elettaria: (Spiral aloe)
If you have any of the following:

* Deafness
* Hard of hearing
* Auditory processing disorder (neurologically hard of hearing)
* Other hearing problems

then comment here to tell me about your experiences, the adaptations or software you use or are interested in, what it's like surfing the web, what you'd want to know about a computer or computer equipment before buying it, and anything else you think is relevant. You can write on behalf of someone you know too.
elettaria: (Spiral aloe)
If you have any of the following:

* Deafness
* Hard of hearing
* Auditory processing disorder (neurologically hard of hearing)
* Other hearing problems

then comment here to tell me about your experiences, the adaptations or software you use or are interested in, what it's like surfing the web, what you'd want to know about a computer or computer equipment before buying it, and anything else you think is relevant. You can write on behalf of someone you know too.
elettaria: (Default)
Asus, the company who started the netbook craze, have decided that they want to hear more from ordinary users. They've set up a project where six people will get to blog for a month about one of a range of six laptops, ranging in size from a netbook to an equivalent of the iMac. I've long wanted to see something like this, because professional computer reviewers do a sterling job but often leave out so many of the details I'm dying to know. Some of this is quite ordinary – surely I can't be the only person who wants to know how good the speakers are – but much of it is relevant to me as a disabled person.

Why should Asus be interested in the opinions of disabled computer users, I hear you cry? Well, for starters there are an awful lot of us. I've given up trying to keep track of the estimated number of people with disabilities in the UK, mainly due to all the different definitions of “disability”, but 10-20% seems a common range. AbilityNet, a company which helps disabled adults and children use computers and the internet by adapting and adjusting their technology, tells me that the most common reason people have for seeking help is visual problems, and the second is RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). At this point I'm going to stop and switch terminology, because I think “accessibility” is actually a more useful term right now. This isn't just about people with obvious disabilities, this issue applies to everyone. I'll wager that few people have never made some adjustment to make their computer easier to use, whether it's raising the monitor or getting a more suitable chair.

Quite apart from the 3 million people in the UK who are unable to read standard print... )
elettaria: (Default)
Asus, the company who started the netbook craze, have decided that they want to hear more from ordinary users. They've set up a project where six people will get to blog for a month about one of a range of six laptops, ranging in size from a netbook to an equivalent of the iMac. I've long wanted to see something like this, because professional computer reviewers do a sterling job but often leave out so many of the details I'm dying to know. Some of this is quite ordinary – surely I can't be the only person who wants to know how good the speakers are – but much of it is relevant to me as a disabled person.

Why should Asus be interested in the opinions of disabled computer users, I hear you cry? Well, for starters there are an awful lot of us. I've given up trying to keep track of the estimated number of people with disabilities in the UK, mainly due to all the different definitions of “disability”, but 10-20% seems a common range. AbilityNet, a company which helps disabled adults and children use computers and the internet by adapting and adjusting their technology, tells me that the most common reason people have for seeking help is visual problems, and the second is RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). At this point I'm going to stop and switch terminology, because I think “accessibility” is actually a more useful term right now. This isn't just about people with obvious disabilities, this issue applies to everyone. I'll wager that few people have never made some adjustment to make their computer easier to use, whether it's raising the monitor or getting a more suitable chair.

Quite apart from the 3 million people in the UK who are unable to read standard print... )
elettaria: (Default)
Now this is interesting. I have pretty substantial memory and concentration problems due to having ME, and also have Auditory Processing Disorder which means that I have trouble taking things in by ear. For example, I get lost in conversations easily, and if someone reads out material that is dense in information, such as a newspaper article, my brain shuts down fairly quickly. So with that going on, I've always found it a bit odd that I can manage listening to audiobooks, and have assumed that it's because they're read professionally and with a narrative structure that's much easier on the ears (not as densely packed with information, for instance).

However, I've found that I can't listen to audiobooks unless I'm doing some simple visual task at the same time. I get too fidgety and lose my concentration. If I'm up to it, my first choice of activity is hand-sewing. I'll stop the audiobook if I need to apply real thought, such as making cutting calculations, but most of the time quilting is a straightforward, pleasantly repetitive task, so they go together very well. Second choice is a basic computer game with no verbal components and not much thought required, such as solitaire. Despite having been a keen musician before developing ME, and not doing much with the visual arts until I started quilting a couple of years ago, I've discovered that I'm a visual thinker.

Phone calls are trickier. If the computer is on, I'll start reading webpages without even realising that I've started to do it, and often have to put the computer into hibernation in order to concentrate. I also have a habit of pacing the flat while on the phone, and fairly often get distracted by something, informing the person I'm talking to quite randomly that I need to stock up on pine nuts for instance. The irritating thing about losing concentration when listening is that it takes about half a minute or so to realise that it's happened, which with audiobooks can mean the awkwardness of trying to find where I was when I tuned out, and on the phone means apologising to the person talking, asking them to repeat myself, and hoping they don't get offended.

So this research is very interesting to me, and shows some paths I might follow up to see if I can control my concentration and memory problems better. I was part-way there already but hadn't figured out exactly what was going on, and was distinctly puzzled since multi-tasking usually makes my concentration worse. I've never been a doodler and may run into muscular difficulty holding the pencil, but it sounds worth a try, for developing my design skills as well as for helping my concentration. You can read the original journal article here.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] capd, [livejournal.com profile] cfids_me and my journal.
elettaria: (Default)
Now this is interesting. I have pretty substantial memory and concentration problems due to having ME, and also have Auditory Processing Disorder which means that I have trouble taking things in by ear. For example, I get lost in conversations easily, and if someone reads out material that is dense in information, such as a newspaper article, my brain shuts down fairly quickly. So with that going on, I've always found it a bit odd that I can manage listening to audiobooks, and have assumed that it's because they're read professionally and with a narrative structure that's much easier on the ears (not as densely packed with information, for instance).

However, I've found that I can't listen to audiobooks unless I'm doing some simple visual task at the same time. I get too fidgety and lose my concentration. If I'm up to it, my first choice of activity is hand-sewing. I'll stop the audiobook if I need to apply real thought, such as making cutting calculations, but most of the time quilting is a straightforward, pleasantly repetitive task, so they go together very well. Second choice is a basic computer game with no verbal components and not much thought required, such as solitaire. Despite having been a keen musician before developing ME, and not doing much with the visual arts until I started quilting a couple of years ago, I've discovered that I'm a visual thinker.

Phone calls are trickier. If the computer is on, I'll start reading webpages without even realising that I've started to do it, and often have to put the computer into hibernation in order to concentrate. I also have a habit of pacing the flat while on the phone, and fairly often get distracted by something, informing the person I'm talking to quite randomly that I need to stock up on pine nuts for instance. The irritating thing about losing concentration when listening is that it takes about half a minute or so to realise that it's happened, which with audiobooks can mean the awkwardness of trying to find where I was when I tuned out, and on the phone means apologising to the person talking, asking them to repeat myself, and hoping they don't get offended.

So this research is very interesting to me, and shows some paths I might follow up to see if I can control my concentration and memory problems better. I was part-way there already but hadn't figured out exactly what was going on, and was distinctly puzzled since multi-tasking usually makes my concentration worse. I've never been a doodler and may run into muscular difficulty holding the pencil, but it sounds worth a try, for developing my design skills as well as for helping my concentration. You can read the original journal article here.

Cross-posted to [livejournal.com profile] capd, [livejournal.com profile] cfids_me and my journal.

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