People living with motor skill-related disabilities may have full, limited or no use of their hands and arms. This also includes people who experience shaking and hand tremors. Motor skill disabilities effects how people are able to use computers and mobile devices.
There are many assistive technologies to help people living with different motor skill disabilities access electronic information, the Internet and software products. Two commonly used software programs are speech recognition software and eye tracking software.
Speech recognition software allows a person to control a computer with voice commands. One of the most popular software programs on the market today is Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Speech recognition software programs are typically easy to install and takes little time to learn how to use them. For most speech recognition programs, it’s just a matter of learning some basic commands. For example, to open a new word document, you would just say “open Microsoft Word,” and a new document will open. If you want to close the window that you have open, you can simply say “close window.” Most speech recognition software programs will have you go through a training tutorial where the program asks you to read a couple of paragraphs so that it can learn your voice pattern. The more you use it, the more efficient and accurate it will become.
Eye tracking software is another type of program that can benefit disabled users that may not have any motor skill function, or not have the ability to speak clearly or not at all. The basic definition for eye tracking is the process of measuring either the point of gaze, (where one is looking), or the motion of an eye relative to the head. Most eye tracking software programs allow a person to move the cursor and make computer commands by moving their eyes. Learn how eye tracking software works by viewing a video demonstrating eye tracking software.