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Computer access for motor impaired users

Computer access for motor impaired users

Trewin, Shari and Keates, Simeon ORCID: 0000-0002-2826-672X (2005) Computer access for motor impaired users. In: Ghaoui, Claude, (ed.) Encyclopedia of Human Computer Interaction. Idea Group Inc (IGI), London, pp. 92-99. ISBN 9781591407980 (doi:

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Computers can be a source of tremendous benefit for those with motor impairments. Enabling computer access empowers individuals, offering improved quality of life. This is achieved through greater freedom to participate in computer-based activities for education and leisure, as well as increased job potential and satisfaction. Physical impairments can impose barriers to access to information technologies. The most prevalent conditions include rheumatic diseases, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and spinal injuries or disorders. Cumulative trauma disorders represent a further significant category of injury that may be specifically related to computer use. See Kroemer (2001) for an extensive bibliography of literature in this area. Symptoms relevant to computer operation include joint stiffness, paralysis in one or more limbs, numbness, weakness, bradykinesia (slowness of movement), rigidity, impaired balance and coordination, tremor, pain, and fatigue. These symptoms can be stable or highly variable, both within and between individuals. In a study commissioned by Microsoft, Forrester Research, Inc. (2003) found that one in four working-age adults has some dexterity difficulty or impairment. Jacko and Vitense (2001) and Sears and Young (2003) provide detailed analyses of impairments and their effects on computer access. There are literally thousands of alternative devices and software programs designed to help people with disabilities to access and use computers (Alliance for Technology Access, 2000; Glennen & DeCoste, 1997; Lazzaro, 1995). This article describes access mechanisms typically used by individuals with motor impairments, discusses some of the trade-offs involved in choosing an input mechanism, and includes emerging approaches that may lead to additional alternatives in the future.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: [1] Copyright: © 2006 Idea Group inc., distributing in print or electronic form without written permission of IGI is prohibited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: computer access for motor impaired users
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:29

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