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Improving our Software Accessibility for the Disabled

POS SOFTWARE

Years ago, one of our clients came down with multiple sclerosis. It was a shocker to us all. Never would we have thought that this guy would get it. There was nothing wrong with him, except for his movements. He could, in theory, still work the computer at the shop. So we were asked to help. 

We immediately investigated the voice control software which his carer decided on Dragon. Then made many changes to our software to help. It was a limited help. It was not easy for him to use all the controls he required.

Little then did we realise that we had fallen into the field of Assistive Technology (AT). AT helps people with disability overcome difficulties to use computers.

Nor did we realise how big a problem it is, today. Approximately 18% of our community has some form of disability. As a computer does not involve physical work, sometimes we can get them productive on a computer. Often not 100% but 50% which is infinitely better than zero. 

Also, it is a great feeling when you see how some people with a disability that cannot do something now can. 

What has proven a revolution in this part of Assistive Technology (AT), for us has been the improvements in the mouse controls systems! This was not available ten (10) years ago when we started. Using this and Dragon, today I think we can get many such people to almost 100% on our software. Here check out this video.

 

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Bushfires 2020

POS SOFTWARE

 

A lot of our community is experiencing catastrophic bush fires. It is huge, currently, it has burnt more land than all of Norway.

All our clients if you are affected and need our help, we are putting your call in as a top priority. 

Please make sure that if you are in the area that you have a backup, not in the shop. Make it a wide area as looking at the map, I would not be surprised if they were deliberately lit. It seems to be moving too fast to be natural. I know what I would like to happen to an arsonist if caught. 

Still, at the moment we are now getting ready to send out some temporary servers

Note besides those directly affected, many others are having problems with the supply of goods and the tourist are gone. So its prime holiday season and having no business. It is going to cause havoc to many local economies.

 

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Why are there Dragon NaturallySpeaking changes in your point of sale?

POS SOFTWARE

 

Occasionally some people have commented that some updates; we do refer to the use of the software Dragon NaturallySpeaking, when they ring up, they are told not to worry about it.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a speech recognition software. What it allows is skilled users to work a computer by speaking to it. The main reason what we use if for is for people primarily with multiple sclerosis, although we do have people with other dexterity impediments and people with a variety of physical disabilities using it too.

The next question is why this package, well, firstly; we did not pick it but the Multiple Sclerosis society picked it, and we have worked closely with them, so we adopted it and followed their standard. As far as I know when I spoke to the Multiple Sclerosis society, we are the only ones in our market space offering this type of support. Having said that in our experience, the free Windows Speech Recognition software does work, but it's not as good as this software.

Many people with such problems actually do not tell their employers until they must. Which is fine but it is a problem is many of our clients as they are family businesses? They know when a family member has such a problem. They also lack the resources to keep these people all the time under care. So often these people with these conditions are taken to work where they sit all day with little to do. When I talk to them, almost all of them want to do something. Anything.

As a computer does not involve physical work. Sometimes if we are lucky, we can get them productive on a computer.

First, we try special keyboards, mouses and filter key software. However, some people shake too much. They lack motor skills. So what we try with some success is Dragon NaturallySpeaking. This allows them to control a computer by talking. Unfortunately, it has not proven an easy program to work. When it does work it allows such people to work, but the big problem is that it requires a lot of skill with this software. Fortunately, the Multiple Sclerosis society does provide training.

Often they end out going at a slower rate then most, but they feel that they are doing something useful. They can also use it to keep in touch with friends though Facebook, email, and they can read or listen to newspapers and books.

As such we support it so that is why it comes up occasionally in updates.