Monday, May 25, 2015
Computer access for quadriplegics - new and updated products
Some of you may remember that I use the TetraMouse for PC access. It's a reasonably priced piece of equipment that allows me to use my mouth to operate the mouse, including cursor movement, left, right clicks, drag-drop function and more. It also provides a great scroll function. I recommend it without hesitation for many reasons. It's easy to use, requires no maintenance, and was easy to learn. I have the older model, which I've used for many years without any need for repair. (It comes with a lifetime guarantee for repairs or replacement and the user pays shipping only.) I use it with an onscreen keyboard as well as Dragon Naturally Speaking.
The TetraMouse TMXA, the analog model in the newer version, which costs $349, would be helpful for me, because it allows more than 8 point navigation. My work entails the need for precise editing and navigation to correct even periods and commas as well as underlining to exactly the right letter, so I'm budgeting to upgrade.
I'm also on a 30 day trial period with Dragger, a mouse utility program which has an auto-click function. It costs about $100. This can be set to click automatically when you land the cursor on a spot on your PC screen. I only need this because my work entails dealing with a very large amount of scanned documents and automatic clicking would be helpful as an energy and time saver. The scrolling which the TetraMouse provides is also extremely helpful for reviewing very long documents.
**UPDATE- SMART CLICK
I also discovered Smart Click, a mouse software that does most of what dragger does. An individual license can be purchased for $9.95.
If you're a quadriplegic and require a rundown on other products that are available, take a look at Jouse 3 and QuadJoy3 and Headmouse Extreme. Both Jouse and QuadJoy are now in version 3, so if you're buying, make sure you get the newest version.
For gaming, it seems the Quadstick is a good alternative at $399. It allows quadriplegics to play complex games by allowing access to game consoles and PC with gaming control functions provided by the joystick, lip position sensors, a push switch and sip and puff controls as well as using Dragon Naturally Speaking. If you miss gaming, check it out as the Quadstick is relatively low cost compared to other products out there.
There are many other gaming alternatives and a good place to start is AbleGamers. If you've never heard of them, head on over to see if you can get a grant for gaming equipment. And, while you're at it, spread the word about their good work to others and encourage donations.
Posted by Ruth