[BCAB] Urgent Help Required - Communication Aid

Roger Woolgrove rawoolgrove at gmail.com
Wed Aug 17 13:57:43 BST 2016

Hi Adrian and Sarah,

I've been pondering the issue and can think of several methods to 
overcome the communication barriers.
Using a small program I could write it to respond to a mouse button 
click, joystick movement or keyboard key press. It comes down to which 
would be best for Sarah and you.
I'll code up a model for joystick interaction and send a link to 
download it, hopefully later today though tomorrow will be more likely. 
I need to make a couple of plans of approach before doing the coding.

Very best to you both


On 17/08/2016 12:39, Adrian Picton via Bcab wrote:
> Hello Roger,
> Many thanks for your kind offer of help with coming up with an accessible
> solution to this problem. However, unfortunately Sarah's left hand is now
> getting weak and she can't co-ordinate her fingers well enough even to press
> the buzzer to call the nurse. I think I would need some kind of joystick
> device connected to the program you describe to achieve this, where you
> moved it up and down to choose a letter and press down to select the one you
> require. If you think that's possible with any kind of attachment to a PC
> let me know. Ability net have told me all about switches so maybe it's a
> switch I need? I'm going to contact the company they suggest anyway and see
> where we go from there.
> Kind regards and thanks again,
> Adrian.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Roger
> Woolgrove
> Sent: 15 August 2016 14:02
> To: BCAB Discussion List <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
> Subject: Re: [BCAB] Urgent Help Required - Communication Aid
> Hi,
> I have no experience in dealing with such problems in a technical manner but
> I might be able to put something together dependant upon the response to the
> following questions:
> Can your wife press specific buttons on a keyboard such as left control,
> space and right control when desired without pressing either of the other
> keys?
> If no to the above then would there be a combination of keys that could be
> used to be pressed on their own and if so, what these would be.
> Can your wife access a mouse, not the pointer but the left and right
> buttons?
> I maybe able to put together a simple program using java in which one key
> would click through the alphabet and the other key would select, much like
> typing albeit slowly. 2 control keys and space to cursor left and right and
> space bar to select. Alternatively one mouse button to click through the
> alphabet and the other to select.
> If either solution would suffice and your wife has access to a machine that
> can be or is installed with java then this might prove to be a work around
> until a better solution can be reached.
> Hope to hear back soon and wishing your wife, Sarah and yourself well with
> your situation.
> Roger
> On 15/08/2016 10:36, Adrian Picton via Bcab wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> Please note this message carries a mascara/tissue warning so if you are at
> work or somewhere where you can't deal with something sad then maybe come
> back to this message later, but do come back to it if you can to see if you
> can help. This message goes beyond just a frustrating computer problem.
>> Unfortunately my darling wife Sarah has a brain tumour and has only been
> given a matter of weeks to live. She lost the use of her right arm and hand
> several weeks ago and now her left arm and hand is going as well. Her speech
> has also been deteriorating and she is now virtually unable to say anything
> understandable. She can nod or shake her head to sighted people and can
> squeeze my hand once for Yes and twice for No. You can imagine how
> frustrating this is for someone who is fully mentally alert and for me as
> their partner when Sarah is unable to communicate with me.
>> Initially I tried the Braille Sense in one-handed mode, but she no longer
> has sufficient use in her left hand to use it. I also tried creating a
> document with the letters of the alphabet on each line so she could use the
> scroll keys on the Braille Sense to find a letter to spell out a word for me
> but she can't even keep her fingers on the buttons. I also tried Braille
> Lexicon cards but she is unable to pick them up to place them to spell out a
> word or to see the large print letters from far enough away to point to
> them.
>> What I want to know is does a device exist like perhaps what Steven
> Horking uses where you can select letters or phrases to be read out in
> synthetic speech, but where the interface controlled by a joystick or
> pointing device also speaks to provide access for a visually impaired
> person. If so where could we get access to such a thing?
>> Alternatively does anyone know of an app, piece of PC software or computer
> or smartphone attachment which would do the job? Most things on the market
> are by their very nature visual.
>> If any of you can help or point me in the direction of someone who can I
> would be so grateful as it would help Sarah and I to make the most of our
> precious moments together.
>> Many thanks in anticipation,
>> Adrian.
>> Sent from my iPhone
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