Remote access for all: some resources

To support efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, here are some resources to help ensure the accessibility of remote teaching, learning, and working. When moving to remote formats, we want to meet the needs of all participants, including those with disabilities, as we tackle this huge challenge together.

Remote access for all: some resources. Cartoon image shows people communicating remotely using laptops, phones, and tablets.
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Accessible click and drag on the iPad

The latest iPad OS 13.3 allows you to perform an accessible drag with dwell selection using AssistiveTouch. And there are at least three other methods that might meet your needs for a more accessible drag. Here’s a step-by-step guide to go through each option and help you choose the one that’s best for you.

Accessible click and drag on the iPad. Image of an iPad with the words "accessible drag" drawn on the screen.

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In-person training improves assistive technology outcomes

In a recent research study, people who received in-person training from an occupational therapist had significantly better outcomes with their computer assistive technology, as compared to people who used a home-study program or those who received no training at all. Read on for a summary of this 2019 study from France.

In-person training improves assistive technology outcomes. Two images: one showing an occupational therapist and a person with a spinal cord injury working together. The other shows a close-up of a person typing using a typing splint.
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How to freehand draw using iOS Switch Control

iOS Switch Control allows you to freehand draw using a single switch on your iPad or iPhone. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.

Photo of iPad, a yellow switch, and Tapio switch interface, with text saying How to freehand draw using iOS Switch Control
iOS Switch Control lets you control your iPad or iPhone using a single switch or multiple switches. So it can be a powerful accommodation allowing people with severe motor impairments to fully access any iOS device.

Switch Control is most often used for entering text and tapping on buttons and icons. But what about freehand drawing? There’s a lot less information out there on how to do that.

This post shows you how to get started with freehand drawing using iOS Switch Control. Read on for step-by-step instructions that show you how to draw a line of any length and in any location.

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A problem with two-switch scanning in iOS 13 and how to fix it

After upgrading my iPad to iOS 13, my setup for two-switch scanning in Switch Control stopped working. Here’s what happened, and how I fixed it.

Picture of an iPad with two switches connected via a Tapio interface.  Caption rades A problem with 2-switch scanning in iOS 13 and how to fix it.

Overview

I recently ran into an unexpected problem getting my external switches to work when using two-switch scanning with iPad Switch Control. After wrestling with the problem and eventually fixing it (or at least finding a workaround), I thought I’d share what I learned in case it can save somebody else some time.

Here’s a quick bottom-line synopsis: If you are using a Tapio interface for two-switch input with an iPad, set your Tapio to generate 1 and 2 for outputs, rather than the Space and Enter default outputs.

Read on for more details on the problem and exactly how to implement this solution.

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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.

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12 considerations for choosing a one-handed typing method

One-handed typing can be a useful option if you have a disability involving one of your hands, and there are a surprising number of options for typing with one hand. Here are some key issues to consider when choosing a one-handed typing method.

One-handed typing: 12 key considerations. Photo of someone typing with their right hand on a keyboard.

What do we mean by one-handed typing?

At the risk of stating the obvious, we’re talking about typing using the fingers of a single hand, possibly with a bit of help from the other hand but often completely solo. The most basic one-handed typing method is to use a standard physical keyboard with one hand instead of two, requiring more movement of the typing hand and arm, and reducing opportunities to touch-type. Because of these limitations, a number of other options for one-handed typing have emerged over the years.

This post was inspired by a question to the QIAT listserv, asking about typing options for a middle school student born with only one hand. You might benefit from a one-handed typing method if one of your hands functions pretty well but the other has limitations, perhaps due to a stroke. You might also benefit if you need to avoid using one of your hands due to repetitive stress injury or pain, or if you are in a hands-busy environment where one hand just isn’t available for regular touch typing.

By choosing the one-handed typing method that best meets your needs, you can have an efficient and comfortable way to enter text using only one hand. Read on for some key considerations that will help you make a good choice.

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Compass version 3.0 released

KPR has released Compass version 3.0, which offers better compatibility with speech recognition input. Get your free trial and take the guesswork out of assistive technology assessments.

Compass version 3.0 released
We’ve updated Compass, KPR’s software for access assessments. If you’ve had any difficulties using speech recognition with Compass in the past, give this new version a try. And if you’ve never tried Compass before, now is a great time!

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