The Assistive Technology Centre was inaugurated on the Saturday, the 13th of September 2008, by the Hon. Minister for Women and Child Development Shri. P. Narendra Swamy to help with the assessment, evaluation and recommendations for Assistive Tools and Technological Devices for individual students. The center also trains PWDs and Senior Citizens to become self sufficient by using assistive technologies.

The Spastics Society of Karnataka has acquired Assistive Technology Devices from Pacer Centre, Minnesota.

A few of the softwares that have been tried and found very to be beneficial to people with various disabilities are as follows –

Dasher

Dasher is a tool to write text on your computer using only mouse. If a someone cannot operate keyboard effectively, this tool can be really useful.

Even the mouse can be replaced from a traditional one to the following.

Single Click devices like buttons.
Head tracker so that the mouse pointer moves along with movement of head.
Eye Gazer so that it follows the movement of eyes.
Camera mouse.

Dasher is a FREE to download on Windows, Linux, and Macintosh Computers.

Information on Dasher:

http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasher

Dasher for Special Needs

http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/SpecialNeeds.html

Videos of Dasher Usage

http://linkmenow.org/dashervideos

Support and Mailing list

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dasher-text-entry

Sincere thanks to the David MacKay and TheInference Group, Cambridge University for such a wonderful piece of software.

HeadMouse

You can control the mouse pointer using your head movements. Click Action can be made by keeping the pointer constant at an object for specified period of time. This software automatically recognizes the face and starts tracking the head. You need a Webcam to use this and its Free for Download and available only on Windows. Webcams are really cheap these days so don’t hesitate in buying one if you need to try these software.

Information on HeadMouse

http://nipg.inf.elte.hu/headmouse/headmouse.html

CameraMouse

If you would like to track a particular feature like your finger movement, or a nose movement, head movement and control the Mouse Pointer with, CameraMouse is an indispensable software. This is freely available on Windows Operating System and you need a webcam to use this software.
Information on Cameramouse

www.cameramouse.org

There are also games for practicing with Cameramouse.

http://www.cameramouse.org/downloads.html

AutoHotKey

This is a Windows Only software where you can configure various applications to a single button. It is useful for automating tasks opening applications without much effort.

It can be configured for the following example scenario. Pressing a single button to open Acrobat Reader, loading the book and setting it in the auto scroll mode.

Information on Auto HotKey

http://www.autohotkey.com/

Adobe Acrobat Reader

This is a general purpose PDF reader, but it can be useful as an accessibility tool in the following way. You can set up the reader in the autoscroll mode so that one need one touch the keyboard for scrolling the pages. You can may use the Speech Text Mode for the reader to speak the text.

Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded from:

http://get.adobe.com/reader/
Free e-books to read on the Acrobat Reader can be downloaded from:

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

Additional Software

We are evaluating the following software too. Let us know if you have any comments on these.

OpenGazer

This one seems promising. Which tracks the eye movement.
Information:

http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/opengazer.

Point-N-Click

software provided by http://www.polital.com/pnc/ for free download, one would have complete control
over his computer.

Click-N-Type is a free on-screen keyboard available at http://www.lakefolks.org/cnt/de-intro.htm. It comes with a special scan mode which
allows the user to select letters with a simple mouse click.

Accessibility Software/tools which are not free.

We have not evaluated yet.

– Eyemouse at Tobii: http://www.tobii.com
– EyeGaze: http://www.eyegaze.com/

Sue Center

Sue Center is a communication environment designed specifically for people who cannot use a keyboard or mouse. It could be described as an ‘on-screen keyboard’ but it is much more than that.

http://www.suecenter.org/

Herbi Center

This web site provides free software for people interested in handwriting development and in helping people who having difficulty speaking. The handwriting development software available here is being used today by occupational therapists and teachers to help their students, and the speech assistance software has been used by people who are unable to speak.

http://herbi.org/

Thanks

Dr. Julius Deutsch from kommhelp, Berlin (www.kommhelp.de) , helped us identify a lot of software listed in this page.

Comments

Let us know if you have any comments on the software/tools listed above.