Hot Virtual Keyboard – Virtual On-Screen Keyboard for Windows-Based Devices

Virtual on-screen keyboard for any taste

Replace Windows On-Screen Keyboard with Hot Virtual Keyboard and start typing like a pro in just minutes! Hot Virtual Keyboard packs a number of advanced features to make on-screen typing faster, easier and more accurate. Make full use of your touch-screen PC (Tablet PCUMPC, Panel PC, Car PC, Touchmonitor, Kiosk) or type with a mouse quickly and efficiently!
Hot Virtual Keyboard More virtual keyboards...

Key features:

Complete Customization

There are more than 70 different virtual on-screen keyboards supplied with Hot Virtual Keyboard. Haven't found the perfect one? Modify any virtual keyboard or create your own interactive keyboard by specifying the background, shape, color and font of the keys, sounds of different key groups, and many more parameters to create a virtual on-screen keyboard to your liking.
Source: Hot Virtual Keyboard - Virtual On-Screen Keyboard for Windows-Based Devices
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Eye-gaze Research – AT and OT: Assistive Technology for OTs


cartoon image of an eyeGreat new longitudinal research about eye-gaze AT with showed that the children improved in time on task after 5 months and became more accurate in selecting targets after 15–20 months.

Borgestig, M., Sandqvist, J., Parsons, R., Falkmer, T., & Hemmingsson, H. (2016). Eye gaze performance for children with severe physical impairments using gaze-based assistive technology—A longitudinal study. Assistive Technology, 28(2), 93–102.

This study indicates that these children with severe physical impairments, who were unable to speak, could improve in eye gaze performance. However, the children needed time to practice on a long-term basis to acquire skills needed to develop fast and accurate eye gaze performance.

Frog tipping hat

Thanks to Molly Shannon for the tip!

Source: Eye-gaze Research – AT and OT: Assistive Technology for OTs
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DecaTxt: Keyboard Operated with One Hand

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DecaTxt keyboard

DecaTxt keyboard

The DecaTxt keyboard replace a full-size keyboard with ten keys in about the size of a deck of cards, operated with one hand, using a technique called chording (pressing more than one key for some keystrokes). It connects wireless with Bluetooth 4.0 to many mobile devices and computer systems, including iOS, Android and Windows 10, providing remote user control. It was designed as assistive technology to provide an easy way to text and type while mobile, without looking. The DecaTxt changes the paradigm of where “keystrokes are found” to “how a keystroke is made”, using a few simple presses of your fingertips and virtually no travel time between keys. Every letter, number, symbol or function of a typical laptop is available without scrolling, menus, or repeatedly poking a button. Simply press and release the keys for the keystroke you want. Color coding of keystrokes are provided on the device to aid in learning the system without the need to carry instructions. Simply press the key(s) colored like the symbol plus the key adjacent to it. Black symbols are single press keys. Vibrations alert you when changing modes to caps lock or number lock and a single vibration when returning to normal mode. DecaTXt lets you type one-handed, left hand or right so you can keep your other hand free. This is a safer way to text or type mobile because you don't need to look away and poke at tiny keys on a glass screen. You can even type with your hand in your pocket so no one can see you taking notes or making things happen like magic! Use it to search in the dark on your TV for shows and pause them when they play. Take a break from your desktop and write code from your recliner or record your dreams in bed. DecaTxt is ideal for taking inventory, controlling PowerPoint, and game changing for those with limited vision or mobility issues. DecaTxt uses the patented IN10DID typing system that makes all letters a single press or simple thumb shift. Pressing both thumbs makes the next letter uppercase. For complete instructions of all keystrokes, watch this 3 minute video on YouTube. DecaTxt redefines the 19th century old desktop QWERTY keyboard for the much more mobile 21st century and is the first step in evolving where the keyboard can be.
Source: DecaTxt: Amazon Launchpad
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How a blind man plays mainstream video games and the future of accessibility in games – Technology & Science – CBC News


EA tapping into accessibility gamers

Electronic Arts, one of the world's largest gaming companies, is working on incorporating accessible features in its games. This would help the roughly half a million Canadians and 25 million Americans who have significant vision loss. Karen Stevens, an engineer for Madden NFL, has recently taken on the role of an accessibility advocate for EA. She's the one responsible for the accessibility features in Madden. In her role, she reaches out to visually impaired gamers to find out how to make their games more inclusive.
Madden NFL

The accessibility settings in Madden NFL 17 are optional and online opponents can't see the settings you choose. (Electronic Arts)

"We have brightness and contrast support to help people with low vision. In the same line we also added in a resize feature so icons on the field — like pass icons — catch icons were about twice as tall and twice as wide as an option so people could see them easier," she said. The reason EA is doing this is simple, she said: The company wants people to be able to play the games it makes.
Source: How a blind man plays mainstream video games and the future of accessibility in games - Technology & Science - CBC News
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Project creates cardboard adaptations for kids with disabilities | Temple Now

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Mark Ovington sitting in his custom-designed adaptive chair
Mark Ovington, 5, tests out the chair designed for him through Adaptive Design Greater Philadelphia as his mother, Andrea Krajci, watches. Kim Singleton of Temple’s Institute on Disabilities later put finishing touches on the chair. (Photography by Ryan S. Brandenberg)
Improving access to change lives
The project Temple created with the grant, Adaptive Design Greater Philadelphia, aims to change the lives of children like Mark and their families by making adaptations more affordable and accessible to them. Because young children grow so quickly, acquiring multiple specialized commercial devices to help them move or play is often out of reach and inaccessible for families. A commercial device can cost hundreds of dollars, while materials to make cardboard adaptations generally cost less than $50.
“If you go and get something commercially made, it’s very expensive, it takes a very long time, and you can’t incorporate what that child loves when you do it,” said Kim Singleton, director of assistive technology programs at Temple’s Institute on Disabilities. “By using cardboard, we can turn that challenge into a successful part of that person’s life.”
Besides being durable and highly customizable, cardboard adaptations can also be altered to grow with the children they’re designed for as they get older, or simply be customized to pass down to another child.
“The beauty of cardboard is it’s easy to manipulate and easy to cater to another child. So when one child outgrows our customizable pieces, another child can be re-fit to their needs,” said Russell Goldstein, project manager for Adaptive Design Greater Philadelphia. “If done properly, it’s very sustainable.”
Source: Project creates cardboard adaptations for kids with disabilities | Temple Now
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New iOS 11 Switch Control User Guide |Closing the Gap

The Apple iOS operating system found on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch is the most accessible operating system out of the box for switch users. In 2013, Apple introduced a powerful new feature called Switch Control for iOS 7. Shortly after Switch Control was introduced, we put together our first comprehensive guide, Switch Control – The Missing User Guide, to help everyone understand the power of Switch Control and provide step-by-step instructions on how to get it set up. Since then we have released several updated guides for each version of iOS. This past June, Apple announced iOS 11, and we have been following the beta previews since they became available. We are excited to announce that our latest edition of Switch Control – The Missing User Guide is now available with updates for iOS 11. iOS 11 will be available for free starting today. If you have apps that are critical to the daily use of your iOS device, please check to make sure that the app is compatible with iOS 11 before updating. Download PDF to view.
Source: New iOS 11 Switch Control User Guide |Closing the Gap
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TAP | TAP Assistance Program

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technology assisted prompting logo

Technology Assisted Prompting

The Television Assisted Prompting (TAP) system is a unique prompting device that delivers reminders and/or home therapy programs to individuals via their home televisions. The TAP system broadcasts multi-media (e.g., text, pictures, audio, and/or video) reminders and therapy content at pre-specified times on one’s own home television. TAP prompts are designed to improve everyday functioning for individuals with cognitive challenges by providing automated reminders that are motivating and customized to the individual. Therapy programs designed for TAP system delivery are also tailored to the individual and allow users to complete intensive home therapy programs to improve on various skills. The researchers at Personal Technologies, LLC specialize in cognitive rehabilitation to assist individuals with a variety of cognitive challenges, including attention, memory, and executive function (e.g., organization, problem-solving) skills. To date, we have designed intensive at-home therapy practice regimens for swallow strengthening exercises and direct attention training for adults who have survived acquired brain injuries (e.g., traumatic brain injury, stroke, anoxic events, brain infections, brain tumors). TAP is an ideal system for speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, neuropsychologists, psychologists, nurses, and other professionals who aim to provide intensive, evidence-based, effective, in-home reminders and/or therapy programs to individuals with cognitive challenges.
Source: TAP | TAP Assistance Program
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Social-Emotional Apps for Special Ed | Edutopia

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Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence, as these abilities do not come naturally for some special education students. Children in special ed settings need to have their confidence, courage, and emotional awareness nurtured in order to successfully play, work, cooperate, and be productive in their studies. We have all heard that technology can be a great playing-field leveler in a classroom with diverse learners. It can also assist in providing social and emotional skills. Let's face it -- the digital lifestyle is here to stay, so using digital technology to enhance SEL makes perfect sense. However, I have yet to encounter research that focuses on the effectiveness of using apps designed solely to enhance the social and emotional health of children. Researchers and educators have only begun to closely investigate the impact of these technologies on SEL. For special ed teachers, that research can't come soon enough. Young children acquire and utilize their initial social skills mostly in the context of play and shared activities. Through play, they form their first interpersonal interactions and develop important social skills related to empathy, cooperation, conflict resolution, and self-control, which will be used throughout life to maintain healthy relationships with others.
child playing a social emotional app

Social Emotional Apps

Source: Social-Emotional Apps for Special Ed | Edutopia
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H.R. 3749: The Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act of 2013 – VisionAware Blog – VisionAware

Mark Richert, Esq.

Mark Richert, Esq.

Guest blogger Mark Richert, Esq. is an attorney with extensive experience in public policy and governmental relations in the vision loss field and is the Director of the Public Policy Center of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). The AFB Public Policy Center, in Washington, DC, collaborates with policy makers in Congress and the Executive Branch to ensure that Americans with vision loss have equal rights and opportunities to fully participate in society. As Director, Mark is AFB's primary representative to the United States Congress and to federal agencies with oversight of programs and services of key importance to individuals with vision loss. You can read his full biography at the AFB website. Medicare and Low Vision Devices For decades, the vision loss community has been advocating for Medicare's coverage of assistive technologies, particularly low vision devices. Currently, Medicare will not pay for any device that happens to use a lens, regardless of whether the device incorporates any other features. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency responsible for the management of Medicare, has ruled that devices containing a lens – such as low vision devices – are excluded from coverage, just as are eyeglasses or contact lenses, except in very narrow circumstances. New Legislation Introduced Now, for the first time, federal legislation would begin to change this unacceptable national policy by establishing a nationwide Medicare demonstration project to evaluate the fiscal impact of a permanent change in Medicare coverage to pay for low vision devices.
Source: H.R. 3749: The Medicare Demonstration of Coverage for Low Vision Devices Act of 2013 - VisionAware Blog - VisionAware
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ViSee LVM-500 Portable Video Magnifier Reading Aide for Low Vision with 5 Inch Monitor and 15 Color Modes
ViSee LVM-500 Portable Video Magnifier Reading Aide

ViSee LVM-500 Portable Video Magnifier Reading Aide

This 5” portable video magnifier is a handy aid to those dealing with low vision and macular degeneration. Small and compact, it can come to your aid anytime, anywhere. It magnifies from 4X to 32X on its LCD screen, offers multiple display modes to suit your individual vision needs. It allows you to freeze text, adjust brightness, highlight on reading text horizontally and vertically, capture/save/recall images for easier viewing. This video magnifier is a great aid to reading, viewing maps, menus, recipes, and medication labels. It is also great for reading labels and tags at retail stores or anywhere you need bright, convenient magnification. Source: Oasis Scientific Continue reading
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