Physical disability

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People with a physical disability often need help in carrying out day-to-day tasks. There are some useful ICT solutions to help them. Below are some examples.

Switches can be adapted for use by an individual who can control at least one movement e.g. blinking, moving a finger. Switches can perform both simple and complicated tasks.

An example is the sip/puff type device. The user blows into a tube and the movement of air activates switches. This device can then be combined with a head-controlled mouse pointer and used in conjunction with an on-screen keyboard for inputing text. The user moves the mouse by moving his/her head and controls the mouse clicks using the sip/puff device. The input text can, in turn, be spoken via a voice synthesiser.

Sip puff.jpg

There are various types of stick or wand pointers that fit on the head, in the mouth or on the chin. They can be used for pointing, turning the pages of a book, using a computer or a with a communication board. A beam of light can also be used for pointing.

An alternative for people who are able to press switches is a large multiple switch device. These can perform mouse clicks and can also be used to control many devices other than computers, such as powered wheelchairs.

Multiple switch.jpg

Voice recognition systems. A computer can be programmed to recognise a person's voice and accept spoken commands. A voice recognition system can perform many day-to-day tasks such as entering data into a computer, answering a telephone, turning lights on and off...

Voice recognition is very helpful for people with severe motor disabilities and is becoming popular as a convenient technology amongst people without disabilities .