Interaction with electronic devices is challenging or unfeasible for people with upper limb motor impairment. Accessibility assistive technologies for computer control strive to provide motor impaired subjects with practical solutions to interact with electronic devices or communicate. Hence, promoting greater independence and quality-of-life since electronic devices have become ubiquitous to accomplish everyday tasks in modern societies. Due to the relatively small number of people affected by severe motor disability, assistive technologies solutions are often expensive as companies developing them cannot distribute the fixed costs of creating their products among a large customer base. As a result, assistive technologies are often unaffordable for financially constrained motor disabled individuals. This web resource represents an effort from Otago Polytechnic and its School of Engineering to mitigate that problem as part of our institutional commitment to positive community impact.
The Otago Polytechnic Accessibility Software Hub provides open source accessibility software solutions for users with motor impairment regardless of their financial circumstances. The different software solutions we have created have been developed by Bachelors of Information Technology degree students as part of their final year capstone project at the College of Engineering of Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand. Please note that the software is provided as it is. Due to lack of resources, we are unable to support users directly or to provide customized software solutions to specific circumstances. This project only has the direct support of two faculty member and several students. Hence, we lack the time and budget necessary to provide direct assistance to individual users. That being said, we believe the software might be useful for motor impaired users, assuming they can get some assistance from their caregivers for setup an installation.
However, due to lack of rigorous testing, our software should never be used to control life support systems.
Some of the projects that we have created over the years allow motor impaired individuals to control a desktop computer hands-free by using gaze or facial gestures. Click here or on the Software tab above to see the array of applications that we have created.