There are many things I love about the internet, but there is nothing I appreciate more than the way it connects people who have shared interests. I think the word “share” sums up what is best about the net. Last week, in response to the post I wrote about Accessibar, Chris Stringfellow wrote to let me know of a set of tools that he has developed to make computer use more accessible. These are tools that Chris wants to share with the world, so I’m happy to help spread the word.
Fx Software is a website that offers free downloadable software. There are two categories–Assistive Software and Other Software. It is the Assistive Software that is of particular interest here. In this category there are 11 free downloads with the potential to make computer use and internet browsing more accessible for individuals who face special challenges.
Assistive software titles include:
- KwikLoupe — simple screen magnifier
- RapidSet — allowing you to conveniently change font and/or background colour
- Mouseketeer — mouse clicking/dragging
- Vu-Bar 4 — tool for keeping a single line of text in view
- Sonar 4 — provides a permanent ring around the mouse pointer
- Edgeless — causes mouse pointer to wrap around screen
- KeyCounter — keeps track of number of keystrokes to suggest need for rest
- mmFollow – adds cartoon character to mouse cursor
- Washer – adjusts screen for varying conditions of colour blindness
- Bigger Cursors — set of large colourful cursors
- Chunky Cursors – set of large chunky colourful cursors
Last week I wrote a post about Accessibar, which enhances the accessibility of web browsing in Firefox. Some of the tools offered here by Fx Software will also make web browsing more accessible. The programs from Fx Software, however, are designed to support all computer use, not just internet access.
I have not had a chance to download and test all of the Fx Software titles, but I’ve been favourably impressed by the ones I have downloaded. The programs download quickly because they are small. They are also easy to install. I particularly liked the potential of Vu-Bar 4 for some individuals who face reading challenges as a result of a learning disability.