I hate progress

This entry originally appeared on my disability blog, I hate stairs.

See, I hate something besides stairs! I hate the progression of my SMA. Some of the last skeletal muscles (may not be the medically accurate term) to weaken are the ones in the hand and fingers. Lately, I think it’s been getting worse—err, worse than the usual worsening. I’ve been finding it more difficult to type, even on my super cool, thin Apple wireless keyboard. I have a setup that I made for propping my hand up to type, and an occupational therapist is working on copying it with more durable material. I would take a picture of it, but I don’t have a camera handy that I can connect to my computer.

In the next year or so, I am probably going to have to look into some adaptive technology, whether it be hardware or software. On my old Dell notebook, I used Dragon Naturally Speaking a little. It’s supposed to be the best in dictation software, although I didn’t have a lot of luck with it (they have come a long way since 2003). Unfortunately, it requires Windows. I’m on a Mac.

So I Googled searched for “voice recognition mac” on Google and found MacSpeech Dictate. It seems to be the best I can do as far as voice recognition software on Mac OS X. So I may look into it.

Other than that, there’s a good on-screen keyboard for Mac that even has predictive text. It’s called KeyStrokes. In fact, I am typing the rest of this paragraph with it. I’m trying to use an alternate keyboard layout that is optimized for efficiency. I can’t imagine using it all the time though.

Okay, back to typing the old way. Wow, it’s faster.

So what kind of adaptations have you made so that you (or your child) can type and use the computer in general?