Universal Access on Mac OS X

par Machmeter - 27/04/2010
Guillemette presents useful tools for handicap accessibility on the Mac.


When Using the mouse is too hard.


This application is very useful for disabled people who can't use their mouse or keyboard to control their computer. In addition to being a dictation program, it allows the user to control the Mac entirely by voice

Keystrokes et Switch XS

Keystrokes is an on-screena keyboard that lets you type using only a mouse, a joystick or a trackball. The application integrates an auto-click function called "Dwellix", with which you can click on a letter just by leaving the cursor on it for a certain period of time which is configurable. The autofill dictionary can predict up to 70% of the words. It is very efficient; predicting the word you are typing and proposing words that are likely to follow. This way, it can predict your sentence word by word!

There is something even more impressive. If you can’t use a mouse, it is possible to use a switch, which is attached to the cheek, to control the computer by only moving the jaw!!

Switch XS lets you control all your applications with only one click. It is compatible with Keystrokes and also includes a screen reader. All scrolling functionality can be configured to match your preferences. Here are three videos you can watch to better understand how those two programs work: Joe Barnick, Marie-France and Elina.


Proloquo is a speech application, which provides a communication system for people who cannot speak, using buttons picturing everyday actions and objects. It also provides: speech feedback in any application while typing for children and people with learning disabilities, a talking word processor, and a multilingual speech engine that works with Keystrokes and Switch XS.

You can find a version for the iPhone and iPod Touch here: Proloquo2Go.


Voice4Me is similar to Proloquo but offers less features as it is freeware. The application provides a quick and easy to use solution to people who have difficulty speaking.


Thanks to this application, you can control about everything around you. iRed2 lets you create your own virtual remotes that can be used to control all of your infrared devices through your Mac. You can also use it with an iPod Touch or an iPhone with iRedTouch, which is available on the App Store.

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