Mac disability software
A friend and I were looking for good software for her to cope with her disability. She currently sits in a wheelchair and has minimal use of her hands. Buying a prefabricated software/hardware solution was not an option. The costs for such a system providing speech recognition and eye movement tracking was over 10.000 USD$
Our choice was to look for software that could be run on a regular Powerbook running Mac OS X (Snow Leopard)
We configured a system with the following software:
1) Mac OS X snow leopard (out of the box configuration)
2) Mac Speech Dictate – www.macspeech.com/dictate to enable the Mac for speech recognition. Nominal investment of 200 USD$ Minimal voice training of the software was needed. I assisted her during the setup by clicking trough the setup menu’s.
Because she has minimal use of her hands and can not operate a mouse or trackpad or trackbal we needed some kind of eye movement or head movement tracking software that operated with the onboard webcam. So she can move the mouse cursor on screen with slight movements of her head.
3) We found Eyetwig from an Israeli software company to be of much help – www.eyetwig.com the only adjustment that was needed to get it working correctly was lowering the mouse speed. Minimal investment of 30 USD$
And so we created a working speech recognition system with head tracking for less than 3000 USD$ with the possibility that she can continue to use the Mac software she was already accustomed in using before she got disabled.