In this activity I have been useing some of the accessibility tools built into Microsoft Windows and Microsoft word, as outlined in the Techdis pack Benevolent Bill.
I found the keyboard short cuts quite easy to use as I use many of them already. The main issue I find is trying to remember the shortcuts, particularly the ones I wasn’t used to.
I found the magnifier allot harder to use. Because I could only see part of the screen at a time, i found it difficult to navigate on understand what I was looking at, particularly on more complicated pages. Because the magnified window didn’t move around with the mouse, it became difficult to keep track of what part of the screen I was looking at. I gave up with the drag and drop exercise.
I also found it confusing and slow using audio rather than text to navigate to a website. As i listened to what was being said I tried to visualise what part of the screen it was reading, and I was usually wrong. Although I eventually navigated to a web page with the information on, I could not get the narrator to read out the information. I thing the narrator requires patience to get the hang of it.
After reading about a range of assistive technology on the Techdis site, I went to the cricksoft site (http://www.cricksoft.com/UK/accessibility/) to find out more about the switches they produce.
“Switches are buttons that you connect to your computer. You can press these instead of using the mouse button or key presses. Because they are easy to press, they are useful for people with physical disabilities.”
One of their switches called the buddy button costs £29, although it appears to also require a usb switch box which costs an additional £99. Training manuals and training courses are available at an additional cost