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Typing on a laptop

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    Typing on a laptop

    Hi folks,
    I’m now 14 months into my unwanted MND journey.
    One of my new ‘challenges’ is the difficulty in using a keyboard on my laptop.
    Arms & hands are very weak and my fingers are all curled up.
    I can just about type with one finger but it’s very tiring and takes forever.
    Is anyone aware of any keyboard adaptions that are out there that can help?
    Or are there any alternative solutions to make typing a little easier?
    Thanks very much.

    Hi Iain, best talk to your OT to refer you to a service that provides aids. I’m sure that there’d be something to help. I saw gadgets like this at a local MND get together about a year ago. A Liverpool service provided these. They had varies pointers, some are held. Others are strapped to your wrist. There was ball type holders and various other things to suit various amounts of movement and control in hands. This same organisation is doing some things for me. I forget their name just now. There must be somebody in your area that supplies helpful gadgets to disabled people. Good luck. Lynne
    ALS diagnosed November 2017, limb onset. For the 4 yrs previously I was losing my balance.

    I'm staying positive and taking each day as it comes.


      Hi Iain,

      Ask your OT or speech and language therapist for a switch control. It allows you to type by selecting letters or predictive text using a button.

      Best wishes,
      I’m going to do this even if it kills me!


        Hi Iain,

        Eye gaze is a horrible thing to think about but it can be faster than most other methods. As others have said speak to your speech and language specialist.

        We are all assuming that you can't talk well, some of us can and use voice control.

        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.


          Hi Iain,

          Please don't struggle trying to type - help is available!!

          Eye gaze tends to be the best for people whose hands and arms no longer work - it's faster than buttons and scanning etc. but you can try different methods to see which works best for you.

          I use a DIY set-up on my windows laptop for full access - a Tobii 4C eye tracker (about £149) and free software - but you won't have to pay for a communication device which your SLT or Assistive Technology Services provide. (I use the DIY version because it suits how I use my PC and is quicker and more accurate than the other systems.)

          Good luck.

          Love Ellie.
          ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
          Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.


            My hands are now totally affected, I had a NHS team called Enviromental control service who provide many other devices to adapt operating any electrical devices from turn the TV channel over switching on and off the lights and enabling me to keep using my laptop with small movements, I also had a team from Oxford called ACE and they trialed a eye gaze with me to ensure I’m adaptable to use it which I am luckily, speak to your speech and language team or Palliative care team, they can get things in place, don’t struggle, there is help out there, good luck


              i use a on screen keyboard.


                Hi Iain,
                My husband did not get on with eye gaze due to head drop, Environental Services provided him with a roller ball and switch which he uses with his feet due to having no hand/arm use . A similar program to eye gaze was installed which provides predictive text or regular words therefore reducing the typing. This simple adaptation has allowed him to communicate independently, he is now as quick with this process as he was typing. Might be worth exploring.