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Keyboard Access

Traditionally people use a standard keyboard to enter text into a computer. But many people struggle with the keyboard for a wide range of reasons from mild physical conditions such as light tremors to more severe physical difficulties such as motor neuron disease. People with severe cognitive difficulties can also struggle to cope with complex layout of standard keyboards.

The standard keyboard

Computers can provide enourmous benefits for people who are unable to handwrite. Unfortunately many people find the keyboard difficult to access.

Health warning

If overused or incorrectly positioned keyboards can contribute towards severe musculoskeletal pain and conditions such as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). Although many ergonomic keyboards are available it is important to check your position when typing and take regular breaks.

Accessibility Options

Windows contains some accessibility options designed to help people access standard and specialist keyboards. These features include the obvious ones like StickyKeys and FilterKeys but also the lesser known SlowKeys and methods of adjusting the repeat rate.

Alternative Keyboards

There is a wide range of keyboards available that can help people with physical, cognitive or visual difficulties. Some, like the IntelliKeys, were designed specifically to help disabled people; others, such as the compact keyboard, were designed for other purposes but have proven very useful in this field.

See my full list of specialist keyboards including information and reviews... [more]

On-Screen Keyboards

It's possible to use a pointing device or a switch with an on-screen keyboard. This provides an access solution to people with more severe access difficulties... [more]

One-Handed Typists

There is a range of solutions for people who only type with one hand... [more]

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