Volume 51 Number 3, 2014
Pages 467 — 480
Abstract — Information technology plays a very important role in society. People with disabilities are often limited by slow text input speed despite the use of assistive devices. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of a dynamic on-screen keyboard (Custom Virtual Keyboard) and a word-prediction system (Sibylle) on text input speed in participants with functional tetraplegia. Ten participants tested four modes at home (static on-screen keyboard with and without word prediction and dynamic on-screen keyboard with and without word prediction) for 1 mo before choosing one mode and then using it for another month. Initial mean text input speed was around 23 characters per minute with the static keyboard and 12 characters per minute with the dynamic keyboard. The results showed that the dynamic keyboard reduced text input speed by 37% compared with the standard keyboard and that the addition of word prediction had no effect on text input speed. We suggest that current forms of dynamic keyboards and word prediction may not be suitable for increasing text input speed, particularly for subjects who use pointing devices. Future studies should evaluate the optimal ergonomic design of dynamic keyboards and the number and position of words that should be predicted.
Key words: assistive technology, computer, dynamic keyboard, learning, quadriplegia, satisfaction, self-help devices, text input speed, virtual keyboard, word-prediction system.
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Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, June 11, 2014 2:27 PM