Technology Corner: Keyboard Accessibility for Motor Impairment
[Source: OTs with Apps]
Among the updates in the new iOS 9 operating system, offered late October 2015, are additional features for touch accommodations. These setting are wonderful additions to students with motor impairments but also highly relevant when working with adults with motor impairment. Recent evaluations of adults with motor impairments who are interested in access to computers, whether tablets or standard computers, brought about questions of what is available currently for keyboard access for individuals with motor challenges.
As a therapist working with students inaccuracy with motor planning, in coordination, weakness or tonal challenges may be some of the difficulties presented when accessing keyboards or touch devices. Similar challenges present themselves with adults, whether aging in place, Parkinson’s or tremors, or other mobility challenges (arthritis, sensory impairments, injuries) when considering methods of access to a keyboard or touch screen for typing or access. A client recently evaluated demonstrated significant tremors, greater in the right (preferred) hand than left, significantly interfering with his ability to type. Challenges with low vision also potentially contributed to the challenge.
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