When other people laugh at Jack Carroll’s disability, he does not become angry or embarrassed. In fact, he instigates the laughter. Jack, a fourteen-year-old school boy who has cerebral palsy, already knows what makes a comedy act successful. According to the young comedy genius, “in comedy your weaknesses are your strengths”. If you see his comedy act, you’d definitely agree…while laughing.
Micah Lahren of Technibble.com discusses assistive technology (AT) for business clients who have disabilities. Some of the AT he mentions includes:
- Espeak – the default text-to-speech synthesizer for Ubuntu
- Assistive Mouse Adapter - a device that filters out unwanted movements, such as tremors, when using a mouse
- Trackball – a device that offers a better grip for persons with dexterity impairments
To read more about AT that helps clients with various types of disabilities, read Assistive Technology Solutions for Your Clients.
Persons with dexterity disabilities may have little or no motor control in their hands to perform daily tasks. Many of them (including yours truly) still can operate the computer using one hand, one foot, eyes, a headpointer or a mouth stick. Adaptive keyboards and switches can facilitate persons with dexterity impairments to use computers. Accessibility features in an operating system can further enable users who cannot use their hands to type on keyboards easily.
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Developmental disabilities include cerebral palsy, down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, and autism. Established by President Reagan in 1987, the commemoration depicts the achievements that persons with developmental disabilities have made and challenges that that they still face.
The following articles discuss Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in depth:
- March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
- Developmental disabilities month holds personal meaning
- Empower yourself, empower someone else
- County to Honor Support for Those with Intellectual Disabilities
- Gov. Fallin creates developmental disabilities panel
- Failing Those With Developmental Disabilities
RocketKeys is a new augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) keyboard that can be configured to any size or other specifications. Developed by MyVoice, Inc., this adaptive keyboard accommodates users with dexterity and vision impairments. The talking onscreen keyboard also has word prediction.
For further details, go to the RocketKeys website.
Stephen Hawking, the renowned physicist who has severe disabilities, has sought help from Intel to develop a system that would facilitate faster communication. Presently, Hawking uses a twitch of his cheek to communicate through a voice synthesizer, which results in one word per minute. Intel would utilize other facial expressions to develop a more efficient communication system for him.
To learn more, read Chipmaker Races to Save Stephen Hawking’s Speech as His Condition Deteriorates.