Computer accessibility is about the usability of computers regardless of type or severity of disability/impairment. I am very much a computer user and not a programmer or designer. I use a standard PC running Windows Vista that I found to be very inaccessible. With the help of Chris, my husband, who knows a lot more about these things than I do, we’ve started adapting my PC setup for me. After a year and a bit of tweaking, there isn’t many standard bits left.
The story of my computer is bigger than just the hardware and software I use. The goal is not only to use my computer for all the things the average person uses it for, but to use it to enable me to do things I wouldn’t normally be able to do. As a result, my computer does not live in the fringes. It’s a hybrid of assistive technology combined with the usual stuff that leans itself to usability.
Application is important. The point of all the hardware and software adaptations is to access the world of pixels. I am a reader surrounded with a library of more than 2000 books that on an average day, I can’t read. I am searching for technological alternatives. I am a casual gamer. Or maybe I’m just a casual Warcrafter. Gaming is something I can do when I can’t do anything else. World of Warcraft has provided more than just a time filler, it’s a virtual world, complete with virtual community, where I get to do quite a few things I most definitely wouldn’t be able to do outside of Azeroth. Like battling dragons, flying in bird form, auctioneering, frivolous shopping, running and lots and lots of travelling. I use my computer to watch TV, listen to music, stay in touch with family and friends, stay on top of what’s happening in the world, for personal edification and enjoyment. My computer is my gateway to most things and I love living in an electronic age.
The story of my computer is a personal one. It’s being made to suit my needs and fill in the gaps my genetic setup has left. It is most definitely an awkward work in progress. This blog is the story of my computer and how it works (and sometimes how it doesn’t work) for me.
I have a standard desktop computer running on a Windows Vista platform. It has a quadcore processor, 20″ monitor and I’m in the process of upgrading to 4Gb RAM and have ordered a new graphics card.
Logitech® Extreme™ Joystick (right hand)
Belkin Nostromo N52te (left hand)