Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Questions? Give us a call 206-707-8380

Windows 11 is the most inclusively designed version of Windows so far, with more accessibility and assistive technology features than ever.

Changing Contrast and Color of Text

People with light sensitivity and people working for extended periods of time can enjoy beautiful color themes, including new Dark themes and reimagined High Contrast Themes.The new Contrast Themes include aesthetically pleasing, customizable color combinations that make apps and content easier to see.

For people with vision issues, including photophobia, the feature that allows users to adjust contrast and the color of text has been most welcome. One of our clients has made everything in the background black, and changed the color to mid-green, and he has said it makes a great difference and improved the comfort and quality of his computing experience.

More Popular Assistive Technologies

Some often used assistive features are still included, and it's nice that these are included 'out-of-the-box,' so you don't need to purchase, add-on, or worry about updates and conflicts with these features.

Get in Touch with Assistive Technology Experts at Northwest Ergonomics & Assistive Technology

Northwest Ergonomics and Assistive Technology is here to help with your ergonomic needs. Our trained  experts will consult with you to understand your specific needs and provide solutions that really work. We help people of all ages who have experienced an injury or other disability.

It is important to our caring specialists that you really get the benefit of these wonderful advancements in technology. For that reason we specialize in training and follow-up to make sure that everything is working as effectively as possible for you.

To contact us, use the form on our contact page, or call 206-707-8830

 

Computer users have to work with some kind of mouse and keyboard.  Often, the use of these tools over long periods of time leads to repetitive motion injury.
Fortunately, there are more ergonomic variations available than ever before. The products in this article are very popular with those without an injury or movement challenge.  However, their ergonomic nature and customizability has led us to utilize these products for a wide variety of users in our ongoing mission to provide assistive technology to the injured and disabled.

Kinesis Freestyle2 Keyboard

The Kinesis Freestyle2 is an award-winning split keyboard designed to address the ergonomic risk factors related to typing.

You will notice from the picture that the two halves of the keyboard are split.  This allows a lot of flexibility with regards to where you place your hands.

The traditional placement of the keyboard (especially on a laptop) is not ideal for the human wrist and fingers over long periods of time. This design allows you to keep your hands at a more neutral angle as you type.

The Kinesis Freestyle2 features a familiar Windows layout and convenient hotkeys. There is a variety of variations available for Mac, Windows, and bluetooth connectivity.

Kinesis Advantage2 Mechanical Keyboard

When you look at the picture of the Kinesis Advantage2 Keyboard (to the right), you may be surprised at the layout.  This contoured keyboard is designed in a way to provide maximum comfort and productivity.
Some highlights:
  • Concave keywells are scooped into a bowl shape to reduce hand and finger extension and relax muscles.
  • Separating the keywells positions the arms at shoulder-width to keep wrists straight and perpendicular to the home row to reduce abduction and ulnar deviation.
  • The keys are arranged in vertical columns (rather than staggered) to better reflect the natural motion of your fingers.
  • The two keywells are “tented” at an optimal 20 degree angle moderately raising the thumb side of the hand.
  • The integrated palm supports reduce stressful bending of the wrists and provide a convenient place to rest your hands when you are not actively typing.
  • The thumb clusters include frequently-used keys such as Enter, Space, Backspace, and Delete to redistribute the workload away from your relatively weaker and overused little fingers to stronger thumbs.
What's more, this keyboard is a mechanical keyboard.
Are mechanical keyboards actually better? Most gamers prefer mechanical keyboards because they're quicker, sturdier, and more tactile. Tactility is the feedback that you get from pressing the key. This feedback is given through the clicking sound and the visual you see when your fingers press the keys, and they spring back and raise the keycap.
To the average end user, the significance of a mechanical keyboard might not be that obvious.  Mechanical keyboards have specialized mechanisms under each key, that is like a spring, rather than a rubber membrane.  For a very detailed description on the different types of keyboards, visit this post on the Kinesis website.

Evoluent Vertical Mouse

While you may think most of the computing action happens on the keyboard, it is frequently the mouse that is the real cause of injury for repetitive motion sufferers.

Many computer users who have suffered through injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome have adopted this ergonomic mouse by Evoluent.

Avoids Forearm Twisting For Comfort

You may notice that it's 'vertical', which means your hand will remain in a 'handshake type' position as opposed to twisting downward to rest on top of the traditional mouse design.

Beyond the ergonomic design, the real benefit is when you get into the Evoluent interface and program the buttons to customize actions, strings of keystrokes, key combos, and much more.

Logitech MX Master Ergonomic Mouse

The MX Master 3 mouse is "designed for creatives and engineered for coders."  With this mouse, you can work comfortably with a silhouette perfectly crafted for the shape of your palm.

Create, make, and do more intuitively with ideally-placed front/back, and gesture buttons – and a convenient additional thumb wheel.

Work Faster With App-Specific Customizations 

The Logitech MX Master 3 is fully customizable in nearly every app you use – and you’ll work faster with predefined customizations optimized for your favorite apps, such as:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Final Cut Pro
  •  Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge
  • Safari
  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint

The included software allows for the buttons to be customized to trigger actions, strings of keystrokes, key combos, and much more.

Get in Touch with Ergonomics Experts at Northwest

Northwest Ergonomics and Assistive Technology is here to help with your ergonomic needs. Our trained  experts will consult with you to understand your specific needs and provide solutions that really work. We help people of all ages who have experienced an injury or other disability.

It is important to our caring specialists that you really get the benefit of these wonderful advancements in technology. For that reason we specialize in training and follow-up to make sure that everything is working as effectively as possible for you.

To contact us, use the form on our contact page, or call 206-707-8830

August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day.  Along with the disabled, seniors are the group reaping tons of benefits of assistive technology in recent years.

As we age, we will inevitably experience the negative effects like loss of sight and mobility. These symptoms of aging can reduce someone's quality of life, especially if they are unable to work or if they live away from close friends and family members.

The good news is that there is a growing arsenal of assistive devices and technologies that can make a huge difference for older people. 'Assistive technology' is a large category that include everything from hearing aids and grab bars to wheelchair lifts and dictation software.  Due to improved safety and monitoring option, these devices are allowing seniors to stay at home and live independently much longer than they used to.

Here are some exciting recent developments:

Fall Detection

The Walabot HOME device (pictured) can be mounted on the wall of the bathroom (where 80% of falls take place) and can detect if someone falls, and the user doesn't have to wear any device. Once detected, the Walabot automatically alerts the emergency contact through the two-way voice, text message. The alarm can be disabled simply by standing up.

Medication Help and Safety

Simple devices like the Med-E-Lert Premium Locking Automatic Pill Dispenser will start flashing and make an audio alert when it is time to take your medication. Additionally, it will lock future doses to prevent overdosing.

More Elaborate devices like the MedMinder Medication Dispenser (pictured, right) will not only notify the patient when to take their meds, it will also also notify caretakers if the regimen is not being followed.  The device can connect directly to the caretaker or emergency contact so they can communicate with the user.

Mobile Apps to Monitor Health

The Kardia Mobile app (pictured, by AliveCor) allows anyone who has it to put their fingers on a sensor and within 30 seconds get a hospital quality EKG at any time.  The device is very automatic once installed, saves the results and can share with caretakers and/or medical team. It can help detect symptoms like atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, tachycardia or abnormal heart rhythm

The Omron Evolve Blood Pressure Monitor can keep on top of the users blood pressure in order to prevent heart attacks. The user need only slide their arm into the arm cuffand press a button and their blood pressure will be measured, the results stored, and the caretaker or medical team can be alerted as well.

Magnifiers for Reading and More

There are tons of devices to help those with limited vision enjoy a better quality of life.RUBY 7 HD (pictured, from Freedom Scientific) magnifies written materials to help with reading.It can also help with writing, distance viewing, and even a mirror-image self-view.

Contact Us for Help

Contact Northwest Ergonomics & Wellness if you are experiencing a loss of movement, hearing, sight, or any other disability that technology may be able to assuage. You won't know what is possible until you contact the experts. We have a dedicated team of assistive technology specialists who really care about our clients and go the extra mile to find them solutions to keep them productive and happy. You can fill out a form on the contact page, or call us at 206-707-8380.

 

crossmenu