Your Guide to 10+ One-hand Typing Options

Here’s a guide to currently available methods and devices for one-hand typing. If you need to type with one hand due to a limb difference, stroke, or other motor impairment, this guide will help you sort through your options for productive typing.

One-handed typing: What's available?  Pictures show 3 example options -- one-hand touch typing, tapping codes on touchscreen, and a chorded keyboard in the palm

This post focuses on options for people who need to type using the fingers of a single hand, possibly with a bit of help from the other hand but often completely solo. Depending on your specific needs, it might work well to use a standard physical keyboard with one hand, but you might want to consider various options such as one-handed techniques, alternative keyboard layouts, or novel methods of text input. The key is to make an informed choice to make sure your one-hand typing method truly meets your needs. In our last post, we described 12 considerations to think about when choosing a one-hand typing method. Here, we examine a variety of specific one-hand typing options that are available and see how they stack up on those considerations.

Continue reading “Your Guide to 10+ One-hand Typing Options”

Morse code for access: what do we know?

Morse code has been used in assistive technology since at least the 1970’s to support typing using one or two switches. This post summarizes what we know about typing performance for Morse code users with physical disabilities, and how it compares to other switch-based text entry methods.

The Morse code keyboard for the Gboard app, showing dot and dash keys.
Morse code can be an effective way to type using only one or two switches. It’s been around for decades as an assistive technology (AT) that can be used by people with high-level spinal cord injuries (often with a sip/puff switch), severe cerebral palsy, or other conditions that cause significant physical impairments.

This post was inspired by a question sent to the RESNA AT-FORUM listserv by Craig Wadsworth of the Illinois AT Program and Debra and Thomas King, long-time advocates of Morse code. They are trying to gather info from people who are using Morse or have helped someone use it, in order to build a firmer knowledge base about using Morse effectively.

Their question got me thinking about what we really know about the viability of Morse relative to other switch-based methods such as switch scanning.

Continue reading “Morse code for access: what do we know?”

Highlights from the 2019 RESNA Conference

The RESNA/RehabWeek 2019 Conference featured 3 packed days of sharing among people in the assistive technology field. Here are a few highlights from my experiences there this year.

RehabWeek 2019 conference held in Toronto June 24-28
This year’s RESNA conference was part of RehabWeek 2019 , involving 6 parallel conferences on assistive technology, rehabilitation robotics, functional electrical stimulation, and other rehabilitation technologies. Held in Toronto, with the main program from June 25-27, RehabWeek had a great diversity of topics and people. Here are some highlights, based on my notes.

Continue reading “Highlights from the 2019 RESNA Conference”

Visualizing text entry data: which design do you prefer?

We’re working on some new ways to visualize the text entry data within AT-node, and we need your feedback! Take a look at some designs and let us know what you think.

Visualizing text entry data: your feedback needed
Continue reading “Visualizing text entry data: which design do you prefer?”

AT-node: explore the data on typing with assistive technology

How fast can people with physical disabilities type when using different assistive technologies? Find out with our free AT-node for access website. Use the evidence to enhance your understanding.

I’ve mentioned our free AT-node website in other posts (like this one with a neat infographic), without really demonstrating what it is, so in this post, I want to give you a quick introduction to using the AT-node website.
Continue reading “AT-node: explore the data on typing with assistive technology”

Better typing with keyboard assistive technology

Here’s another great example of how a simple change to a user’s computer setup can make a big difference, in this case using keyboard assistive technology. Read on for a summary of this 2018 case study from the University of Bordeaux.

Better typing with keyboard assistive technology. Photo on the left shows original keyboard, with user typing with left hand. Hand is partially curled up, with index and middle fingers extended. Photo on the right shows keyboard with assistive technology to enhance typing: keyguard, angled stand, and forearm rest.
Continue reading “Better typing with keyboard assistive technology”

Typing with a tongue computer interface

It’s possible to type with your tongue using tiny sensors worn in the mouth. This post presents text entry rate results from a recent study, including two people with cervical spinal cord injuries.

Image shows the 18 sensors embedded into the device, which is worn like an orthodontic retainer. Also shows how letters are assigned to each sensor to allow for typing with the tongue.
For about 30 years, researchers have experimented with different ways of typing with your tongue. The Tongue Touch Keypad from the 1990’s used a tiny keyboard embedded in an orthodontic-style retainer. A newer approach continues to use the orthodontic-style retainer, but now embeds inductive sensors that are activated by moving a small magnet attached to the tongue. How well can you type with this sort of tongue computer interface? Read on for results from a recent study.

Continue reading “Typing with a tongue computer interface”

Highlights from the ATIA 2019 Conference – Part 2

The ATIA Conference provides great opportunities for learning, sharing, and networking in assistive technology, and the 2019 conference was no exception. Here’s the second of two posts featuring a few of the highlights.

Highlights from ATIA 2019 - Part 2
I was fortunate to attend ATIA’s 2019 Conference recently, held in Orlando, FL, and enjoyed the chance to learn from others and connect with the great folks who work in the assistive technology (AT) field. My first post on ATIA 2019 focused on highlights directly related to mouse access, while this post will highlight some educational sessions that addressed other topics. Keep in mind that with about 400 presentations, 120 exhibitors, and 3000 attendees, this is just one tiny sample representing one person’s ATIA experience. Please share comments about your ATIA experience!

Continue reading “Highlights from the ATIA 2019 Conference – Part 2”

Highlights from the RESNA 2018 Conference

The RESNA 2018 Conference featured three intense days of sharing and networking among leaders in assistive technology. It’s impossible to get to everything, but here we highlight a few things of particular interest.

A photograph promoting the RESNA 2018 conference in Washington DC. Photo shows the National Mall and Washington Monument in the twilight.
I attended RESNA’s 2018 Annual Conference recently, as I do pretty much every year. This year’s was held in Arlington, VA in mid-July. A friend asked me why I invest the time and money to go to the conference. I’ll try to address that in this post, with a focus on the learning and new ideas that the conference inspires.
Continue reading “Highlights from the RESNA 2018 Conference”

Evidence on computer text entry by people with disabilities

Ever wonder how quickly people can type with different accessibility interfaces? Is it useful to know the typing speed for the “average” user with cerebral palsy on an assistive keyboard?

Sajay Arthanat and I have been working together to organize the available research evidence on text entry rates (typing speeds) for people with disabilities. This has been a fun project that’s allowed us to revisit the literature published since 1986. Continue reading “Evidence on computer text entry by people with disabilities”