Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How my computer works

I've had a lot of people ask me before how I use my computer since I can't use my hands. It's a good question, so I will take the time to explain how everything works. I have a laptop computer and there are two programs I use to help me be able to navigate around on the computer by myself.

The first is a voice dictation program called Dragon NaturallySpeaking. You train your voice into the computer and then the computer recognizes words and commands when you speak into a microphone that's on a headset you wear. The program doesn't write down everything I dictate perfectly, so when it makes mistakes I have to go back and correct them.

The other thing I use is called a head mouse. A piece of equipment that looks very similar to a web cam attaches to the top of my laptop screen. Then a special infrared sticker (about the size of a hole punch) is stuck to the microphone on my headset. When I move my head around, the head mouse tracks the movements, and that's how I move my mouse. When I have the arrow on the right spot, I say, "mouse click" or "mouse double-click" or I give another appropriate command.

I usually get on my computer every day, and I spend the majority of the day on my computer (up to 10 hours). Lots of people ask me what I do when I'm on my computer. I do lots of things: e-mail, write in my personal journal, blog, Facebook, shop, work on various projects, watch movies, etc.

I'm so grateful for these programs that enable me to be able to use my computer all by myself. It's very liberating to be able to do something by myself, since there are so many things that I can't do or need help doing.


julie schenk said...

Fascinating. I'm glad you have this technology, too. I'm really enjoying your blog. Thanks for sharing so much :)

A Veiled Connotation said...

I love reading your posts! ..and I love learning about Assistive technology. If you don't mind me asking - Do you have a wheelchair that uses assistive tech. so you are able to move it? Or do you have a manual?

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