DIYAbilty held its third of three sessions this week focusing on educating individuals (therapists and users with disabilities) how to utilize the accessibility features of their computer, as well as perform a simple mouse access. The goal of this education was demonstrate easy solutions for computer access for individuals with impairments in their function.
Hosted at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, we discussed possible limitations that computer users might experience with a disability and how to accomodate for them. We discussed the mouse and its functions, took it apart, and “hacked it” to add switch ports for an ability switch. Adding a switch to a mouse or any accessible device for that matter can allow increased ease for the user. In our case, the switch allowed an individual to use the left mouse click easier. A switch can be positioned anywhere that the user demonstrates the most consistent strength. This could be at their head, knee, or foot. Furthermore, a switch can not only be used for a mouse click, but for access of other technology such as an on screen keyboard.
After our hacking was complete, the participants had a working, accessible mouse, that can use a switch for left click.
Our hope is that through these workshops we can educate individuals on the ability to make technology, especially the computer accessible for users of all abilities. In the future, we will have more workshops to follow exploring accessibility and technology.