Today’s technology is all-inclusive with tools available to help the elderly use computers and other devices. These tools offer solutions for older people with visual or hearing impairments or mobility issues. Several adaptive or assistive technologies help the elderly to be a part of the latest technological advances.
Large Print Software
One of the easiest ways to see the computer screen is with large print software. These programs enlarge everything on the screen from the fonts to the pictures. There are often several levels of magnification possible. With the click of the mouse an elderly person can reduce or increase the size of the images on the monitor.
Many large print software applications also offer screen readers. This is an audible voice that reads what is on the screen. A person can easily change the speed of the screen reader and the volume. It’s easy to turn the screen reader off or on and use it in conjunction with the large print features.
Large Print Keyboards
Another handy tool for those who aren’t proficient typists are large print keyboards. These are good for elderly people who have to look at the keyboard when typing. If vision is a problem, the large print keys make it easy to recognize and find the keys that a person wants. These keyboards work exactly like regular keyboards. The only difference is that the keys have large fonts. There are a few options when buying large print keywords. Some keyboards have black font on a white background while some have white font on a black background. A few companies make keyboards in other colors such as black font on a yellow background. These variations allow people to choose the color scheme and contract that work best for them.
Large Print Keyboard Stickers
A cheaper version of the large print keyboard is large print stickers that you place on the keys. These stickers turn a regular keyboard into a large print keyboard. Again, you have a choice of color schemes and contrasts. The main problem with sticker is that they wear off over time. Often the keys used the most wear off faster.
Voice Recognition Software
For the elderly with limited mobility, voice recognition software allows them to use the computer hands-free. Using only their speaking voice, the elderly can command the computer to do what the mouse and keyboard can do. This type of software is good for word processing jobs. The software types what a person says. It takes time to learn to use this type of software, but as the software learns to adapt to a person’s speaking style, it also becomes more accurate in following commands. The only additional equipment required is a microphone for speaking to the computer.
Large Telephones and Remotes
Other tools for the elderly include telephones with large keypads. There are cordless phones, corded phones, and cell phones that have larger than normal keypads to make the devices easier to use. Some of these phones also offer a choice of ringtones and different volume settings. This means anyone can adjust the phones to do make them easier to use.
Remote controls now come in larger sizes as well. This cuts down on losing them and also helps the elderly to use them while viewing television shows or listening to their stereos. With so many devices in a home such as televisions, DVD players, cable boxes, stereo systems, or satellite dishes, the elderly needs remotes they can easily operates. A large universal remote with a large print keypad is another tool that makes it possible for the elderly to control the electronics in their homes.
For people with poor eyesight, hearing loss, or mobility issues, there are tools available to help these individuals stay current with the latest technology. Now everyone, even the elderly, can be a part of the technological age.
Author Bio: William Stevens is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to technology. This article offers a few tools that assist individuals with new technologies and aims to encourage further study with a gerontology degree online.