Computer Tips for People with Cerebral Palsy

We're back with our monthly blog. This time we're looking at what adaptive technology would be helpful for people with Cerebral Palsy.

What is Cerebral Palsy (CP)

Cerebral Palsy is an umbrella term for a range of conditions which can cause difficulty with muscle control and movement. Additionally people with the condition may have difficulties with communication and they may have learning difficulties too. 

How many people in the UK have the condition?

According to SCOPE (www.scope.org.uk) In the UK, cerebral palsy affects about 1 in every 400 children.

Athletes such as Josef Craig (Swimmer) and Sophie Christiansen (Equestrian) who have CP, both won Gold Medals at the London 2012 Paralympics. 
You may also have come accross Comedian and Actress Francesca Martinez on the telly.

Top tips for easier computing

Depending on what your needs are, you might want to change some of the Accessibility settings to slow down the mouse speed, or changing the way that the keyboard reacts when you hit a key. You can even change the double click speed of the mouse to make it easier for you to use it. Different keyboards and pointing devices might be really helpful depending on your level of movement.

Case study

Paul called us to see if we could help him. He has CP and finds using a standard keyboard and mouse really difficult. We talked him through the different options and suggested that he trial a larger keyboard and a trackerball to see if either of these proved useful. We also advised him that there are settings which he can change within the Control Panel which means that mouse and keyboard use will become easier for him.

How can we help?

There are a few ways that we can help:

  • Call our free Helpline. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution. We’re open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0800 269 545.
     
  • Arrange a home visit. We have a network of AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers who can help if you have technical issues with your computer systems. They can come to your home, or help you over the phone.
     
  • We have a range of factsheets which talk in detail about technology that might help you, which can be downloaded for free. You may well find the factsheet on Vision Impairment and Computing useful (www.abilitynet.org.uk/factsheet/vision-impairment-and-computing)
     
  • My Computer My Way. A list of free hints and tips that you can use to make your time on the computer that bit easier. www.abilitynet.org.uk/myway

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