If you have low vision, it may be challenging to use a standard computer keyboard. The good news is, there are several different options for adapting this piece of hardware. You can meet your specific needs and avoid having to use a computer keyboard you aren’t comfortable with.
Jumbo Keys and Oversized Hardware
Some keyboards have jumbo keys. Not only are the letters printed larger than usual, but the entire keyboard is also bigger. The VisionBoard Keyboard is a good example of this kind of adaptive equipment. The letters on each key (A-Z) are 7/16″ x 7/16″, and feature bold print. The oversized keys also have ample spacing in between.
Another oversized piece of hardware is the Big Track Mouse Ball. The BIGtrack is a valuable tool for users who lack fine motor skills which a regular mouse requires. For example, if you have arthritis, an ordinary mouse can be difficult to hold and keep the cursor in position while you click. The BIGtrack allows you to settle the cursor in position and then click easily without moving the cursor inadvertently. The giant yellow ball makes it easy to get the cursor to precisely where you want it. You can even do this with your foot or elbow!
Keys With Extra Contrast
If you are comfortable with the spacing of a standardized keyboard, there are other ways to enlarge the letters for easier viewing. The EZ Key Keyboard large print keyboard provides easy to see computer keys with extra-large key legends for greater visibility and efficiency. It features large-print keycaps that are clear and easy to read with high-contrast color schemes. You can choose black on white or black on yellow, depending on which one is easier for you to see.
Don’t want to buy a whole new keyboard? Stick-ons and overlays are the perfect solution. You can buy a set of black and white stick-ons that display capital letters at .4 of an inch high in bold print. Just peel them off and carefully place them on your existing keyboard.
If you have an Apple keyboard, you can buy a “skin,” or overlay that fits over the entire keyboard. No peeling and sticking individual stickers! These come in white on black or black on white.
Make your keyboards tactile with braille stick-ons. Just like the large print bold stick-ons, these stickers are printed with jumbo letters. But the bonus is that they are also in Braille. The stickers come in black on white or black on yellow, to give you a choice of contrast. Braille keyboards are perfect for both low vision users and users who are blind.
While you’re considering your keyboard options, you may as well think about how to improve your screen viewing as well. LCD magnifiers and filters don’t just enlarge the screen, they also enhance contrast and reduce glare.