The Intellikeys is a programmable alternative keyboard that plugs into any computer running Windows. It enables students with physical, visual or cognitive disabilities to easily type, enter numbers, navigate on-screen displays and move the mouse.
The PS/2 ‘Classic’ version requires no special software or drivers to use. Simply plug it in and away you go but:
The PS/2 version of the IntelliKeys will not accept custom overlays if you are using Windows 2000 or Windows XP.
If you’ve got Windows 2000 to XP then you’re probably better off with the newer USB version.
The Intellikeys is a membrane keyboard. This means that very little pressure is required to press a key and it can support an endless variety of overlays. Plus it can be fine-tuned for different physical needs and it has input for two switches (keyboard emulating).
An overlay is simply an image of a keyboard printed on to a piece of paper a little larger than A4 (‘American Foolscap’). These overlays slide easily in and out of the Intellikeys and the pre-made selection that come with the keyboard have little barcodes on the edge so they are recognised automatically.
The IntelliKeys overlays allow the keyboard layout to fit each individual – allowing pupils to use larger or smaller keys, upper/lower case, different colours, alternative layouts such as ABC instead of QWERTY… there are even overlays designed to move the mouse around the screen.
Some software (such as Spider in the Kitchen) comes with overlays included – giving access to activities through a unique to those who would otherwise find it very difficult.
You can also make your own custom overlays using Overlay Maker, a software package which unfortunately needs to be purchased separately.
The IntelliKeys has built-in features that allow even those with some of the most severe physical difficulties to use it. The keyboard comes with a special setup overlay that gives you easy access to these features. The newer USB version allows you to access these options through a system tray icon as well.
This overlay allows you to change the response rate and repeat rate. It also supports a required lift off, sounds on key pressing, repeat on/off, repeat latching, shift key latching and locking.
These features are designed to help those who hold their fingers on the keys too lloonnnggg, and for those who tend to inadvertently hit other keys on their way to the key they’re after. The Shift key latching allows users to perform key combinations by pressing one key at a time instead of trying to hold down two or more keys simultaneously.
Microsoft Windows has these accessibility features built in as standard for any keyboard. The IntelliKeys is easy to use and having the options built into the Intellikeys itself allows greater portability and makes it very easy to switch between different users.
The Intellikeys has two standard jack inputs on the left side. These can be used in most switch applications but are keyboard emulating switch inputs so will not work in Clicker 5 (but will work in Clicker 4). Find out more about switch access.
The following suppliers can provide the IntelliKeys. Appearance on this list does not indicate an endorsement by this site or the author of this site. If you are a supplier and are not on this list then please contact me.
01457 819790 | www.inclusive.co.uk
02380 584314 | www.keytools.com