14 tech tools that enhance computing for the disabled

Getting work done on a computer is easily within reach of the blind and physically disabled with the help of these new and updated tools

The eyes have it: Eyegaze Edge

Quadriplegics or others who can't use a standard keyboard and mouse can control a computer simply by moving an eye. The Eyegaze Edge from LC Technologies uses a high-speed infrared camera mounted under the system's monitor and a small external processing unit to translate eye motion into on-screen action.

After calibrating the system, all the user does is look directly at control keys on the system's monitor, which can display a keyboard, mouse controls, a speech synthesizer with series of phrases to choose from, or a program for turning lights and appliances on and off in conjunction with the optional X-10 controller kit. The system tracks where the user is looking on the control screen and "presses" a key when she looks at a key for a specified period of time.

Users can connect a Mac or Windows system to the Eyegaze Edge system and use the keyboard and mouse screens to browse the Web and run any off-the-shelf software. Prices start at $7,250; LC Technologies offers help in navigating the paperwork if you need Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance to help defray the cost.

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