Volume 17, No 3 – Onscreen Keyboard Review - Cerebral Palsy ...

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Volume 17, No 3 – Onscreen Keyboard Review - Cerebral Palsy ...

TechnoTalkThe TASC NewsletterVolume 17 Issue 3 July 2008EditorialNews...How fast time has fl own as we enter the second half of theyear with another information fi lled edition of TechnoTalk.The TASC Occupational Therapists have continued withthe comparison of onscreen keyboards (started in theMay edition) with a review of the features of keyboardsthat have the ability for voice output. This information ispresented in a useful table that can be used as a quickreference point.This month we also welcome a new staff member tothe TASC team. Debbie McKie has joined our seatingconsultants and brings experience from recently workingin the UK. Welcome Debbie!Finally some of the TASC team are preparing to attendthe ARATA conference in Adelaide 22nd-24th September2008. We look forward to meeting you there. See http://www.e-bility.com/arata/conf.php for more information onthe exciting program.Until next time…happy reading!Jo FordInsideEditorial: ...........................................................1News: ...............................................................1Main Story: Onscreen Keyboard Review..........2News Flash!: Struggling with Maths?................9Website for parents and families;Alliance for Technology Accesshttp://www.ataccess.org/If you are interested in some research aroundassistive technology The Alliance for TechnologyAccess (ATA), based in the United States, offers awebsite for families of children with disabilities whoneed assistive technology. On their website youcan read about accessibility solutions, accessibletoys, accessible play ideas, and information on howto integrate assistive technology into schools.Equipment news from AbleNetAbleNet is bringing out the BIGmack and theLITTLEmack with four different coloured caps ineach package.The caps can beused to colourcode activities andmessages relatedto the activitiesthroughout theday such as playtime, meal times,morning circle…..We welcome any feedback, good or bad, that you may have on our service. Please feel free to contact us by phone on 02 9975 8469,email tasc@tscnsw.org.au or by writing to The Spastic Centre PO Box 184 Brookvale NSW 2100TechnoTalk Newsletter is free and available from www.thespasticcentre.com.au/news/technotalk/


ProfileHi, my name is Debbie McKie, and I am the new Seating Consultant who has joined the TASC team!While studying Physiotherapy at The University of Sydney, I worked atLifestyles and St.Ives CAS as a Program Assistant during my holidays.I was sad to leave, but when I fi nished my degree, I was posted to Canberrato begin my career as a Physiotherapist.With some experience under my belt and the travel bug biting, I headed overto London with a special interest in respiratory and early rehabilitation ofacutely ill patients.It was there I learnt the importance of comfortable and supportive seating, not only from a therapist’spoint of view, but from the patient who had to sit in it all day!I discovered that my favourite part of the session was all the fi ddling around trying to create a supportivechair out of an assortment of pillows, towels and whatever else I could get my hands on!I was very excited to be offered the job here at TASC, and I am really enjoying working with such aholistic team!Main Story:OnScreen Keyboards with Voice Output CommunicationComparison Review by TASC Occupational Therapists.This edition of TechnoTalk continues our comparison of onscreen keyboards (see our May edition for thefi rst part of this comparison). The keyboards in the following table all include the ability for voice outputcommunication as well as access to the computer. Most keyboards come with a range of pre-madecommunication grids, and some have the ability to create new grids from scratch. Some keyboardsalso have the capability for additional features such as access to email, text messaging (SMS) andenvironmental control functions (e.g. control of infrared appliances such as a television; additionalequipment required for SMS and environmental control). The table includes the most commonly usedonscreen keyboards with the best range of features.sayit Orator and sayit Scanner and Mouse are onscreen keyboards with voice output, however theyhave not been included in this comparison as they only work within their own application (text is sentto other applications by cutting and pasting). For more information on the sayit range and to downloaddemonstration copies, see http://www.sayit.com.au/For more information, please contact TASC Consultants or the suppliers listed.2


FeaturesDiscoverScreenPlatformWindows 2000 / XP/ VistaAccess optionsMouse or mousealternativesYesSwitchScanningNoIn-built mouse access optionsDwell OptionYesTremor SettingNoChange mousecursor size,type, colourNoSwitch scanning optionsType ofscanningNoneAdjust scanningspeedN/AAdjust scanningmodeN/ADiscoverPro (withIntelliSwitch)Windows 2000 /XP/ VistaNoYesNoNoNoAutoStepInverseYesNo -Row column onlyEZ Keys XPWindows 2000 / XP/ VistaYesYesYesYes -“Stabilizing time andsize” featuresNoAutoStepInverse “Directed”YesYes -LinearRow columnHalf ScanREACH InterfaceAuthor v.5Windows 98 / ME /2000 / XP / VistaYesYesYesYes -“Wobble” featureYesAutoStepInverseYesNo -Row column onlyThe Grid 2Windows XP / VistaYesYesYesYes -“Jitter” settingNoAutoStepInverse2/4 Way EliminationYesYes -LinerRow columnColumn rowOver scanBlock scanSkeleton KeyWindows 98 / 2000/ XPYesYesYesNoNoAutoStepYesYes -Row columnColumn rowVS 4Windows / XP /VistaYesYesYesNoNoAutoStepInverseYesYes -LinearRowColumnGroup3


FeaturesCustomisenumber ofscanning cyclesScanning displayType of scanhighlightAbility tochange scanhighlightSwitch interfaceCompatibleswitch interfaceDisplay OptionsRange of onscreendisplays/ keyboardsbuilt-inGraphic SupportDiscoverScreenN/AN/AN/AN/AA variety ofkeyboardsspecifi callydesigned toaccess a variety ofprogramsIt also has onscreencommunicationset-ups for simplecommunicationsupportDiscoverPro (withIntelliSwitch)YesFrame highlightNoIntelliSwitchA variety ofkeyboardsspecifi callydesigned toaccess a variety ofprogramsIt also has onscreencommunicationset-ups for simplecommunicationsupportEZ Keys XPYesFill scanNoSoftKey whichconnects to USBportIncludes 9 scanning“keyboards”5 include wordpredictionREACH InterfaceAuthor v.5YesFill scanNoAny interface thatemulates a leftmouse clickJoystickOver 400 keyboardsThe Grid 2YesFrame highlightYes -colourJoy Cable 2 orJoyBox USB SwitchAdapterRange of computeraccess andcommunicationkeyboardsSkeleton KeyYesYesFill scanYesAny interface thatemulates the mousefunctionsQWERTY withor without wordpredictionScanWordMouse-dwell withor without wordpredictionVS 4YesFrame highlightInvert buttonFill scanYesCrick USB SwitchInterfaceJoyCable 2 USBSwitch AdapterQWERTYABCScanPointer4


FeaturesDiscoverScreenInbuilt symbollibraryYesGraphicsimportedYesCustomising keyboard or display designAbility to resizekeyboard /displayNo -depends on thenumber of cells /keys chosen on thekeyboard / setupAbility tocustomisesize, number,position of cellsCan only makefrom pre-designedtemplates rangingfrom 2 cellsupwardsAbility to modifyor create newkeyboard /displayYes -modify onlyPurchase TemplateMaker to createnew keyboardscommunicationsupportOther featuresAbility to modifyfont size, colour,typeCan modifybackground colouronlyDiscoverPro (withIntelliSwitch)YesYesNo -depends on thenumber of cells /keys chosen on thekeyboard / setupYes -using TemplateMaker 2Yes -includes TemplateMaker 2 to createnew keyboardssupportCan modifybackground colouronlyEZ Keys XPNoNoYesSpacing betweencharacters onlyNoYesREACH InterfaceAuthor v.5YesYes -plus can purchasePCS Add-On toimport intocommunicationgridsYesYesYes -with REACHKeyboard Author(included)YesThe Grid 2Yes -basic symbols plus60 day Rebus/PCSdemo included.Purchase PCSmetafi les asadditional/orseparate versionYesNo -depends on thenumber of cells /keys chosen on thekeyboard / setupYesYesYesSkeleton KeyNoNoYesSpacing and shapeof keys onlyYesYesVS 4YesYesNo -depends on thenumber of cells /keys chosen on thekeyboard / setupYesYesYes5


FeaturesDiscoverScreenAbility to moveand minimisekeyboardYesAbility to linkor branchkeyboards fromone to anotherYesProgramming OptionsAbility to havecell displaydifferent to cellcommandYesAuditory FeaturesAuditoryscanningYes -Beep or speechAuditoryfeedback ofselectionYes -Beep or speechAbility tocustomiseauditory cue (forscanning) andfeedbackIt is possible toattach a sound toeach cell - digitisedor an importedsoundDiscoverPro (withIntelliSwitch)Keyboarddisappears off thescreen once aselection has beenmade - a switchactivation bringsit back or the usercan set it to ongoingin the preferencesand it will comeback automaticallyYesYesYes -Beep or speechYes -Beep or speechIt is possible toattach a sound toeach cell - digitisedor an importedsoundEZ Keys XPYes -can move to any 4corners of screenYesNoYes -Audible click orspeechYes -Audible click orspeechNoREACH InterfaceAuthor v.5YesYesYesYes -Speech, inbuiltsound fi le orrecorded soundYes -Speech, inbuiltsound fi le orrecorded soundYesThe Grid 2Minimise onlyYesYesYes -Speech or soundYes -Speech or soundYes -Speech or soundSkeleton KeyYesYesYesYes -Beep or recordedsoundYesYesVS 4YesYesYesYes -Speech or recordedsoundYes -Speech or recordedsoundIt is possible toattach a sound toeach cell - digitised,recorded or animported sound6


FeaturesDiscoverScreenRate Enhancement FeaturesAre rateenhancementfeaturesavailable?NoMouse AccessDoes softwareenable mouseemulation?NoAdditional FeaturesEnvironmentalControlNoVoice OutputYesOtherDiscoverPro (withIntelliSwitch)NoYesNoYesEZ Keys XPYes -Word PredictionAbbreviationExpansionMacrosYesNo -compatibleECU system isnot available inAustraliaYes -when “voice” optionpurchasedMorse Code inputREACH InterfaceAuthor v.5Yes -Word PredictionSmartKey Add-onSmartLists Add-onDynamic LabelsAdd-onAbbreviationExpansionAutoTypeAutoEditYes -with ScanBuddyAdd-onNoYes -120+ AACkeyboardsZoom FeatureSound-it-outPhonetic KeyboardAdd-OnThe Grid 2Yes -Word PredictionAbbreviationExpansionMacrosYesYes -GEWA ECUadditionalYesEmailText messaging withcompatible phoneand BlueToothadapterSkeleton KeyYes -Word predictionWord expansionAutomaticpunctuationMacrosYesNoYesVS 4Yes -Word predictionAbbreviationExpansionMacrosYesYes -Premium version.GEWA ECUadditionalYesEmailText messagingwith compatiblephone andBlueTooth adapterwith Premiumversion7


FeaturesSupplier InformationDemo availableSupplierCost estimateDiscoverScreenYeswww.madentec.com30 DaysSpectronicsPh 1800 999 718TechnabilityPh 02 9975 8419$299.00Template Maker is$129.00DiscoverPro (withIntelliSwitch)Yeswww.madentec.com30 DaysSpectronicsPh 1800 999 718TechnabilityPh 02 9975 8419$699.00for DiscoverPro,howeverIntelliSwitch is alsoneededIntelliSwitch is$495.00Package ofDiscoverProand IntelliSwitch$1,190.00EZ Keys XPYeswww.words-plus.comNeed to usekeyboard keysinstead of switch.No time limit,however each timewill terminate after20 Enter keys or100 keystrokesTechnabilityPh 02 9975 8419NovitaTechPh 1300 855 585Technical SolutionsPh 03 9737 9000$1,100.00EZ Keys XP with NoVoice is$2,090.00EZ Keys XP withVoice is$770.00DECtalk SpeechSoftwareREACH InterfaceAuthor v.5Yeswww.ahf-net.com/reach.htm30 daysSpectronics(v.4)Ph 1800 999 718(v.5) order from USmanufacturerwww.ahf-net.com/price.htm$549.00 (v.4)PCS Add-on$129.00 - $249.00With SmartKeys is$799.00With SmartLists is$1,050.00ScanPlus versionwith SmartKeys,SmartLists andScanBuddy is$1,150.00The Grid 2YesCD from supplier60 daysSpectronicsPh 1800 999 718TechnabilityPh 02 9975 8419ZygoPh 1800 818 353$950.00with PCS Metafi les$1,220.00Skeleton KeyYeswww.myskeletonkey.com30 daysCataLaw Inc.www.myskeletonkey.com$99.00 USDVS 4YesEvaluation CD fromsupplierSpectronicsPh 1800 999 718TechnabilityPh 02 9975 8419$890.00 -Standard$1,150.00 -Premium8

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