Having limited use of my hands makes it difficult for me to type so that is why I use typing splints. These splints allow me to press keys on the keyboard one at a time which can be tedious and slow as you can imagine. This is why I use a combination of sticky keys and speech recognition software.
One of the ways I like to navigate a website is by using the “Tab” key. Once I have a website open I will use the tab key to move from one menu to the next. For most websites the menu will be highlighted or have a faint border around it to indicate where I am at. Unfortunately this is not true for all websites so using this style of navigation can be difficult at times.
Speech recognition software such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking is another tool I use to navigate the Internet. If I want to open a menu or link in a website I say a specific command like “click on about us”, and it will open up the menu “about us”. Speech recognition is becoming very popular today especially with phones, tablets and other products incorporating this type of feature.
Another device I started using this past year is the Window Surface tablet. Like most phones and newer laptops, it has a touch screen which makes navigating the Internet much easier by the use of a stylus. A stylus is like a small writing utensil with a soft padded point at the end of it. This makes it much easier to navigate the internet just by touching the screen on certain parts of the website I want to open.
Making Your Website Accessible for the Motor Skill Disabled
Below are two ways that you can ensure that a website can be accessible for people living with a motor skill disability:
- Make it possible to tab through links and to certain parts of the page (navigation menu) by using a keyboard’s tab key.
- Ensure that time-based applications have a “save and resume” option or another way to alter the time constraint as motor skill individuals need additional time to complete online applications.
Maneuvering around the Internet with a motor skill disability is not as difficult as it may seem if you have an accessible website along with the right assistive tools. Read more about how I use assistive tools in “Do You Have a Sticky Keyboard.”