Vivek’s 3 Favourite Accessibility Tools for MacBy Vivek Gohil -
In the 21st century having access to a computer enables you to learn such a fundamental life skill but degenerative conditions like Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy can restrict usage significantly. It was very frustrating when I discovered that I could not use a mouse or keyboard as efficiently as I previously could. I have limited hand/finger movement so moving or swiping on a Trackpad is problematic especially when also typing on a keyboard. Since using an Apple MacBook I’ve unearthed a few useful apps or inbuilt features to make life easier. Below are the 3 accessibility tools for Mac that I couldn’t live without!
BTT allowed me to adapt Trackpad or Keyboard gestures to work around my limited finger movements of 2 finger swipes or taps. It also comes with advanced multiple window-snapping, alternate window dragging functions & remote control via the BTT Remote app. Since downloading BTT I’ve realised that many of the limitations I thought were due to DMD were actually accessibility related.
Over the years as typing becomes increasingly challenging adapting to changes is crucial. I now type using the inbuilt MacOS On-Screen Keyboard and a modified chopstick (stolen from Wagamamas) to reach certain keys. The only small drawback is that it blocks screen space.
Dictation enables my fingers to keep up with the speed of my thought processes; I usually forget my idea after expending energy just typing a few words. It has improved my blogging capabilities & social media communication so now I don’t have to deliberately limit my word count. I’ve previously used Dragon Dictate but it could not recognize my voice when I wear my ventilator, which is vital to allow me to speak for a long time. The inbuilt MacDictation function is far superior, more user-friendly and the microphone picks up every word.
Accessibility features on computers & mobile phones have significantly evolved so the cyber future will definitely improve for disabled people.