Alternative Keyboards
and Input Devices
Scott A. Dougherty
IDEA Training & Consultation Coordinator
Allegheny Intermediate Unit #3
The Big Disclaimers
 Not a company representative
 Not a list of “must buys” - other products will:




Do some things in a better way
Do some things in the same way
Do some things in a worse way
Do some totally different things
 What you see is NOT all you can get
 We ARE dealing with silicon
2
Housekeeping
 Feel free to ask
questions as they come
to you
 We will take a break
mid-session, but feel
free to move around
 Materials are available
for download at
http://www.aiu3.net/
3
Session Goals
 Provide an overview of input devices for the
computer
 Demonstrate the use and application of
several devices
 Discuss implementation of input devices in
the course of daily learning experiences
4
Keyboards
 Standard
 QWERTY
 Alphabetic
 Dvorak
 Keytop Overlays &
 Portable

 Large Print/Button



Keyguards
Coded/Alternate Entry
Programmable
Onscreen
Word prediction
 Miniature
5
Standard Keyboards
 Features
 Readily available
 Commonplace and
familiar
 Plug-and-play or freely
convertible via
operating system
 QWERTY
 Dvorak
 Alphabetic
 Miniature
 Considerations
 Specialized layouts
impact generalization
of skill on non-adapted
computers
 Plug-and-play versus
programmed
6
Optimizer Keyboard
 Optimize key to reduce
movement away from
keyboard


Mouse control
Number pad
 QWERTY format
7
Tactile Pro 2.0
 Replicates the feel of
the old Macintosh
keyboard
 Available in Mac and
PC versions
 USB 2.0 port built into
the device
 Available with a preprogrammed Optimizer
button (see previous
slide)
8
Trackball Keyboard
 Standard QWERTY
keyboard
 Integrated pointing
device
 PS/2 keyboard
 PS/2 or USB trackball
9
Versa Point RF Keyboard
 Wireless configuration
 100 foot range
 Line-of-site not
required
 Integrated pointing
device
 Available as a combo
with wireless cursor
control unit
10
Portable Keyboards
 Features
 Most are standalone
word processors
 Reduce distractions
 May offer add-in
functionality
 Pre-programmed
 Download
 SD card
 Text shared with
computer via wire or
wireless connection
 Durability

Low power
consumption
 Considerations
 Inexpensive in
comparison to a laptop
 Screen size
 Brightness and
contrast limits
 Limited display fonts
and sizes
11
CalcuScribe
 Portable keyboard
 Built-in calculator
 Text display options
 4-line
 8-line
 File management
system


Folders
Menu structure
 Wireless beaming to
other CalcuScribes for
collaboration
12
Dana Portable Keyboard
 Palm-based
 Organization tools
 Downloadable
software
 Laptop-like
functionality
 Large screen
 Backlight for use in dark
rooms
 Send or Sync
13
Flexible Keyboard
 Water resistant
 Low pressure to
activate
 Rollable for storage and
transport
 Available in two heights


Standard (19.6 in)
Short (16.2 in)
14
Folding Keyboard by Matias
 Full-sized keyboard
 Integrated number pad
with Tab key feature
 Function key access



Arrow keys
Page navigation
Delete
 Volume control keys
15
Fusion Keyboard (The Writer)
 Text-to-speech output
 Word prediction
 Split screen vocabulary
word lists
 Pre-programmed writing
prompts
 Rubrics
 Basic
 Perfect Paragraph
 Multi-Paragraph Essay
 Six Traits of Writing
 Persuasive Essay
 Response to Literature
 Creative Writing
 Build-your-own
16
Neo & Neo 2
 Six font choices
 Capable of running
applets



Typing tutor
Word prediction
Quiz software
 Wired or wireless
transfer of text
 Saves automatically in
8 locations
17
QuickPAD IR & QuickPAD Pro
 Integrated typing tutor
 Built-in thesaurus and
word prediction
 Infrared connection via
dedicated receiver
 Password-capable
portfolio filing system to
organize writing files

Up to 70 pages in 10
separate folders
(QuickPAD IR)
18
Large Print/Button Keyboards
 Features
 Color schemes for
ease of viewing or
identification
 Large “target”
 Clearer separation
between letters on
large keys
 Considerations
 Larger footprint
 Reduced key set
 Visually distinct from
traditional keyboards
19
BigKeys LX & Keyboard Plus
 Standard keyboard footprint
 One-inch keys
 LX model
60 keys
 Black and white keys
 Plus model
 48 keys
 Color keys
 Black and white keys
 Variety of layouts
 QWERTY
 ABC

20
Clevy Keyboard
 Vertically aligned keys
 Keys are four times
larger than standard
keys
 Keys colored by
function
 Fewer keys than a
standard keyboard
 Durable – keys are
switches, not
membranes
21
Large Print Keyboard
 Standard-sized
keyboard
 Enlarged key font
(roughly 3 times
standard size)



Black on yellow
Black on ivory
Yellow on black
 Hot keys for common
commands and
applications
22
ZoomText Keyboard
 High-contrast keys
 White on black
 Yellow on black
 16 programmable
buttons
23
Miniature Keyboards
 Features
 Reduce “travel” for
users with small hand
spans or fingers
 May be useful when
 Fatigue is common
 Range of motion is
limited
 Only one hand is
used for key
activations
 Considerations
 Key face often features
a smaller font than a
standard keyboard
24
EZ-Reach Keyboard
 Flat profile
 Vertically aligned keys
 Backspace and Enter
are repositioned for
access by the forefinger
(rather than the little
finger)
25
Frogpad
 Wired and wireless




(Bluetooth) configurations
Wearable version
 PDAs
 Handheld devices
USB version
 Handhelds
 Laptops
 Desktops
Left and right hand models
Non-standard key
configuration (frequencybased)
26
Half Keyboard
 Palm-sized
 Left-hand only
 Allows user to type with
left hand and navigate
pointer with right hand
27
Half QWERTY Keyboard
 Full-sized keyboard
 QWERTY arrangement
 Two-handed typists
 Left-handed typists
 Right-handed typists
28
Low Profile Keyboard
 101 keys
 Integrated pointer
available


Joystick
Trackball
 Laptop-like feel
 Lightweight
 Flat profile
(approximately one inch
high)
 Small frame (less than
6”x12”)
29
Magic Wand Keyboard
 Built-in mouse
11 speeds
 Left, right, & double click
 Click-drag
 Accessible with slight head
or hand movement
 Handheld wand
 Mouthstick
 No force required for
activation
 Small profile (7” x 6” x 0.5”)

30
Space Saver Keyboard
 100 keys
 Narrow design (10.8”x6”)
Keypad, function, and
arrow keys above
standard alphanumerics
 Two models
 Desk (weighted, 2.55”)
 Flat (unweighted, 0.75”)
 Available with or without
integrated touch pad

31
USB Mini Keyboard by Tash
 Membrane surface
 Keys less than ½-inch




square
QWERTY layout
Auditory feedback
Mouse Mode key for
positioning and click
functions
Adjustable features



Response rate
Key repeat rate
Mouse tracking rate
32
Ergonomic Keyboards
 Features
 Increasingly available
(and standard) in
school, home, and
work environments
 Reduce repetitive
stress injuries by
supporting more
natural hand positions
 Some models are
adjustable
 Considerations
 Not conducive to onehanded typing
 May not fit into built-in
keyboard trays
33
Contoured Keyboard by Kinesis
 Two models
Advantage
 Classic
 Concave key arrangement
 Accommodates differing
finger lengths
 Prevents wrist extension
 Central positioning of
common “weak finger” keys
 Backspace
 Enter
 Foot switch compatible

34
Freestyle Keyboard by Kinesis
 Adjustable, split
keyboard

Pivot Tether connects
both modules
 Driverless Hot keys (not
supported on Macs)
 Optional accessory
packages for increased
functions
35
Goldtouch Keyboard
 Splits into two sections
for adjustment between
0 and 30 degrees


Horizontal
Vertical (tenting)
 Integrated numeric
keypad
 External numeric
keypad available
36
Maltron Ergonomic Keyboard
 Concave key wells to
accommodate differing
finger lengths
 Centralized number
keys
 Vertical alignment of
key rows
 Thumb keys



Return
Space
Backspace
 Shift Lock feature
37
Maxim Keyboard by Kinesis
 Low-force keys
 Horizontal and vertical
adjustments at 0, 8, or
14 degrees
 Removable palm
supports
 Embedded numeric
keypad
 External numeric
keypad available
38
Natural Keyboard Elite by Microsoft
 Keys aligned for natural
wrist and arm alignment
39
Tru-Form Keyboard
 Split keyboard in an
integrated unit
 Built-in wrist support
 Dual keys


PC – Alt, Shift, Control,
& spacebar
Mac – Command,
Shift, Option, Control,
& spacebar
 Option of built-in
touchpad
40
Keytop Overlays & Keyguards
 Features
 Adapt keyboards for
moisture-prone use
 Provide color cues to
emerging typists
 Retrofit an existing
keyboard
inexpensively
 Provide support for
users unable to
support wrists or
isolate keys easily
 Considerations
 Adhesives may leave a
residue when removed
 OS settings may need
to be adjusted (in
cases where a
keyboard is being
changed to a nonQWERTY layout)
41
Keyboard Skins
 Protect keyboard from
moisture and dust
 Conforms to keyboards
for a secure fit
 Requires model and
FCC# at time of order
(to ensure proper
configuration)
42
Keyguards
 Available in plastic or
metal versions
 May be easily removed,
if necessary
 Conforms to specific
keyboard arrangments
(specified at time of
order)
 Keyguards are often
available for specialized
keyboards (through the
keyboard manufacturer)
43
Keytop Overlays
 Braille
 Early Learning
 Finger Position
 High Contrast
 Large Print
 Uppercase/Lowercase
44
Coded/Alternate Entry Keyboards
 Features
 Utilize chords, codes,
or pre-programmed
settings
 Reduce keystrokes
 Reduce hand
movement (travel)
 Considerations
 Learning curve is
typical
 Non-intuitive
45
BAT Keyboard
 Left and right hand
models
 Single-handed keying


Can be used in
addition to a standard
keyboard
Free hand for Braille
reading
 Seven keys to perform
all standard keystrokes


Chord-based entry
Programmable macros
46
Darci USB
 Adjustable, stored
settings



One to three switches
Timing
Code set
 Plug-and-play (no
specialized drivers)
 Bus-powered for
convenience and
portability
 Audio feedback
47
EasyLink Braille Keyboard
 Bluetooth Brailler
 6 Braille keys
 3 function keys
 Compact design
 Highly portable
 10 hours of continuous
use on battery
48
EZ Keys XP
 Multiple layouts/entry
methods for adapted
computer access
 Mouse
 Switch access


Single
Multiple
Keyboard
 Mouse emulation
software
 Morse Code
 Built-in features
 Text to speech
 Word prediction
 Abbreviation expansion

49
Jouse2
 Morse code joystick
 Control movement with
mouth, chin, cheek, or
tongue
 Perform mouse clicks
with the integrated sip
and puff switch
 Emulates mouse and
keyboard activations
 Four user-selectable
versions of Morse Code
50
Lomak
 Light operated mouse and




keyboard
 Handheld pointer
 Head pointer
Plug-and-play
Requires little physical effort
Reduces accidental input
through dual input
 Selection confirmed by
illumination
 Confirm key to use
Equidistant, circular key
arrangement
51
Programmable Keyboards
 Features
 Allow macros to be
programmed
 Allow computer input
via traditional and nontraditional means
 Letter-based
 Word-based
 Phrase-based
 Picture-based

Highly customizable
 User requirements
 Activity requirements
 Considerations
 Time and planning is
often required prior to
use
 Typically require
specialized drivers (not
plug-and-play)
52
DX1 Keyboard
 25 repositionable keys
 Useful when vision,
dexterity, or range of
motion hinder use of
other devices
 Scalable – add keys
when needed
 Macros



Programmable
Pre-built
Recordable
53
IntelliKeys Keyboard
 Built-in stand for flat or




angled use
Wide variety of overlays
 Pre-programmed
 Printable
 Customized (with
separate Overlay Maker
software)
Keyguards available
Dual-switch inputs
Compatible with IntelliTools
software and activities
54
X Keys Stick
 Programmable software
 Macro Works (PC)
 iKey (Mac)
 Sixteen keys
 Repositionable
 Backlight illumination
for low-light use
 Legends


Pre-cut for handwrite
Microsoft Templates
55
X-Keys Keypad
 Programmable keypad
 Works as an auxiliary
keyboard
 Two configurations


20 keys (39 macros)
58 key (115 macros)
56
Onscreen Keyboards
 Features
 Keyboard and text are
on the same plane
 Ability to change layout
 Alternate input
 Mouse – click or
dwell
 Switch
 Touchscreen
 Integrated word
prediction and
abbreviation expansion
 Considerations
 Loss of “real estate”
 Fatigue and repetitive
stress
 May require assistance
with programming/setup
57
Clicker 5
 Support or develop





writing skills in “non
writers”
Allows for high level of
structure
Option for textless
composition
Universal Design
Quick, on-the-fly
changes to cell content
Free, content-sharing
site
58
CubeWriter
 Customizable interface
 Letters
 Words
 Numbers
 Punctuation
 Personalized word lists
 Three modes of use
 Type
 Write
 Teach
59
Discover:Screen by Madentec
 Text-to-speech
 Point and click access
 Letters
 Words
 Phrases
 Adjunctive (works with
all applications on a
computer)
60
IntelliTools Classroom Suite
 Fully customizable
 Switch-ready
 Scanning available
 Compatible with
IntelliKeys USB


Pre-made overlays
Overlay Maker
software is required for
custom overlays
61
KeyStrokes
 Macintosh software
 Five resizable layouts
 Number pad
 Function keys
 Navigation
 QWERTY
 Alphabetic
 Modifiable keys and
background
 Resizable
 Dwell selection
62
Onscreen by IMG
 Built-in supports
Word prediction
 Calculators
 Macros
 Numeric layouts
 International layouts
Dwell selection
Verbal Keys Feedback
Show/Hide key function
Smart Window repositioning
Scanning option available






63
REACH Interface Author by Applied
Human Factor
 140 preprogrammed
layouts


Customizable
Create-your-own
 Key Size Button for
quick resizing
 Built-in supports




 Smart Keys
 Removes or
deemphasizes unlikely
combinations
 AutoType for singleresult combinations
Word prediction
Scanning
Word use learning
Dwell selection
64
ScreenDoors 2000 by Madentec
 Built-in features
 Word prediction
 Abbreviation
expansion
 Three keyboard layouts
 QWERTY
 Alphabetic
 Frequency of Use
 Dwell selection
65
SofType
 Five layouts
 QWERTY
 Alphabetic
 Frequency of use
 Numeric
 KidKeys
 Create-your-own
 Resizable
 Size
 Font
 Spacing
 Built-in features
 Word prediction
 Dwell selection
 Jitter control
 Dragger – single
switch control of
mouse functions
 Macro programming
66
WiVik by Prentke Romich
 50 layouts in 22 languages
 Fully customizable
 Repositionable
 Built-in features




Word prediction
Abbreviation expansion
Dwell selection
Scanning



Automatic
Step
Direct
67
Word Prediction
 Features
 Rate enhancement to
reduce keystrokes
 Real-time display of
choices
 Vertical
 Horizontal
 Dynamic
 Access to specialized
word lists as needed
 Text-to-speech
capability
 Considerations
 Adjunctive versus selfcontained word
prediction
 Phonetic versus
sequence based
68
Co:Writer
 Intelligent word






prediction
Flexible spelling
Collected words
Predict Ahead
eWord Banks
Basic, personal, and
topic dictionaries
Text-to-speech
 Neo version available
 Adjunctive use (may be
used with a wide range
of applications)
69
Cloze Pro
 Type or paste prepared text
 Remove words
automatically or manually



Word or letter recurrence
Sequence
Pattern
 Present words in a grid or
pop-up list
 Prompt with word shape,
word, exposed letters
 Useful when etext is
available
 Suitable for assessment and
cloze-style tasks
70
Writing With Symbols 2000
 Four writing
environments




Symbol Processor
Word Processor
Grids for Printing
Grids for Writing
 Customizable word lists
 Useful as a teacher or
student tool
71
Soothsayer
 Text-to-speech
 Adjunctive word




prediction
AutoType Feature
Abbreviation Expansion
Sentence completion
Automated correction of
common spelling errors
72
WordQ
 Text-to-speech
 Adjunctive word
prediction
 Usage examples for
confusing words
 Accommodates
phonetic spelling
attempts
 Offers the option of
speech recognition via
SpeakQ
73
Other Input Devices
 Mice
 Trackballs
 Joysticks
 Number Pads
 Switches and switch interfaces
 Touchscreens
 Head mice
 Microphone and speech recognition
74
Other Input Devices
 Mouse options
 Switch adapted
 Ergonomic
 Handheld
 Switches and Switch
Interfaces


 Trackballs
 Joysticks
 Gaming
 Roller Joystick
 Roller Joystick Plus
 Number Pads

Crick USB
Don Johnston Switch
Interface Pro
IntelliKeys USB
Keyboard
 Touchscreens &
monitors
 Head Mouse

Tracker Pro
75
Speech Recognition
 Utilizes a microphone to input text
 Requires adequate speech skills
 Requires significant executive
functions to maintain a topic and
perform corrections/training
 May allow for reduced use of the
hands when controlling the
computer
 Consider environment and task
when implementing
76
Dragon Naturally Speaking, IBM Via
Voice, Mac Dictate
 Continuous recognition
 Skip Training option
 Allows for keyboard-
 Accuracy tool set
free text input
 Support for adult and
teen voices
 Analyzes existing
documents for
vocabulary and style
 Noise-cancelling
headset or array
microphone is
recommended
 Works in an adjunct
capacity to other
software
 Not suitable for discrete
recognition
 Specialized versions
available (Dragon
NaturallySpeaking)
77
SpeakQ
 Customizable training
 Discrete and continuous






prediction modes
Speech feedback of
recognized text
No verbal commands for
control or correction
Integrated word prediction
capability
Text-to-speech feedback
Allows for both keyboard
and speech input
Server-level storage of
student voice files
78
Sources of Input Devices
 EnableMart

http://www.enablemart.com/
 Infogrip

http://www.infogrip.com/
 Retail office suppliers
79
Questions & Evaluations
 Are there questions you haven’t asked yet?
 What further information do you need?
80
Contact Information
Scott A. Dougherty
Kendra Bittner
IDEA Training and Consultation
Coordinator, Assistive Technology
Allegheny Intermediate Unit #3
475 East Waterfront Drive
Homestead, PA 15120-1144
[email protected]
412-394-1375 ● 412-394-5992 (Fax)
IDEA Training and Consultation
Coordinator, Assistive Technology
Allegheny Intermediate Unit #3
475 East Waterfront Drive
Homestead, PA 15120-1144
[email protected]
412-394-5872 ● 412-394-5992 (Fax)
AIU Assistive Technology Home Page
http://www.aiu3.net/Level3.aspx?id=1220
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Alternative Keyboards and Input Devices