Vocola commands for interactive fiction

It’s possible to dictate into many interactive fiction interpreters, such as Win Glulxe or Windows Frotz, but there are occasionally glitches–words run together, or the correction command doesn’t work right. These commands minimize the possibility of run-together words by inserting a space.

# Voice commands for frotz

Up = u{Enter};

Down = d{Enter};

North = n{Enter};

South = s{Enter};

East = e{Enter};

West = w{Enter};

Northeast = ne{Enter};

Northwest = nw{Enter};

Southeast = se{Enter};

Southwest = sw{Enter};

Zed = z{Enter};

Again = g{Enter};

Examine <_anything> = x{Space}$1{Enter};

Yes = y{Enter};

No = n{Enter};

inventory = i{Enter};

scrollback ={Ctrl +l};

Get <_anything> = get {Space} $1{Enter};

Drop <_anything> = drop {Space} $1{Enter};

Open <_anything> = open {Space} $1{Enter};

Close <_anything> = close {Space} $1{Enter};

Unlock <_anything> = unlock {Space} $1{Enter};

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King’s Quest 3 Redux: Point-and-click/switch access goes retro

I can’t really play computer games outside of interactive fiction. That’s all right, though; I’m a word person, and playing the contemporary games reminds me of playing things like Moonmist vicariously on my neighbor’s Tandy. I was also interested in King’s Quest 3 with its evil wizard and his ambitious servant Gwydion, but never got the chance to play.

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Onscreen keyboards and word prediction with screen readers: incompatibilities

Someone asked me about onscreen keyboards and keystroke or word echo software. There’s something about onscreen keyboards that screen readers don’t seem to like, at least if the onscreen keyboard includes word prediction or word completion. The common feature of inserting a space after a prediction might have something to do with it, as might the clipboard-paste style of inserting the prediction itself. Virtual Keyboard in particular seems to confuse things; readers like Narrator or Thunder report word predictions as “Space” or “Backspace.” But Virtual Keyboard really goes to hell with NVDA.

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Use mouse movement as a switch action: AutoHotkey

This is a script that enables you to use your mouse or trackball as a switch, turning the movement into a click. If you move the mouse cursor anywhere on the screen, the movement will send a switch action. You might have to play with the pixel value in the script, or adjust the mouse speed or uncheck “enhance pointer precision” in Control Panel > Mouse depending on how steadily you move.

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Mobility aid review: Crutcheze AirFlex forearm crutch cuff covers

A while ago, I switched from regular Crutcheze cuff pads to their newer Air Flex. The Air Flex padding is much more comfortable for me. The fabric itself is thick, so it feels like the whole cuff is cushioned; I don’t feel the edges of the cuff the way I sometimes did with the original. The inserts are neoprene rather than foam, which means the padding doesn’t compress as much or as quickly. I’d guess the padding is about a half inch thick. That’s important to me; I have a 3″ cuff and even that’s too big. I need a thick cover so that my stick stays on my arm, so I can swing it efficiently.

The thickness concern brings me to my next point: the rare perk of being one handed and things coming in pairs. While the Crutcheze cover is fine for me in winter with the added bulk of my coat and clothes, it can still slip a little on my bare arm in warm weather. The cover allows for adding extra padding, so I inserted the neoprene from the second cover into the first. All you have to do is turn the cover inside out, slip it through, and turn the cover rightside out again.

The cover also seems to go over the cuff more easily, which is no small thing with a V design cuff. Once you get each pocket a tad over each side of the cuff, you can just pull the cover straight back and it slides right on. It doesn’t bunch up like the original did sometimes.

The only problem I had at first was that the Air Flex are supposed to fasten around the back of the crutch with Velcro. That doesn’t work on the Millennial forearm crutch cuff. Even if you can get the straps around, the fasteners prevent the cuff from moving on its hinge, which restricts my movement somewhat and is slightly less safe if I should fall. So I cut off the Velcro, and it was fine; the cover stayed on with no problem. Later, I took out the Velcro stubs with a seam ripper when I noticed it snagging my backpack. That was a bit of work, my hand strength being what it is. When I asked Crutcheze for suggestions, they sent me a pair of Air Flex without Velcro. It meant a lot to me; I depend on that little slip of fabric for my stick to be usable.

Comfort and customer service–what more could you ask for?

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Why I missed Blogging Against Disablism Day

I’ve spent the last year retching every morning before work. It gradually wrecked most of my teeth, until I couldn’t fasten my glove or brace or tear open a packet of tea. I’ve spent the last week in repairs, with more to follow. The dentist hit a facial nerve during one of them, which is a startling pain–like pool chlorine going up your sinuses, then numbing your nose and eyelid as if you’ve hit yourself. A twinge remains around my eye socket. But that pain, at least, is impersonal. I decided to use it–to let it stand for the dread that made me vomit and the hurt that created a false ache in my bones. I know my subconscious when I see it–if the memories and dread are screwing with my second hand, it means I need to get rid of them.

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Augmentative communication with Android: Free Speech review

I haven’t been using my tablet much lately because it hurts my fingers and I have a lot of work to do, and sustained serious work requires my laptop and the “good” assistive tech. However, it does have its uses. One, which I hadn’t expected, is augmentative communication. Out of curiosity, I installed Tony Atkins’ Free Speech — one of the few apps that give the choice of using text as well as icons.

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