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Suggestions that may help make using a smartphone or computer easier.

Using a computer or smartphone can be complicated by poor eyesight and tremors.

Here are a few suggestions that may help make using them easier.

I use a touch screen full-size laptop if my task requires much typing. It is much easier than trying to use the small screen of a smartphone.

When typing using a smartphone, I find that using a stylus pen for touch screens helps me to be faster and more accurate. These are inexpensive and work. The soft rubber end is used for touching the screen.

I have not personally purchased or tried the other products mentioned here. They look like they can help, but caveat emptor, (“let the buyer beware”).

Put your smartphone on speaker phone and put it down on a table so that stray movements don’t accidentally disconnect your call.

Make an appointment at the Apple Store (if you have an Apple iPhone) to have a “genius” walk you through settings that may help. Or ask for advice at the retail store of your cell phone provider (Verizon, AT&T, T-mobile etc.). Or ask an Occupational Therapist. Or ask a grandchild to do the same?

Other suggestions…..

Using an adaptive keyboard

There are adaptive keyboards and specific software programs that can help to decrease typing mistakes and make the process of typing on a computer easier. There are also speech-to-text options which allow you to dictate what you want to write and eliminate the need for typing altogether. An Occupational Therapist consultation can help set you up with these options.

One trick which helps people use their computer is changing the cursor setting so that it tracks more slowly across the screen when you use your mouse. Slowing down the cursor can help make it easier to see and control. In addition, you can change the sensitivity of your mouse to make it easier to control.

Enabling a cell phone’s accessibility settings

Smartphones have many accessibility settings. An iPhone, for example, has numerous features for people with vision, motor, hearing and learning challenges. Click on the Settings icon and select Accessibility to see all the options.

Experiment with all the different settings that can help make using your smartphone easier. For example, you can set up your smartphone so that it responds to voice commands. You can also use speech-to-text on many smartphones or take advantage of the word prediction software. You can set up your cell phone so that it will ignore multiple touches (which can happen if you have a tremor) or respond only to the first or last place that you touch. You may have to try different settings to see which one or combination best helps you use your cell phone.

Always remember, slowing down and avoiding multitasking while trying to use your phone can help minimize mistakes.

Smartphone Strategies for Tremor & Stiffness

a six-page PDF file about iPhone adaptive settings

How changing the settings on your iPad and iPhone can help people with tremors and other dexterity difficulties

SteadyMouse is assistive software, designed from the ground up to be your fierce ally against Essential Tremor and the variants that often accompany Parkinson's disease and Multiple Sclerosis. By detecting and removing shaking motion before it reaches your cursor, and by blocking accidental clicks, the entire mouse experience goes from a chaotic battle to an enjoyable reality.

Big Keys keyboard for iPad or PC



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