As you may have seen from the about me section or realised from my website icon I am a disabled Apple user. I am paralysed from the neck down and on a life support machine 24/7, obviously this provides many barriers to using technology, however, not so much with Apple and the Mac specifically. As a severely motor impaired user most people jump to the conclusion that the primary way I interface with the Mac is via Switch Control. I have been using a Mac since 1989 so have discovered my own favoured way of controlling my system, we didn’t have the option of Switch Control with System 6 OS! In this post I’ll show how I currently access and control my 27 inch iMac with 5K Retina Display and hopefully demonstrate that despite the very welcome accessibility features in macOS Sierra there is a more precise and quicker way of taking complete control of a Mac.
As stated above I first used a Mac in 1989, two years after I was completely paralysed by a virus that attacked my spinal cord, and the revolutionary control system was called Headstart. Headstart was the forerunner of what I use today, a TrackerPro (img.1), despite having a very high level spinal cord injury and a tracheotomy tube I do have complete control of my head movements and this enables the use of the TrackerPro which has a small receiver that sits on top of the screen and a small reflective dot which sticks to the centre of my glasses. The receiver picks up the position of the reflective dot and small movements of the head (therefore dot) moves the cursor on the screen, this allows for much more precise movement as opposed to Switch Control, it is also a much faster way of moving the cursor. TrackerPro can be viewed on the Inclusive Technology Website and is also now available on the Apple Website and as you can see at over $990.00 it is extremely expensive for a piece of equipment that just emulates a mouse or trackpad, however, the cheaper versions I have tested have always had problems such as not being responsive and reacting adversely to sunlight.