Sunday, October 23, 2011

Apps for Autism



Think about how an iPad App might benefit wounded veteran's with TBI.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sticky Keys


I type with one finger and I'd be lost without Sticky Keys. It was the first and really essential shortcut I embraced. I use Sticky Keys in place of caps lock to capitalize characters. Additionally, it lets me depress a modifier key (Shift, Ctrl, Alt) or a command key (Windows or Apple key) and it remains active until the next key is pressed.

To enable Sticky Key:
Step 1: Find the accessibility options in your control panel (picture upper-right shows the Universal Access options in the Mac OSX control panel).
Step 2: Configure Sticky Keys to suit your needs via the Keyboard tab.

For more information, see the Sticky Keys article in Wikipedia or this video by Dave Andrews in YouTube.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Simple Tips

I have not been posting enough, so I am starting this new and easy "Simple Tips" posting. I'll regularly post these tips that are perfect for any person living with a disability.

Tip: Learn Common Shortcuts
Learning shortcuts can save you time and repetitive movements.
  • To Highlight or Select: Press 'Ctrl' + 'A' (For Mac users 'Command or Apple' + 'A').
  • To Copy: Highlight or Select an area, as shown above, then hold 'Ctrl' + 'C' (For Mac users 'Command or Apple' + 'C').
  • To Paste: Click your mouse where you want the text pasted, and then press 'Ctrl' + 'V' (For Mac users 'Command or Apple' + 'V').

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Business Gains

I encourage persons living with a disability to start a small business--and technology-based enterprises seem to be a popular endeavor. This recent news segment looks at service-disabled veteran-owned small business ownership.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Apple's iPad and Mobility Impairments

Apple Inc. announced this week a new product in their line-up--the iPad. I love my iPhone, but this new product shows promise for someone like me living with mobility impairments. I say this because a light touch is all that's needed to navigate the device. I find reading a newspaper cumbersome, this device will make reading a paper, book, or surfing the net a breeze. Here's how Apple's site lists the iPad's accessibility features:

* Support for playback of closed-captioned content
* VoiceOver screen reader
* Full-screen zoom magnification
* White on black display
* Mono audio
Shown above (image from the Apple website) is a picture of the iPad docked in an optional Keyboard; however, the touch screen of iPad, if like my iPhone, is pretty easy to use...even with virtually no finger dexterity. Accessibility features (see above) currently don't mention Sticky Keys, which is the feature in OS X would want to check on before buying the iPad. It would great if Apple would convene a group of folks living with mobility impairments (maybe they have) and brainstorm ideas of accommodations or software to mimic the screen gestures that make using the touchscreen really convenient. I'll look forward to testing one out and will keep my readers posted.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Project Valour-IT

I know when I was last hospitalized in the VA in Palo Alto, CA, it was difficult to stay connected for work and email; but that was nearly five years ago. Then, there were no networks available for patients, even if like me, we had our own laptop in tow. I spoke to a few people in the IT department there, but after making no progress, left them with the wish that next time I needed to stay I'd be able to connect.

When I was in Palo Alto last week for an appointment, I whipped out my laptop while waiting and to my surprise there was a wireless network I could join. I've wanted for years to help lead an effort to put computers in the hands of veterans in order to facilitate; patient learning; greater collaboration with an individual's health care team; communication with friends, family, and the outside world; and for building awareness about the power of computers and the Interned and the possibilities for vocations involving information technology.

Today, I read about Project Valour-IT. "In just over four years, [this project] has given 4,100 voice-controlled laptops to severely wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, and has supplied additional items that may be a surprising fit in a recovery regimen -- Wii game systems and handheld GPS devices."
Established in 2003, Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-based 501(c)(3) non-profit providing aid and comfort to members of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, as well as veterans and military families. For more information, see www.soldiersangels.org or call 623-570-3903.

Read more in the full article.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Google Voice—An Audio Care Package

When service members deploy, they primarily put life on hold. Stationed in a different part of the world, their family, friends, and colleagues keep moving. It's typically just not practical for those stateside to receive a phone call at say, 2 a.m., and calling Iraq or Afghanistan is seldom an option. Here’s a solution that Google is offering active duty service members. From the Official Google Blog:
For servicemen and women who are constantly on the move, having a single number and an easy way to retrieve messages from loved ones can be invaluable. To help our service members communicate with their loved ones and show our support to those serving our country, Google is launching a new program. Starting today [8/4/09], any active U.S. service member with a .mil email address can sign up for a Google Voice account at www.google.com/militaryinvite and start using the free service within a day.

Google Voice is coming soon for all of us—to learn more about it, visit: http://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html. And, if you know a family member of a friend on active duty—share the good news.