Assistive technology (AT) is a topic that has become near and dear to me. For those unfamiliar with the term, it refers to devices that help people with disabilities perform a function better. There are low tech examples like pencil grips or colored text overlays, or high tech items like a pen-based optical character recognition text reader or advanced computer software. The reason I am familiar with the subject is that I was trained as a special education teacher and worked in that capacity until an accident imparted to me a disability of my own. After breaking my neck, assistive technology became essential for helping to recover as much of my former function as possible.
Text Expansion: Wasting Time Trying to Save Time tells of my travails as I tried several tools to improve my typing speed. I recently added an addendum, Text Expanders Revisited. While this reads too much like an advertisement for my taste, it necessarily updates the topic of available text expansion software since newer versions have been released.
If I may be somewhat optimistic for a moment, I'd like to think that some people who never considered the topic of text expanders may read this information and use it to improve their ability to use a computer. No one has requested my abbreviations yet, but I hope they may be useful to someone in the future. In particular, users of head pointing systems with onscreen keyboards may benefit from using fewer keystrokes. Plus, anyone in a position similar to me, where finances impede the adoption of a full dictation system, could be able to type faster. The two linked posts, therefore, are my entries to the AT blog carnival.