Suspended Typing

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

Continuing with the typing theme, I’ve just spent a few hours brainstorming a funny looking typing contraption into existance. This is a concept of an idea that I’ve had for a while. I’ve tried ErgoRests in the past, but to no avail. In two hours, with the help of my patient attendant Mario, I combined one ErgoRest with two boxes, a stick, tape, a piece of wax paper, and shoestring to facilitate what I call suspended typing. Have a look.

Admittedly, this is not as fast as typing with two hands, but it is faster than typing with an on-screen keyboard. Here’s some numbers from some basic online typing speed tests I took.

Using two hands: 24 words per minute (but very tiring) Using KeyStrokes, the on-screen keyboard: 12 words per minute Using Dasher: 11 words per minute Using suspended typing: 17 words per minute (a little tiring, but could be improved with a better “prototype”)

Update 9/6/09: Using KeyStrokes with my Bamboo Fun Tablet: 20 words per minute (I’m simply clicking keys on KeyStrokes using a stylus and a tablet; The best solution to date). It should also be noted that, at this point, using my left hand is not an option.

I’m hoping that my copy of MacSpeech Dictate will be in sometime in the coming weeks. If that works out, I may not need to use the suspended typing technique that often. It may come in handy for coding Web sites. Alternatively, KeyStrokes may work better for that.

I suppose the next step would be to see an occupational therapist to see if he or she could construct something more durable and portable (portability would be very nice). Heck, I bet some Mississippi State engineering students could get the job done.

I’ll keep you informed of any updates to what is becoming a typing saga. I invite you to share any solutions you may use for typing.