Date of Original Version

2005

Type

Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Table of Contents

There has been little study of how to adapt handheld devices for use by people with physical disabilities. We found that the tiny stylus keyboards on PalmOS devices work well for some people with Muscular Dystrophy, who tend to have good accuracy but little strength or range of motion. However, for people with other disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson's Disease and other neuro-muscular disorders, accuracy is a problem. Text entry is also difficult on handhelds for able-bodied users some situations, such as when using small mobile devices while walking or riding. The EdgeWrite text entry technique is a new design which provides better stability of motion due to tracing along physical edges, ease of learning due to the similarity of its letters to Roman characters, and a simple implementation on a wide variety of input devices. Studies suggest that EdgeWrite works well when implemented for use with a stylus on a handheld device, a joystick on a power wheelchair or a videogame controller, and for a touchpad on a desktop computer. Future implementations will explore desktop text entry using a trackball and mobile phone text entry using tactile bumps.

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