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Thread: Ubuntu for motionally disabled people?

  1. #1
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    Ubuntu for motionally disabled people?

    Hi! I work as an personal caretaker for a disabled guy. Since he suffers from motion disability (he can only move the left arm properly), his laptop means everything for him. The problem is that the laptop is getting very old and serveral errors has occured with XP recently and he finds it harder & harder to use it and he really ain't got the money for a new one

    Is there any good OSS solution for motionally disabled people? Then maybe i could upgrade his laptop to Ubuntu, add replacements for his XP apps & improve his computer usage in general, without adding more expenses to his

  2. #2
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    Re: Ubuntu for motionally disabled people?

    this is not the solution that you were looking for im sure... but...

    you say 'serveral errors has occured with XP RECENTLY'... the recently part concerns me a little, that coupled with 'very old'... despite him not having the funding for a new machine, it sounds like the problem may not be with the OS but the notebook could actully be starting to fail. most commonly hard-disks, hard disk failures in notebooks are unfortunately not uncommon.

    can you find out specifically what errors are occuring?
    is it possible that a good-ol re&re on the windows might help?

    i am all for moving to OSS don't get me wrong, but this doesnt sounds like a situation that your client can afford any down time with.

    what specifially are the requirements of your client? what do phyicialy disabled, or more accurately, your client people need from an os?

  3. #3
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    Re: Ubuntu for motionally disabled people?

    I'm dictating this with speech recognition which, unfortunately, is only really usable under Windows just now. I have installed Ubuntu on two systems, however, and I can administer them remotely. This would be a special application but you should know that I have some experience and I am quadriplegic from MS. So...

    I would strongly recommend first trying the FOSS Dasher. It's elegant. It can be tried first in Windows and if it's appropriate it is, of course, available on Ubuntu.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ubuntu for motionally disabled people?

    Quote Originally Posted by hardyn View Post
    this is not the solution that you were looking for im sure... but...

    you say 'serveral errors has occured with XP RECENTLY'... the recently part concerns me a little, that coupled with 'very old'... despite him not having the funding for a new machine, it sounds like the problem may not be with the OS but the notebook could actully be starting to fail. most commonly hard-disks, hard disk failures in notebooks are unfortunately not uncommon.

    can you find out specifically what errors are occuring?
    is it possible that a good-ol re&re on the windows might help?

    i am all for moving to OSS don't get me wrong, but this doesnt sounds like a situation that your client can afford any down time with.
    d? what do phyicialy disabled, or more accurately, your client people need from a n os?
    My client, let's call him mike, has an damage on the brain, causing very limited movement. He can only move the left arm properly. Mike uses the laptop's touch pad for navigation & the tumb for typing. He is your avreage user: surfing the net, chatting on MSN, listening to music, watching movies. He doesn't play games (altough he'd love to). Therefore i'm pretty sure i could replace most Win32 applications with an OSS alternative. The only things i haven't figgured out is webcam support & how to output the laptop screen to an TV (for movies & DVD).

    There's no hurry for an solution (yet), but the crashes & blue screens are getting more frequent. Everything runs very VERY slow. I preformed maintenace, defraged the harddrive & cleaned out both virus, spyware & old files from it with limited changes in preformace. So planning solution for the future would be good. I'm probarly gonna suggest it, unless he figures something out or get help another way.

    The reason i'm looking for an OSS solution is because his laptop was bought second hand and doesn't have either an warranty or restoration disc. Buying an XP licence (or a new PC) is out of question due to high cost. Treatment, medicines, equipment and so on costs alot of money, especially if you can't work and have to live of allowance. I think that Ubuntu + a few extra apps would certainly do the trick. I'm also looking for a good mousepad replacement (since he can't use a regular one) and maybe some kind of voice controll system for quick launching apps & commands.

    This is a private project for me since i'm very intrested in OSS but also care for Mike, he's been really good to me & is a close friend.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ubuntu for motionally disabled people?

    Hello,


    If the laptop can start from the cd-drive, I think that the best is to try out a LiveCD. You start the laptop from the CD and you have a running Ubuntu. This way, you can try it and see whether it corresponds to "mike's" without touching his Windows OS on the harddisk.

    Moreover, you will also see by using the LiveCD if Ubuntu supports the hardware of the laptop.


    Further, instead of using Ubuntu, you might consider using Xubuntu that has a lighter Desktop (xfce) and therefore runs better on computers with less power.


    Here are the download links of the LiveCDs:
    http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download for Ubuntu
    http://www.xubuntu.org/get for Xubuntu


    In april, the next version of Ubuntu will be released that will have a migration assistant to import the settings from Windows into the new installation of Ubuntu. I don't know yet, whether Xubuntu will also include the migration assistant.


    Concerning the webcam support and output to tv: unfortunately, i don't know; may be that searching this forum or wiki.ubuntu.com will turn out some pieces of information.


    Finally, Ubuntu is the only distribution that I know a little. In other words, I don't know whether there are other distributions that could better suit what you are looking for.


    Francesco

  6. #6
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    Re: Ubuntu for motionally disabled people?

    Hello, I know this thread is 4 weeks old, but one of my best friends is disabled and here in Austria he is entitled to government help. Some years back the responsible city office financed a laptop for him. Surely there must be something similar where you live? Just thought I would mention this. Good luck.
    Recommended Resources: Ubuntu Linux Resources

  7. #7
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    Re: Ubuntu for motionally disabled people?

    The original poster appears to be from Sweden where I would imagine government support for hardware is quite good.

    That said, frafu's suggestion of trying Xubuntu Live CD is a good one. Xubuntu now also has sticky keys (as does Ubuntu and Kubuntu) which will allow him to type with one finger.
    Henrik Nilsen OmmaUbuntu QA Team Lead

  8. #8
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    Re: Ubuntu for motionally disabled people?

    As regards accessible games (windows and linux based) you may wish to visit

    http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/

    and

    http://www.ics.forth.gr/hci/ua-games/

    and

    http://www.disabled-world.com/artman...fungames.shtml


    As regards using Ubuntu as a permanent OS solution for mobility impaired persons I believe there is stil much work ahead. Two important tools would be usable speech recognition (Like DragonDictate on Windows) and word predication software like (ex: WordQ on Windows).

    Hope the above helps.

    p.s. If you can point me to Linux based word predication software I'd appreciate it. But to my knowledge none exists yet.

  9. #9
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    Re: Ubuntu for motionally disabled people?

    There are at least 2 softwares with word prediction:

    1. Dasher: besides the fact that it is conceptualy completely different than an onscreen keyboard, it does not enter text directly into the front window; but I only tried it shortly.

    2. gok: I think this has word prediction to, but for a person who is able to use the mouse, it is probably overkill.

    By the way, word prediction is one of the outstanding features of onboard (the default onscreen keyboard of ubuntu), but I don't know when it is going to be implemented.

    Have a nice day.

  10. #10
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    Re: Ubuntu for motionally disabled people?

    Quote Originally Posted by frafu View Post
    There are at least 2 softwares with word prediction:

    1. Dasher: besides the fact that it is conceptualy completely different than an onscreen keyboard, it does not enter text directly into the front window; but I only tried it shortly.
    Just a small clarification --

    Dasher, which I also mentioned earlier and linked to, can indeed output text directly to any application if the user chooses.

    I would just note that it can be a very good choice for those for whom speech-recognition is not an option (for whatever reason).

    Regards

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