Thursday, April 24, 2008

Assistive Technology Blogging

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.

AT: Pencil grip and pen text scanner

This blog has not focused on AT per se, but several of my posts relate to the topic. ATMac made me aware of a blog carnival asking for submissions of bloggers' favorite AT posts. Mine are on the topic of text expansion tools.
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.


Lon said...

Thanks for the VERY appropriate submission to the AT blog carnival. I hope you do more posts relating your thoughts, knowledge and use of AT. I enjoyed reading the ones you have done.You have a very important and unique perspective we need to hear.
See you at the carnival!
(host of the AT blog carnival at:
My blogs are: and

Unknown said...

I use text expansion ALL the time - both when I'm using the on-screen keyboard and when I'm able to type with a regular keyboard. It's great to hear somebody else's take on it - thank you!

- Ricky

Lon said...

Hi Dusty,
I have been asked to do a Meme. I am adding you as a player because I would like to know more about you and have you share with us.
Go to:

Unknown said...

I just noticed you have ATMac listed with the wrong name. Didn't spot it first time through! The name of the site is just "ATMac" and the web address is - note it's org not com. Just wondered if you could fix it for me. Thankses!

- Ricky

Crass Pip said...

Thanks for your interest. I will respond asap.

Sorry about that. It has been updated.