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Thread: Assistive Technology & Sub-forums

  1. #1
    Forum Member FlyingSoupDragon's Avatar
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    Assistive Technology & Sub-forums

    One definition of Assistive Technology

    "Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a person with a
    disability."

    Retaining our communications functions and a window on the world as our faculties diminish is challenging. Technology has helped enormously in the last couple of decades and there is promise of a lot more to come. Eye-Tracking (Optikey) being a topical example. Within the Operating Systems design and readily available software there are many tools to improve the speed and quality of the user's interaction with their computer. Finding and understanding how to exploit them can be challenging for the new, or even the regular computer user.

    The MNDA forum is seen as a valuable resource and meeting place for MND patients, where better to learn a little of such systems and evaluate real user's experiences? However, when a user comes to the forum looking for Assistive Technology information or advice, the answer he/she seeks are currently distributed across various sub-forums - they have no 'home' of their own..

    MNDA Forum Members;

    Q. Do you think there may be value for us all in the creation of a forum section named 'Assistive Technologies' with sub-forums beneath to facilitate discussions across the various solutions/innovations zoned into their respective operating systems?



    Please comment below.
    Last edited by FlyingSoupDragon; 26th July 2015 at 14:58.
    Toodle pip!

    Norman
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  2. #2
    Forum Member Terry's Avatar
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    Hi Norman;

    Quite impressed with the Idea but I think it has the wrong title as Technology could be wider than computer based devices. Perhaps another subsection should be included for other none voice or methods of controlling a computer like Robotics??

    Just a thought, love Terry
    TB once said that "The forum is still the best source for friendship and information."

    It will only remain so if new people post and keep us updated on things that work or don't work and tips.

    Please post on old threads that are of use so that others see them and feel free to start new subjects and threads.

  3. #3
    Forum Member FlyingSoupDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Hi Norman;

    Quite impressed with the Idea but I think it has the wrong title as Technology could be wider than computer based devices. Perhaps another subsection should be included for other none voice or methods of controlling a computer like Robotics??

    Just a thought, love Terry
    Agreed Terry, just need another second level subforum and away we go!
    Toodle pip!

    Norman
    Wordpress Blog

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    Forum Member Dude's Avatar
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    Doh '

  5. #5
    Forum Member Ellie's Avatar
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    Hi Norman,

    Whatever about having a Technology area, I think perhaps you’re overcomplicating things with a plethora of sub-forum topics. People tend to start a thread in, what they perceive to be, the relevant section. For example, a query about assistive technology currently could be relevant in Life with MND or Equipment and Medication sections.
    The vast majority of people want (I think) simple help and advice in plain English, rather than in techie speak. Even the language used in your post would make some feel intimidated and they’re the people who most need help. It has to be accessible to all.

    Ellie.

  6. #6
    Forum Member FlyingSoupDragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ellie View Post
    Hi Norman,

    Whatever about having a Technology area, I think perhaps you’re overcomplicating things with a plethora of sub-forum topics. People tend to start a thread in, what they perceive to be, the relevant section. For example, a query about assistive technology currently could be relevant in Life with MND or Equipment and Medication sections.
    The vast majority of people want (I think) simple help and advice in plain English, rather than in techie speak. Even the language used in your post would make some feel intimidated and they’re the people who most need help. It has to be accessible to all.

    Ellie.
    Hi Ellie,

    Good points. I guess there is merit either way but most people understand the nature of their problem, loss of speech/movement etc. Computers and tablets are where most assistive technologies live these days and the screen has become the window on the world for those who have become isolated by disability.

    When discussing anything to do with computers, the operating system being used (Windows, Mac etc) is the starting point. If you are using a Windows PC, conversations about Apple Macs won't be of interest to you. If you wanted to know something about text to speech you would go straight to the Windows sub forum where any thread would be relevant to you. Putting everything into one big soup bowl really would confuse everyone. The threads within sub forums would be directly related to solutions to MND challenges, not weird techie speak.

    Language: sorry, I didn't want to talk down to anyone so I pitched straight in. Of course everything should be written in plain English, explanations well illustrated and linked to external explanations etc.

    Forum design is a delicate art, too many sections and sub forums can detract from the objective of getting people talking. Balanced against that, failing to provide appropriate 'rooms' leads to muddle and lack of focus.

    BUT, I fully appreciate I am the noobie here, this is a discussion point, I'd hate you to think I was trying to impose a view. Lol
    Toodle pip!

    Norman
    Wordpress Blog

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    Forum Member Dude's Avatar
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    Hi Norm, correct me if Im wrong, but one area you seem to be pointing to in your 'computerisation' of this type of forum is quickly accessing a specific item you need, be it equipment, medication and 'medical' advice etc. I like the 1 room approach where anyone, irrespective of technical ability , can call on compassionate people, like you, to answer their question but also give compassion and support. I pray no operating system will ever replace this. Take care. Dude I'll get me coat.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Steve's Avatar
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    i agree with ellie, an assisted tech forum is sufficient. no need for sub forums
    sorry about the absence of caps in my posts, my shift key is broken.

  9. #9
    Forum Member pete's Avatar
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    Likewise I agree with both Ellie, and Steve, keep it simple and straightforward ,this will insure that everyone understands what's being discussed and the merits of the kit .

  10. #10
    Forum Member Steve's Avatar
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    also, some people don't know which path to go down in terms of device, os etc. and the threads being in one place may help them decide.

    there wouldn't be enough threads to justify sub boards anyway.
    sorry about the absence of caps in my posts, my shift key is broken.

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