silver sage

opinions from the high desert

How do I write?

So, just how does someone with my limited movement use a computer? First, I can still move my arms a little. The right more than the left. I can’t lift my arm, but once placed on the mouse I have enough lateral movement to use it. Now think about how you use a mouse. How often do you pick it up? It’s natural and no one thinks about it, but you pick it up a lot. I have to be able to slide my hand and can’t pick the mouse up. I wear a cotton mitten with a small pad in the palm that sticks to the mouse but allows my hand to slide easily. I have an iMac G5 so I am able to get away with using the 1-button Mac mouse. To click, I use this button on the floor. That covers the mechanics of using the computer.

For typing shorter things, passwords, chatting, short e-mails, I use KeyStrokes 3.1, an onscreen keyboard. Kind of slow, like typing with one finger, but it gives me a choice of words once I start a word, so I don’t have to finish typing. For longer writing I use a program called Dasher. There is no easy way to describe it without seeing it. It’s like playing a video game, with the letters flying right to left and I just steer the cursor to the one I want.
I also have this laptop to use when I can’t talk any more. That’s a whole new ball o’ wax for another day.
Feel free to comment if I left anything out.

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July 18, 2006 - Posted by | health

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