Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Soetware Applications for physically challenged people

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Some free, nice Computing tools in Linux for physically challenged people



Physically handicaps often feel difficult using computers. There are dozens of computer programs and hardware that help Physically challenged people to carry their day to day work. Stephen Hawkings uses sophisticated speech synthesizer that works with Stephen's one hand and eye movement. The software extensively uses predictive technology, and Stephen hardly miss a word even while giving complex Science and Astrology presentation and speech!

There are some nice, free software tools available in Linux platform. However, they may not be sophisticated enough, but they fulfill basic needs of many. Here are some:

Kmag : KDE accessibility package has three nice tools that helps using computers to certain category of physically challenged people. It can be installed in any Linux distribution. Kmag - Kmagnifier is one such tool that comes with Kdeaccessibility package. Kmag magnify the portion of screen, so that its visibility is enhanced. People with poor vision may find this utility very useful.

Kmouth : This utility also comes bundled with Kdeaccessibility. With the help of Kmouth, people who are unable to speak can speak through their computer. Kmouth uses predictive technology, and can use database from variety of source such as Dictionary and Previous spoken sentences and when user presses a button, Text-to-speech synthesizer speaks the selected words / sentences.

Kmousetool : This tool, as stated above, comes bundled with Kdeaccessibility package. Kmousetool helps reduce Repetitive stress injuries by clicking automatically when you pause somewhere. Persons with injured fingers may find this tool extremely helpful.

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Dasher : This tool lets you input TEXT through pointing gesture. You do not need a keyboard or even mouse (when you use eye tracker hardware with it) to use this tool. Using Dasher is fun, the way we play arcade games. It also uses predictive technology and words floats past a vertical line. You simply point to those words you want, and words get typed automatically in an input box. No clicking and no keyboard inputting! With a little practice, user's can input about 39 words per minute and more! Even I, with no prior experience, was able to write a recognizable sentence in less than 5 minutes! It is equally great for Handheld, wearable computers where Keyboards and mouse are burden!

GOK : Gnome Onscreen Keyboard lets you input text in any application through mouse clicks. It even lets you give commands through Key-board shortcuts. Great tool if user cannot use keyboard due to inability or in other space constraints.

Related:

How to install these nifty utilities? Just read this comprehensive article about "How to install applications in Linux"

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