Vivek’s Favourite Accessibility Tools for Mac

In the 21st century having access to a computer enables you to learn such a fundamental life skill but degenerative conditions like DMD increasingly restrict usage.

It was very frustrating when I discovered that I could not use a mouse or keyboard as efficiently as I previously could. I have limited hand/finger movement so moving or swiping on a Trackpad is problematic especially when also typing on a keyboard.

Since using an Apple MacBook I’ve unearthed a few useful apps or inbuilt features to make life easier. Below are the 3 accessibility tools for Mac that I couldn’t live without!

  • BetterTouchTool:

BTT allowed me to adapt Trackpad or Keyboard gestures to work around my limited finger movements of 2 finger swipes or taps. It also comes with advanced multiple window-snapping, alternate window dragging functions & remote control via the BTT Remote app. Since downloading BTT I’ve realized that many of the limitations I thought were due to DMD were actually accessibility related.

  • On-Screen Keyboard:

Over the years as typing becomes increasingly challenging adapting to changes is crucial. I now type using the inbuilt MacOS On-Screen Keyboard and a modified chopstick (stolen from Wagamamas) to reach certain keys. The only small drawback is that it blocks screen space.

  • Mac Dictation:

Dictation enables my fingers to keep up with the speed of my thought processes; I usually forget my idea after expending energy just typing a few words. It has improved my blogging capabilities & social media communication so now I don’t have to deliberately limit my word count. I’ve previously used Dragon Dictate but it could not recognize my voice when I wear my ventilator, which is vital to allow me to speak for a long time. The inbuilt MacDictation function is far superior, more user-friendly and the microphone picks up every word.

Accessibility features on computers & mobile phones have significantly evolved so the cyber future will definitely improve for disabled people.

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