Resource center for people with disabilities
Ćirila i Metodija 21, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia
Tel./Fax: +381 (0)21 469-616,466-588,466-911, 6397-626
e-mail: ehores@ehons.org  infores@ehons.org

Assistive technologies

A presentation of special computer equipment, including computer mouse replacements, special keyboards, switches and adapters. Presentation of communication aids and the Life Tool program.

Computer mouse replacement

Trackball

Switchmouse

Joystick

Keyboards

Switches

Adapters

Communication aids

Other aids

 

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Computer mouse replacement

There are three types of replacement for the computer mouse. The choice of aid to be used will depend entirely on the features each device provides and on the preferences of person with disabilities.

Trackball

The Trackball Libra is aimed at people who have difficulty using or holding a standard mouse. It is stable and larger than a standard mouse, but has the same functions. The cursor is moved using a ball. There are 3 buttons which replace left, right and middle click. It is recommended for people with cerebral palsy and muscle spasms.

01 trackball.jpg

The Trackball Libra series is aimed at people who have difficulty using or holding a standard mouse. It is stable and larger than a standard mouse, but has the same functions. The cursor is moved using a ball. There are 2 buttons which replace left and right click. There is also the option to add switches which replace left and right click. It is recommended for people with cerebral palsy and muscle spasms.

02 trackball.jpg

The Penny&Giles Trackball is aimed at people who have difficulty using or holding a standard mouse. The cursor is moved using a ball. There are 2 buttons which replace left and right click, a separate button for double-click, a button for cursor movement speed, a button for horizontal and vertical scrolling and a separate “drag and drop” button. There is a switch adaptor, so it can be used with switches instead.

03 C_PennyGilesTrackPlus.jpg

 

The Qtronix Trackball serial is a standard trackball with three buttons for left, right and middle click. It is centred so that both left- and right-handed people can use it. There is no option to plug in additional switches. It connects to the computer via the serial port.
 

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The Big Track is modern version of the trackball. Has the same functions as the Crayolla Trackball Libra series, connects via USB and has ports for additional switches (left and right click).

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The n-Abler is a modern version of the trackball. It connects to the computer via the USB port. It has buttons for left and right click, double click, drag and drop and cursor speed adjustment. Has the option to plug in an additional 2 switches directly, without the use of an adapter, for people who have trouble targeting or pressing the existing buttons.

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Switchmouse

Gorlo & Todt Big switch mouse serial is a mouse replacement which allows the cursor to be moved in 8 directions. There are separate buttons for left, right and double click, for drag and drop and for cursor speed adjustment. It can also be foot-operated.

07 Switchmouse.jpg

The Gorlo & Todt Small SwitchMouse series is a mouse replacement which allows the cursor to be moved in 8 directions. There are separate buttons for left, right and double click, for drag and drop and for cursor speed adjustment. It is hand-operated. An optional top guard can be added. Switches cannot be added.

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The Robust Keyboard (a mouse) jis a durable switch mouse. It is made of metal and allows for removal of certain buttons. It allows movement of the cursor in 4 directions and has a button for left click. It is connected via adapter Icon 3.

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The Penta is a switch mouse. It allows movement of the cursor in 4 directions and has a button for left click. It has a long cable that allows the device to be held in the lap and is recommended for people with muscular dystrophy. Connection is via adapter Icon 3.

 

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The WAFER is a switch mouse. It allows for left-right and up-down movement of the cursor, and has a left click button. Connection is via adapter Icon 3.

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The STAR is a switch mouse. Connection is via an Icon 3 adapter. It allows for up-down and left-right movement of the cursor and has a centre button which functions as a left click. Its features are very similar to those of the Wafer.

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Joystick

The Penny & Giles Joystick is aimed at people who have difficulty using or holding a standard mouse. The cursor is moved using a joystick. There are 2 buttons which replace left and right click, a separate button for double-click, a button for cursor movement speed, a button for horizontal and vertical scrolling and a separate “drag and drop” button. The extension to the stick can be changed according to needs. Switches can be added using a special adaptor.

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The Easy Stick with 2 buttons is a heavy joystick and hence cannot accidentally be moved by people with involuntary movements. The cursor is moved using a joystick. There are separate buttons for left and right click and an option to connect an additional 2 switches.

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The Integra Mouse is intended for people with quadriplegia. It works by the user breathing in to activate the left click button and breathing out to activate the right click. Cursor movement is done with the lips, and it fully replaces the standard mouse. The Onscreen Keyboard program allows entry of text. When used daily, once-weekly replacement of the rubber membrane is recommended. Switches can be added and there is a restart button.

Integra Mouse

 

The Funkey joystick is connected via the Icon 3 adapter. It can be fixed to a surface by vacuum and there are 4 buttons – left, right and double click and drag and drop..

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The Mini joystick is operated by pressure and movement of the chin. It allows the cursor to be moved in all directions, while pressure from the chin replaces left click. There is also a trackball option. It is fixed with a special grip to the Magic Arm or Flexible Arm. It is connected via the Icon 3 adapter.

Mini joystick

The Gorlo & Todt joystick is of a very high build quality. It has all the options of a standard mouse and has special buttons for left and right click, double click, drag and drop and cursor movement speed adjustment. It is connected to the computer via USB. Additional switches can be added without an adapter.

Gorlo & Todt joystick

 

The Optimax is a wireless joystick. It has a button for left and right click and for moving the cursor separately along the horizontal and vertical axes. The joystick handle is interchangeable, as per requirements. It has a range of 8m and the option to connect an additional two switches. It connects to the computer via the USB port. It is recommended for use by wheelchair users.

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Keyboards

These are most often divided into large and small, depending on the type of disability

Big Keys LX keyboard with keyguard – this keyboard is intended for people with seeing difficulties, as it has large black engraved letters. It is also suitable for people with muscle spasms and involuntary movements owing to the plastic guard which prevents pressing of two keys at once and also allows the hands to be rested on the keyboard. Key-press intervals and all other settings are altered in the Control Panel under Accessibility Options.

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Igel Big Keyboard with mouse function PS/2 is a keyboard and mouse. This device allows settings for three different users. These settings can be done on the keyboard itself and thus setting in Windows is unnecessary. It is connected to the computer before start-up. This product also includes a keyguard. It has large engraved letters. There are detailed instructions in German. Because of its size, ten-finger typing is impossible. It is used by people with muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. Because of the way it is made, two letters cannot be pressed at once, or with the whole hand. Allows for hands to be rested. It has a classic keyboard connector (non-USB) which is connected via PS2, as well as a serial connection. The keyboard is of a very high build quality with a display and a stand which allows the slope to be adjusted. Keyboard customisation is initiated using the yellow button.

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The Cherry keyboard with black letters is a keyboard with bold-printed letters in black, rather than grey. Has a metal keyboard guard to prevent pressing of more than one key at the same time. All settings are done in the Control Panel under Accessibility Options.

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The VIG Keyboard is a keyboard intended for the partially-sighted and people with contracted fingers. Letters and characters on the keyboard are engraved. It is black with white or yellow engraved characters. A plastic guard can be added to avoid pressing more than one letter at the same time. All settings are done in the Control Panel under Accessibility Options.

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The Clevy Keyboard is a colourful keyboard of standard size but with less keys, which are three times larger than on standard keyboards. It has good colour contrast. It is recommended for people with developmental difficulties and for adult disabled persons. Each function is offered in a different colour, and letters (including vowels and consonants separately) can be differentiated by shade. If the keyguard is installed, buttons not learned yet by the user can be covered, making learning easier. It is not recommended for people who type with ten fingers. It is connected via USB.

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The Big keys Keyboard LX is a keyboard very similar to the Clevy in function, owing to the size of the keys. Recommended for learning by older people. Connection is via PS2.

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The Maxi Keyboard is very complex as it has more than the standard number of keys. It allows for adjustment of sound settings, speed and of the sticky keys. Connection is via USB..

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The Intelli Keys Keyboard is keyboard and mouse in one. Keyboard films can be interchanged. There are 5 different films and 5 matching guards for this keyboard. It has a smooth surface and touch-sensitive sensors. It has special software for creating films called Overlay Maker. When the program is created it is loaded into the keyboard which then recognizes the keys. If a custom program is being made care needs to be taken that the keys are arranged so as to fit the existing keyguards.

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The Small Cherry Keyboard with keyguard is for people who type with one hand, or for children. It has a keyguard and separate numerical keyboard which can be connected to this keyboard as needed.

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The Mini Keyboard Gorlo & Todt magnet is recommended for people with muscular dystrophy who have retained fine motor skills, and should always be used in conjunction with the ergonomic base (Ergorest). Each key has a sensor which reacts to the magnetic pen. There is also a keyguard, as well as two connectors, one for a keyboard, the other for a mouse. The keyboard itself includes keys which replace the mouse and its functions.  It is used in a similar way to a touch screen.

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The Jerry Compact Keyboard is a small keyboard, 20% smaller than a standard one. It is intended for people who use one hand for typing. There is no numeric keypad, but one can be attached. A metal guard can be added. The older model is connected to the computer via PS2, while the newer models use USB.

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The Keysonic is a small keyboard recommended for people who use one hand to type, people with weak muscles and muscular dystrophy. It connects to the computer via the USB port. It allows numbers to be entered if the F1 button is pressed.

31 Mini tastatur dr Seveke 42 TA.jpg

 

The Dr Seveke 42 TA Mini Keyboard is a small keyboard recommended for people with muscular dystrophy and for people who use one hand to type. This is a combined keyboard and mouse.

32 Tasteri.jpg

 

Switches

These have a wide range of applications but are most commonly used in place of specific keyboard or mouse functions.

The Big Red is a standard large additional switch which is connected to adapters such as the Symbi-Key, Icon 3, Kim and USB key switchbox. It is of a very high build quality and is one of the best switches available. It is manufactured in a variety of colours.

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The Buddy Button is an additional switch which is connected to adapters such as the Symbi-Key, Icon 3, Kim and USB key switchbox.

34 Buddy button.jpg

 

The Jelly Bean is an additional switch which is connected to adapters such as the Symbi-Key, Icon 3, Kim and USB key switchbox.

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The Ikey is an additional switch which is connected to adapters such as the Symbi-Key, Icon 3, Kim and USB key switchbox.

 

36 Ikey.jpg

The Micro Light is a small additional switch which can be used even by children, in various ways, including with the tongue. It is very sensitive and reacts to light touches.

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The Joggle is an additional switch which allows sensitivity to be adjusted by turning left or right. It is connected to adapters such as the Symbi-Key, Icon 3, Kim and USB key switchbox.

38 Joggle.jpg

 

The Ikey switch is an additional switch which can be placed anywhere with the help of the attached velcro tape. It is connected to adapters such as the Symbi-Key, Icon 3, Kim and USB key switchbox.

39 Ikey.jpg

 

Adapters

Used for connecting switches or other equipment to the computer

The Symbi-Key is used when connection of one or more switches is required. It is connected to the keyboard and allows the switch to replace a particular function on the keyboard. It allows for programming of each switch to replace a particular command on the keyboard (space, enter, etc.) Programming is done by pressing ”code”, then “connection number”, then selecting a key on the keyboard and pressing “code” again. In this way, every time that switch is pressed it imitates a selected keyboard key. The Symbi-Key is now being replaced by a switch interface with a USB connection and has 5 connectors.

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The Y-Adapter PS/2 2 Mouse is used for connecting two mice simultaneously – a normal one and a special one.  It is recommended for use in trainings.

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The Adapter for Multitext is used for connecting two additional switches when using the Multitext program. The Multitext integrated on-screen keyboard can be accessed via these two switches.

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The Icon 3 is a type of adapter which allows setting of click speed and cursor movement speed as well as the addition of other switches. It is used in combination with the Robust Mouse, Star, Wafer and Easy Stick..

The Serial 2 USB is a special convertor which allows any device that connects via the serial port to do so via a USB port.

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The Help box is an adapter that was developed from the Symbi-Key. It has two switch connectors (Enter and Space) and connection is via USB.

The KIM is a newer version of the Icon 3 adapter allowing for the connection of 8 switches. It is connected via USB. All additional modifications are carried out via special software.

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The Key Switch Box is a switch adapter. It has two connectors, which allow connection of two switches that can replace Enter and Space.

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Communication aids

These are generally divided into electronic and classic aids. Electronic communication aids allow the user to make an audio recording which can then be used by someone to communicate regardless of language. Classic communication aids are most commonly small books with drawings and symbols with which the user can communicate with his/her surroundings.

The Big Mac is communication aid. Most often used by children. Allows for 2 minutes’ recording time, without breaks. Battery-powered. A photograph can be attached.

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The Little Mac is communication aid. Smaller version of the Big Mac. Most often used by children. Allows for 2 minutes’ recording time, without breaks. Battery-powered. A photograph can be attached.

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The Step by Step is a communication aid. Allows for 2 minutes’ recording time, but recording can be paused and continued during that time. Battery-powered.

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The Step By Step with levels is communication aid with similar characteristics to the Step by Step, but with the possibility of recording different sets of recordings. Additional switches can be added.

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The Switch Latch and Timer can be used by people who cannot hold a switch for long. Connects to a switch and a device (e.g. a toy). When the switch is briefly pressed the device operates. Another short press halts operation. The timer allows the device to turn itself off after operating for a certain period of time subsequent to a press of the switch. Battery-powered.

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The Power Link 3 is electrically operated. It is plugged into the electricity and connects to the device and switches. Allows for connection of two devices and two switches. By activating the Direct option, the device is activated and operates for as long as the switch is depressed. With the Latch option activated the device operates when the switch is briefly pressed and halts operation when the switch is briefly pressed again. With the Timer option activated, the device operates when the switch is briefly depressed and is switched off after a specified time.

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The Netzschaltgerat allows for connection of one switch, one device and one power connection. Has only Latch and Direct options.

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The Senior Pilot is a universal remote control with 18 user-programmable buttons. Connects to one switch. When connected to the switch a light signal moves from button to button and when the desired button is lit up, the connected switch is pressed. The external switch then emulates the desired remote button.

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The Go Talk4 is communication aid. Allows the user to make a sound recording that matches a picture. When a particular picture is pressed a tone is heard. 20 different recordings can be set up (4 sets of 5). The top two pictures are permanent and cannot be recorded over.

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The Super Talker has the same functions as the Go Talk4 but with the option of changing the number of buttons. The number of buttons varies from 2 to 8 as can the number of levels.

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The DynaVox – M3 is a modern communication aid which runs on a battery. Active operating time is up to 10h. Has good speakers, touch-sensitive screen and an infra-red connection. An unlimited number of concepts can be recorded by the user. A memory card can also be added. Also, a keyboard and mouse, or mouse replacement, can be added via USB, as well as additional switches.

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The Time Table is a metal table that acts as a weekly planner, which is divided into seven parts, which represent the seven days of the week. Pictures and reminders can be attached to the table. The weekday colours are European-standard. It is used in institutions. Information is given in symbols instead of writing. The symbols can also be standardised and can be made using the BoardMaker program.

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Other aids

A special adjustable table for people with disabilities. Allows movement in four directions. The keyboard area can be moved forwards and backwards and the slope adjusted. The rear area, for the monitor, can be moved up and down, while the left-hand side can also slide forwards and backwards, depending on requirements.

 

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The Ergorest is an ergonomic hand-rest to be used by people with muscular dystrophy in combination with the Mini Keyboard Gorlo & Todt magnet. There are various versions of the Ergorest.

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The Magic Arm is a stand for the Integra mouse which can move in all directions. It has 3 joints and can be fixed with one movement. Can be mounted on a desk or wheelchair.

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The Flexible Arm is a stand which can move in all directions. Can be mounted on a desk or wheelchair. It can be fixed in any position desired. It is not as stable as the Magic Arm and is used with smaller switches or the Integraswitch.

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