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  • Hello? Is there anybody out there?

    Posted on Wheeler Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Tech Accessibility Hello? Is there anybody out there?

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      • #2169796 Reply
        Wheeler
        AskWoody Plus

        I get the feeling no one actually reads this forum.  So, I guess I’m talking to myself.  Are we handicapped?  Disabled?  Physically challenged?  DifferentlyAbled? I personally hate all those PC terms and am fine with disabled.  I do think one change should be made.  Handicapped parking should be renamed Rockstar parking.  Just saying

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2169805 Reply
        Kirsty
        Da Boss

        Sorry @wheeler, but vehicle parking is entirely OFF-TOPIC!

        Do you have any technology tips you wish to share with others, or questions you would like help with?

      • #2169832 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Actually, I read this forum. The entries are few and far and few in between these days, as this site, AskWoody, overall tilt is mainly about the good and the bad of Microsoft’s Windows and other products.

        I believe, and apologize if I am wrong, that you are the gentleman who is quadriplegic and wants some advice on mitigating and empowering technologies that can help someone in your condition. So I write the following assuming that belief to be correct:

        The problem here, I think, and, again, assuming I am writing this in answer to the correct person, is that the technology involved in providing the type of help that enables you to write your comment and start this thread is a highly advanced and, in some respects, still an experimental one: work in progress — that is undergoing frequent improvement as advances in computers and in the algorithms implemented in software are developed at research laboratories, public and private. All this makes the topic into one that might be something no one here knows much about. In fact, you probably, having direct experience of such technology, might know more than any of us, by a long chalk.

        Perhaps someone here might have some useful advice on what things might be helpful that are based on this advanced technology?

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        • #2170137 Reply
          Wheeler
          AskWoody Plus

          Hi Oscar,

          I am the ventilator dependent quadriplegic that started this thread.  I do everything on my computer with my mouth using this device.  https://quadjoy.io/  You are also correct in assuming this device has been continuously refined over the years.  I’m actually using the original design developed by another quadriplegic more than a decade ago.  The current model has even more functions including Bluetooth.  I think you might be able to pair it with your cell phone to control it.

          • #2170190 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            Thanks for the link: I hope it helps you get some informative and helpful answers here.

            Would that “other quadriplegic that did (help?) develop this system you are using now be, perhaps, Christopher Reeve, or someone he helped do it through his Foundation?

            Good luck.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Reeve

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

            • #2170612 Reply
              Wheeler
              AskWoody Plus

              Forgot to login before replying.  His name was Tom Street.  This was years and years before Christopher was injured

              2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2169853 Reply
        Carl
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m here Wheeler.

        Oddly, my biggest complaint is animation – things like live tiles, animated gifs, scrolling text, etc. which trigger discomfort (mild seizure type response). If using Firefox, I zap moving page elements to oblivion using an extension called “Lizard” (similar to “Nuke Anything”). Also use “uBlock” (no moving adverts) and “NoScript” which are effective for blocking many of these annoyances.

        Also have some problems with mouse control (Parkinson’s and sensory loss in fingers – tactile feedback) and miss the removal of confirmation boxes (e.g. delete) that were present in Windows 7. It’s easy for unintended actions to occur by clicking multiple times when only one click was desired, or accidentally clicking the wrong page element because of lack of motion control. On the other hand, sometimes Windows pops up an unwanted sticky keys dialog ….. I do thisssssss a lot. Any tips appreciated.

        As for handicapped parking, I’d be happy if people without mobility issues would stop using the spaces. Just saying. (Sorry OT)

        /EOR – End of Rant

        • #2169919 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          f using Firefox, I zap moving page elements to oblivion using an extension called “Lizard” (similar to “Nuke Anything”). Also use “uBlock” (no moving adverts) and “NoScript” which are effective for blocking many of these annoyances.

          uBlock itself has the ability to zap specific page elements. I use it all the time as an annoyance remover (and it works just as well in Chromium-based browsers).  I don’t know how some people can browse without one… there’s a lot of things that need to be removed, even outside of uBlock’s main purpose of ad blocking.

          If Lizard works for you, that’s good too, but if you can get the same function from another addon you already use, it may be worth considering.  I try to use the smallest number of addons I can, though it still ends up being a large number (around 30 in Firefox or Waterfox).

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.18.4).

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2169924 Reply
            Carl
            AskWoody Plus

            I find the Lizard interface easier for me. The GUI is easy on the eyes. Just scroll over the element and type “R”. I keep forgetting that uBlock can also do this.

            Some other add-ons I found useful since they save keystrokes and reduce mouse movement:

            1) Copy on Select,
            2) Link and Text Copier.

            I’m also as bad as you. Twenty active extensions in Firefox. I don’t use Chrome (or any Chromium based browsers), but with Edge around the corner, I’m hoping the same extensions will work there as well.

      • #2169894 Reply
        mledman
        AskWoody Plus

        and miss the removal of confirmation boxes (e.g. delete) that were present in Windows 7.

        If you are referring to the delete file conformation, make sure “display delete conformation dialog” is checked at – right click recycle bin > properties.

        Win 10 home - 1909
        Attitude is a choice...Choose wisely

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2169898 Reply
          Carl
          AskWoody Plus

          Just checked – it is. To be honest, I didn’t even know that existed. Thanks.

      • #2169949 Reply
        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        Use all your resources. Read here and there’s a chapter on computers:

        User’s Manual for the Physically Challenged

        G{ot backup} TestBeta
        offline▸ Win7Pro SP1 x64 InUse
        online▸ Win10Pro 1909.18363.752 x64 i5-9400 RAM8GB HDD Firefox76.0b2 Windows{Image/Defender/Firewall}
        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2169968 Reply
        Carl
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks geekdom!

        Duh, I didn’t know that was there either. I’ll certainly give that a read tomorrow.

        This past summer, I took a nasty fall (Parkinson’s related balance issues) that resulted in two surgeries so far, hence my disappearance from forums here on occasion. I’ve had to wind down my professional activity – no more early morning flights to DC, trade shows, etc. My mind is willing, but the body ain’t. I’m an aging grey beard anyhow – maybe it’s time.

        Appreciate the suggestions.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2170134 Reply
        Wheeler
        AskWoody Plus

        Hey Carl,

        Think something like this would be easier than a traditional mouse?

        https://www.amazon.com/BIGtrack-2-0-Trackball-Buttons-12000006/dp/B0006ZM7VY/ref=sr_1_2?crid=VV1HH3BM3TE9&keywords=big+track+2.0+trackball&qid=1582480687&sprefix=big+track+%2Caps%2C191&sr=8-2

        I had my daughter use this when she was little before she had the fine motor skills to use a traditional mouse.  I think I still have it around here somewhere.  If I can find it, you can have it.  Can’t hurt to try

      • #2170203 Reply
        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        Other threads in this forum (Tech Accessibility) on assistive stuff:

        Frustrations of a Non-Techy with Disabilities

        Assistive Technology Products

        Four Linux Distros for the Blind/Visually Impared

        Microsoft to use AI to help people with disabilities

        G{ot backup} TestBeta
        offline▸ Win7Pro SP1 x64 InUse
        online▸ Win10Pro 1909.18363.752 x64 i5-9400 RAM8GB HDD Firefox76.0b2 Windows{Image/Defender/Firewall}
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2172375 Reply
        Carl
        AskWoody Plus

        Thank you so much for all the support and the suggestions. Have some reading to do.

        I’ve spent the last few days working with my older brother who’s trying to make arrangements for me to get to St. Louis this June for my younger brother’s daughter’s wedding (USAF pilot). I didn’t want to go as I’d be a burden on everyone, but they’re insisting – might be the last time we can all get together. Making arrangements for the mobility challenged ain’t easy. The person we’re renting a house from is a computer security analyst so that’s a plus.

        I’m hoping to visit some restricted USAF Air Mobility Command computer facilities with my younger brother who’s a retired colonel now 2nd in charge of big data for USAF. I’m a former DARPA, Commerce contractor (DBM/programmer/project lead) so I’m looking forward to meeting and sharing thoughts with personnel. My sister-in-law will also be there (retired DBM Naval Undersea Warfare Center).

        Now I have to locate my cards that’ll allow me get through TSA inspections without setting off red flags and detectors due to all the metal holding my body together.

        The old goat is still kicking, just not so high anymore.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2173289 Reply
          Wheeler
          AskWoody Plus

          I feel your pain.  I feel like a huge burden to everyone around me too.  My parents (now 81 years old) and my wife keep hauling me to northern Wisconsin every summer for a few days.  It’s hard to enjoy things when you how much time and effort it took to get you there.

          Traveling with a disability is a challenge but can be done with a lot of preparation.

           

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2173318 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Best wishes on the trip, I hope everyone has a good time!

      • #2173362 Reply
        Elly
        AskWoody MVP

        Hello Wheeler,

        I’ve been so challenged by my own medical/disability issues that I took an off-line break… so wasn’t around when you posted. Glad to have you here. Maybe we can help this forum become more useful and meaningful for disabled folks… Some people are disabled by their ‘ableness’, with unawareness of how their assumptions are so far off the mark for the people around them. Maybe we can help them increase their awareness a bit, as well?

        I’m actively, all the time, exploring what I can do, what’s possible for me, although tempted at times to just give up… I haven’t. For me, disability didn’t happen all at once, and it isn’t one clear cut issue, but has been progressing over time. My biggest physical challenge is setting up a computer workstation that works for me (I’m still in process!).  When my beloved Windows 7 laptop died… well, it worked so well, so long, and I had not kept track of all the things I’d done to tweak it so it was just right… it just wasn’t immediately replaceable, no matter that I had the data and system images! With help, I have gone with a desktop W10 Pro that isn’t close to being tweaked the way my Windows 7 was, no matter how much better the processor/memory/operating system, etc… but at least I’m back in touch with the community here at AskWoody… and I have a lot of potential to work with.

        I started using Woody’s site back in XP days- an able bodied person who just wasn’t techy, and learning what I could do.  Over the years I’ve become more limited in mobility, and have increased tremor. The hand tremor isn’t just a challenge for mouse and keyboard usage, which is mostly solved by using SteadyMouse, but means that I drop everything eventually! My old laptop was remarkable, in that it survived multiple drops, without a blink. Now the challenge is setting up a bump/fall proof workstation where my feet are elevated above my heart, but where I can get in and out of position so I can ambulate, exercise and prevent more blood clots, frequently, without damaging the hardware. I have very limited time on my feet, and my computer is essential for maintaining social contact, a creative outlet, and accessing the world at large.

        It is an improvement not to have the weight of the laptop and screen on my lap (a positive about my laptop loss!), but I’m still working on how to get set up for the long term. I was a Windows 7 advocate, and intended to stay with it, until it died, long after Microsoft’s EOL… well, for me it has died… and with a foggy brain and memory issues, it is very, very hard to move (almost impossible) to a new operating system. For me, all the changes that Microsoft made to Windows, and the way they make them, is an accessibility issue, both when I was using my Windows 7 laptop, and now that I don’t have it any more. It took me a long time to learn Windows 7 (I’m not naturally techy… just not!) and am having difficulty not just with the physical set up, but getting W10 arranged to suit my needs. I was at a point where I just picked up my laptop, and everything was there. Can I adapt W10? Yes… but its been a process… and at this point in the process I’m still frustrated daily with things not being where they used to be, yet similar enough that it just gets confusing… Its been happening to all Windows users, but harder for those of us with brain fog and memory issues. Having a consistent operating system as a base is incredibly important for me to be able to experiment, explore, and expand what is available for me. I need, have a real need, for settings to stay the same… to find my programs and apps the same way… to do things in the same way… being faced with an ‘agile’ ever morphing system that does not respect user privacy, wants, or needs has been equivalent to the challenges that walking has become for me… a fall of one kind or another can and does happen, at any time. Microsoft has done a lot of research on incorporating accessibility into W10… just have no idea why they don’t offer a stable, long term, operating system as an accessibility feature, other than they are afraid too many users might jump on it, and they are too invested in monetizing all of us, to risk it!

        Have to stop on the Microsoft issues, before this ends up moving to the Rants section!

        At this time I’m still exploring W10, and various Linux distros- not having settled into anything for the long term… looking for privacy, and stability. For those that know I was doing this a year ago… well, I’m not fast… not nearly fast enough to keep up with my change in hardware, and Microsoft.

        I apologize for having asked Woody to establish this forum, as much because of my own growing disability and needing resources, as wanting to network with others, and then not being here to keep it active and interesting… but I’m really happy to have come back and see that someone has accessed it, and is reaching out.

        There are huge lists of resources out there… a lot of accessibility awareness, that just didn’t exist some years ago… but what I’ve missed is sharing with people what actually works for them, and why, and whether I can do it. My physical therapist has helped me get back on my feet as much as I’m able to sustain it, but as I’ve lost mobility, my life revolves around my computer, and being on-line… and he just looks at me and shrugs… it seems that people think that just getting the equipment is enough. There are still challenges using and adapting technology so that it serves us, our personal, individual needs, respects our personal boundaries, and increases, rather than limits, what is possible.

        Still mourning that old laptop… what we had, was really, really good… sigh…

        But! I really expect that there is more and better (Microsoft is right about that) out there. I’ve learned a lot, here at AskWoody. We’ve always had newbies, and techies, and those in-between, and it can be a challenge to communicate clearly and concisely and usefully (just check out the current controversy on Woody’s use of the word, “widespread“). There is so much to be learned about what the available options are, how we got to where we are, and what the future holds. I’d encourage anyone, disabled or not, to ask their questions, share what they know, and help others if they are willing and able. Having recently had to deal with police thinking my tremor and instability were related to illegal substance abuse, I’m acutely aware of how things can be misinterpreted… and the more we all know, the less likely companies are to design products that cause additional problems for us (are you listening Microsoft?).

        So, Wheeler… and Carl (I’m right there with you, about animations, mouse control, and unintended actions)… I’m really glad you’ve shown up here. Now… hopefully… we can keep things going so no one else has to ask, “Hello, is there anybody out there!”

        PS- I’m going to have to change/update my signature to reflect that I’m using W10 Pro… just can’t remember what I did to do it in the first place, and have been looking for the instructions on how to do it. I know those instructions are here, on the site… and if anyone could help me find them again, I’d really appreciate it!

        Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2173365 Reply
          mledman
          AskWoody Plus

          Elly,

          Click on your avatar (upper right corner, person icon) / edit.  Scroll to the bottom.

          HTH

           

          Win 10 home - 1909
          Attitude is a choice...Choose wisely

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2173458 Reply
          Myst
          AskWoody Plus

          @Elly – Welcome back!

          Win7 SP1 Home 64-bit, GrpA / MacOS / Chromebook

          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2174445 Reply
          Wheeler
          AskWoody Plus

          I just made the jump to Windows 10 too so I know what you mean.  It must be terribly disheartening to progressively lose function, so I applaud your efforts.  It seems like everything is built for the able bodied and then “adapted” for the disabled.  I get it though.  We’re not the majority after all.  That said, things have changed for the better in the 33 years since I was paralyzed.  Back in the day, there wasn’t much thought given to the disabled.

          Wouldn’t it be great if you were on drugs?  Then you could have your life back when the drugs wore off.  Lol.  I hope you get things set up just right.

           

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2173406 Reply
        Carl
        AskWoody Plus

        Elly,

        Like you, I’m still trying to adjust to Win 10 Pro. It frustrates me so much that I purchased a Win 7 Ult ESU license for my older computer to try and ease the transition.

        My new Win 10 machine is a story itself and one that you can laugh at with me. As tremors become increasingly worse (slowly), I refuse to accept, or don’t recognize, the situation. I decided to build a new tower computer (no bending to reach) using AMD components. Ordered the parts and all arrived as expected.

        Now, in years gone by, I could build a full blown out computer (AIBs, multi-drive arrays, etc) in under an hour. I’m taking meds 5 times daily, so I figured it would probably take a day at worse. Boy, was I wrong!

        Day 1
        The computer case shows up. It weighs 40 lbs empty. You can guess how that went. Then trying to install the mobo stand-offs. Motherboard installed. Then that tiny, tiny, tiny screw for the M.2 boot drive. Are you kidding me??????

        Day 2
        Still trying to manage that tiny, tiny, tiny M.2 screw that I could hardly see let alone hold it steady enough. Of course I dropped it on the mobo – another hour wasted trying to find it. Google is your friend. Magnifying glass on a stand, jewelers driver, and some masking tape. Next the CPU (AMD – not that hard), but the cooler was a whole different game. Let’s just say that tremors, CPU paste, and cooler clips in a tight space is not a good combination.

        Day 3
        Now the front header connections. All those tiny, tiny, little connectors that have to fit on very close together pins. Memory – only 2 sticks and I still managed to break a retaining clip. Video card – another hour just to get the thumb screw in. I’m done …

        Day 4
        SSD storage drive. Power supply connections – should be easy, right? Odds ‘n ends. Cabling and tie-downs took the rest of the day.

        Day 5
        Hardware diagnostics, OS install. Windows 10 – looks like s*** on my 32″ 1440 monitor.

        Day 6
        Another M.2 to install – this one with a tall heatsink. Another tiny, tiny, tiny screw. After trying all day, I gave up. Found a long screw in my spare parts bin that had the same threading as the M.2 screw. Dismantled the M.2 mount on the X570 motherboard and it worked!

        I’d be wealthy if I could bill by the hour, don’t you agree? A geek friend of mine called almost daily and offered to help, but you know ….

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2174463 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        The security risks of using Windows 7 may be acceptable for some situations.  If you really prefer the way a windows 7 computer was configured, and have a backup image, someone may be able to help get another, vintage computer running using most of what is in that backup image.  A new computer will usually not have Windows 7 drivers available, but there are lots of good refurbished and used computers on Newegg and Amazon and other places.  Restoring an image to a different brand of computer can be difficult or can fail.  But it can succeed, sometimes with just a few drivers needing reinstall after, or maybe by using migration software like Laplink.  Purchasing used the same model computer as before may also be possible.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212433 Reply
        Tchalms
        AskWoody Plus

        Jason Becker is an incredible musician who has been living with ALS since 1991 or so. Somewhere I read that his Dad built the computer system that Jason uses to write music using his eyes. I’m sorry I can’t re-find the information about his computer system now. There is some information about Jason on Wikipedia, but I didn’t see the info about his computer system there. Maybe someone else can find that info.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212703 Reply
        Wheeler
        AskWoody Plus

        Eye gaze computer systems are cool but it makes me a little sad to think that people with ALS have lost the ability to move anything but their eyes.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
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