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Physically Disabled

5. Physically Disabled

There are a wide range of physical disabilities that can impair a user's mobility, and many of these impairments need to be addressed on an individual basis. This section addresses impairments that apply to users who have difficulty using a mouse, pointing device, or keyboard.

5.1. Keyboard Navigation

There are features that are built into the Linux operating system that allow for additional keyboard configuration. In some of the X Windows desktops these settings can be changed from the control center. An application has also been developed for X Windows called AccessX and it provides a graphical user interface for configuring all the AccessX keyboard settings. These settings are:

  • StickyKeys enable the user to lock modifier keys (for example, control and shift) allowing single finger operations in place of multiple key combinations.

  • MouseKeys provide alternative keyboard sequences for cursor movement and mouse button operations.

  • SlowKeys requires the user to hold the key down for a specified period of time before the keystroke is accepted. This prevents keystrokes that are pressed by accident from being sent.

  • ToggleKeys sound an audio alert that warns the user that a keystroke created a locking state for keys, such as Caps Lock, and Num Lock.

  • RepeatKeys allow a user with limited coordination additional time to release keys before multiple key sequences are sent to the application.

  • BounceKeys or Delay Keys have a delay between keystrokes. This function can help prevent the system from accepting unintentional keystrokes.

5.2. Assistive Technologies for the Physically Disabled

The following is a list of assistive technologies for the physically disabled:

5.2.1. On-Screen Keyboard

On-screen keyboards enable a user to select keys using a pointing device, such as a mouse, trackball, or touch pad. This application can be used in place of a standard keyboard.

5.2.2. Speech Recognition

Speech recognition utilities are used by people with mobility impairments, so they can operate the computer using voice control.

5.3. Additional Resources

The following is a list of additional Web sites that may be of interest to users with mobility impairments: