Accessibility for person with a motor disability

Eric Johansson esj at
Wed Mar 21 14:27:43 UTC 2018

On 3/20/2018 5:35 AM, Alex ARNAUD wrote:
> What is as you know the most efficient way to write text with a
> head-tracking software?
I'm frustrated by this kind of question because frequently, this is the
wrong question. you should be asking what is the appropriate interface
to enable the person with a disability to write, and more importantly,
edit text.  much of this thread has been proposing answers based on
what's available, not what the person needs.

I can't use keyboards much because of a repetitive stress injury. I
would say that the most efficient way to write text with a head tracking
software is to not even try at all. It's the wrong tool. For many kinds
of mobility-based disabilities (RSI, arthritis, amputation etc.) speech
recognition would be a better tool.

your question touches a hot spot for me because I've been living with a
disability for about 25 years now. I've also seen, for the same 25 years
people without disabilities proposing the same solutions over and over
again, either not able to or unwilling to hear that those solutions are
, at best crap, at worst humiliating.

As a person with a disability, I will tell you anytime you try to
emulate/simulate a mouse and keyboard with tools like on-screen
keyboards, I tracking etc.,  you are solving the wrong problem. the
right problem (my opinion) is digging into applications and revealing
internal information and providing access to internal controls so that
you can build an interface that matches the person's disability.

It's also very important to build the interface it lets the person
automate or extend that interface without counting on anybody else to
create that extension. For example, my hands don't work right so if I'm
going to extend my speech recognition interface, I need to do it with
speech recognition.

So I would go back to your disabled person and really look at what they
need. If they have enough physical ability enabling them to use speech
recognition, then that will make them more independent than head
trackers or on-screen keyboards would ever do.

--- eric

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