Assistive Technology

There are plenty of very useful pieces of software and appliances that can really help with day to day activities. I am in no way an expert with these technologies but I wanted to list and describe a few of them I have used.  I wish I had known about some of them sooner because they are incredibly helpful and could have really benefited me. Accessibility for technology has improved significantly in recent years and more people should know about what’s out there.

Dictation software for the computer.

The first time I became aware of this software was when I started university. The uni kindly offered me a copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking, which really was a life-saver when it came to writing essays, doing coursework, and preparing notes. It also allowed you to control more functions on the pc through voice commands which is again very helpful. This could have been even more useful to me if I was introduced to it earlier because I had several pieces of coursework for GCSE and A-level that required lots of writing.

R-net devices

R-net bluetooth hardware and software can be added to your wheelchair allowing the joystick to be used as a cursor on your mobile phone or tablet. I was able to get one through the NHS and it has allowed me to easily operate my phone. They also came up with a way to attach the phone to the chair using clamps. I never used to be able to use my phone very easily but connecting it to my chair has allowed me to use a phone like anybody else. You can get the software for both android and apple devices so you can use your preference.

Equipment for gaming

Playing games on console and pc is one of my favourite things to do but it gets a lot more difficult when you can’t fully use your hands. In order to deal with this, I have used several bits of kit to make it easier. I have used something called a Cronusmax to link a controller to my pc in order to re-map the buttons and make gaming easier. I have also used micro switches connected to a interface to allow for easier button pressing. In terms of gaming, there are now loads of things to assist you if you are disabled so make sure to search for some of these.

This is a short list and it is by no means exhaustive but the above items have really helped me so I hope you can find something that works for you.

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