows. This includes product issues, accessibility questions and use of Assistive technology.

  • Microsoft Accessibility: Find product information and easy-to-use guides for Microsoft accessibility features. Read More: ....
  • Office Accessibility Center: Find step-by-step instructions for using Microsoft Office with assistive technologies. Read More: ....
  • Windows Accessibility: Need help with Microsoft Windows? You’ve come to the right place for accessibility information. Read More: ....
  • Windows 10 S Accessibility: Find answers to commonly asked questions about how Windows 10 S works with assistive technology. Read More: ....

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are combinations of two or more keys that you can use to perform a task that would typically require a mouse or other pointing device. Keyboard shortcuts can make it easier to work with your PC, saving you time and effort as you work with Windows and other apps. This can be particularly useful if your hands are impaired, especially in combination with "Sticky Keys"

Examples of these include:

Windows system key combinationskeyboard & rollerball mouse

  • F1: Help
  • CTRL+ESC: Open Start menu
  • ALT+TAB: Switch between open programs
  • ALT+F4: Quit program
  • SHIFT+DELETE: Delete item permanently
  • Windows Logo+L: Lock the computer (without using CTRL+ALT+DELETE)

Windows program key combinations

  • CTRL+C: Copy
  • CTRL+X: Cut
  • CTRL+V: Paste
  • CTRL+Z: Undo
  • CTRL+B: Bold
  • CTRL+U: Underline
  • CTRL+I: Italic

Mouse Keys

Mouse Keys allows you to move the mouse cursor from the keys in the number pad on the right side of a full-size keyboard. It is not as fast as a regular mouse, or even as fast as the Track Ball, but when turned on, Mouse Keys also allows you to click and drag. This gives you much more control, especially in Graphic Design & if your hand movement is impaired.

To turn on the Mouse Keys option, click Start; Settings; Control Panel; Accessibility Options. Click the Mouse Tab at the top of the dialog box and then click the little box next to Use Mouse Keys to put a check in it. You can then select the options you want and click OK.

You can also turn on Mouse Keys by pressing Left Alt+Left Shift+Num Lock.  To change options like how quickly the mouse pointer moves and whether your PC makes a sound when you turn on Mouse Keys, in the Ease of Access Center, tap or click Make the mouse easier to use, and then, under Control the mouse with the keyboard, tap or click Set up Mouse Keys, and tap or click OK.

Move the pointer using Mouse Keys

After you turn on Mouse Keys, you can use the numeric keypad to move the mouse.

To move the mouse pointermouse keys

Up - 8
Down - 2
Right - 6
Left - 4
Up and to the left - 7
Down and to the left - 1
Up and to the right  - 9
Down and to the right - 3            

Sticky Keys

Sticky Keys is a Windows Ease of Access feature that makes it possible to use keyboard shortcuts or type capital letters without needing to press more than one key at once. Normally, you’d hold down the Shift key while pressing a letter to type a capital, or hold down the Ctrl key while pressing ‘S’ to save a document. It's even trickier if you want to use a shortcut such as Ctrl-Alt-Del or Ctrl-Shift-Esc.sticky-keys

Sticky Keys makes operating a keyboard with one hand easier, you can press Ctrl, Shift or Alt, let go and then press another key, you should hear a beep if you have the speakers connected. It’s great if you have a Mobility Impairment that affects your arms and can’t press two keys at once. I am a C5 Quadriplegic and always use it and find it helps allot. It also makes it easier to use keyboard shortcuts or hold down the Ctrl key while pressing 'S' to save a document for example.

You can Setup Sticky Keys when you hit one of your keyboard’s Shift keys five times in a row, this will cause a Window to pop-up, which will ask if you want to enable Sticky Keys. You can also switch it on by going to "Control Panel" then "'Adjust Computer Settings" then"ease of access" & turn sticky keys on.

Typing Stick, Mouth Stick & Adjustable Head Pointers

There are a wide variety of different Typing Sticks, Mouth Sticks and Head Pointers, which can be used for typing by persons with Mobility Impairments, depending on the type & degree of your disability.

Typing Stick: A Typing Stick is an assistive device used by persons with with Mobility Impairments who have use of their arms, but impaired mobility in their hands. Typing Sticks enables the user to type better & quicker, a universal strap is attached to a narrow splint positioned on the wrist. The splint is attached solely by means of the universal strap, which goes around the palm. A rubber-tipped wooden or carbon fiber rod sits in the universal strap. The rubber tip on the rod prevents the stick from slipping on the keys. A typing stick can also be lodged between the fingers. If the stick sits firmly between the fingers, the user can do away with the strap. There are various types of these products which are available from companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more.mouth stick

Mouth Stick: Mouth Sticks are used by persons with with Mobility Impairments who have no or little use of their arms and therefor have to use a longer Typing Stick which are held in one's teeth. The unit extends from jaw level, permitting better vision and body positioning than a forehead pointer. They are not bendable and the user stays comfortably positioned, and minimal head movement is required. It is an amazingly efficient tool for manipulating the keyboard and can also be used as a page turner. A Clamp-On Mouth Stick can securely hold a pen, pencil, paintbrush, chalk or similar tools, which are then controlled by the mouth. It can be adjusted with a thumbscrew lock-nut at the distal end to vary the angle & diameter. There are various types of these products which are available from companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more.

Adjustable Head Pointers: Adjustable Head Pointers are used by persons with with Mobility Impairments who have no or little use of their arms and is an essential aid for activities such as turning pages, drawing or painting. It is a head brace which hasHead Page Turner pointing device mounted on it. A person is just required to move his/her head in order to make the head pointer type buttons, scroll through web pages. Head pointer is worn on head and its extending piece reaches and engages with keyboard keys by moving head. Its small rubber tip increases precision and accuracy while typing. A Head pointer does not obstruct the field of vision of users, it is adjustable and comes in different sizes to accommodate varying customer needs. Head pointer sticks can be used for many other tasks other than just depressing keyboard keys, like dialing phone numbers or turning pages of a book. The aluminum frame, with foam-padded liner, can bend to fit head size. It is secured by an elastic chin strap and Velcro. Rods can be bent or cut to adjust angle and length. There are various types of these products which are available from companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more. Head Pointers can also be fited onto Baseball Caps, these are known as Baseball Cap Head Pointers.

Baseball Cap Head Pointer: Baseball Cap Head Pointer are also available & is a fully adjustable pointer that fits any size baseball cap with a button on top. There are various types of these products which are available from companies in South Africa, Contact Us to find out more.

If you require any of these products but are unsure which will best suite you, please contact an Occupational Therapist near you.

Disclaimer

Please note that the FREE services and website that we offer is privately run & funded and is not run or funded by the Government or any Organization. We therefore rely on advertising and donations to continue to supply and improve this Free service. The Companies, Clubs, Schools and Organizations that have their logos on this site, have advertised or made donations to the Website and have therefore assisted us be able to continue to offer this free Service. Please support them as they have supported Us and please contact us if you can advertise with us or would like to make a donation!

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References

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