2006 Conference General Sessions






Kelly Fonner
Educational & Assistive Technology Consultant
1508 Dodge Street, Lower Level
Lake Geneva WI 53147
Day Phone: (262) 893-8053
Fax: (262) 249-9269
Email: kfonner@earthlink.net

Presenter #2
Mark Sardo
Madentec Limited
4664 99th Street
Edmonton T6E 5H5 Canada
Day Phone: (607) 962-4207
Fax: (780) 988-6182
Email: marks@madentec.com


People have a range of varying physical ability. Persons with physical disabilities need to decide which type of access strategies, or access “tools”, provide the successful bridge to their end goal — universal access to the entire computer.

This session will provide a new approach when it comes to deciding upon what computer access tool to implement. We will ask, “What is the user physically able to do? Can they touch? Can they point? Can they click?” The approach here is to provide just the right amount of computer access intervention needed.

So, if the person can “touch”, but a standard keyboard and mouse are not within their use due to fine motor skills, then a large, programmable, alternative keyboard (that can also do mouse functions) might be the answer. We will provide several demonstrations on how the user can benefit and customize an alternative keyboard to meet just their needs.

If the person does not have the ability to “touch”, but they do have somewhat reliable head control, then maybe they will be able to “point”. Through the use of dynamic on-screen keyboards and mouse control software/hardware users may be able to input everything into the computer only through the movement of their head. There are a variety of combinations of tools that may be used to facilitate head pointing access — we will demonstrate many of these.
If the person is unable to “touch” or “point”, maybe they have enough ability to “click”. In other words, the only reliable physical action that a person has is only enough to “click” a switch. Believe it or not, a single switch may be used to control the entire computer. We will demonstrate many ways that a single switch may be used to control programs (word processing, games), the internet, and even communication. Switch access can be customized to meet each individual’s needs. Auditory cueing and/or speech feedback may be used — along with several different scanning methods — for instance, “inverse scanning” is when switch activations happen when a person releases the switch.

This session will review the continuum of physical ability and matching such to various tools to provide the most efficient, yet complete, computer access. It is our hope that anyone interested in providing the right computer access solution, will consider asking the questions: “Can you touch? Can you point? Can you click?”

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