Virtual / On-screen keyboard
Some users with physical disabilities may find it easier to use only the mouse or a similar pointing device instead of a traditional keyboard. To enter text, these users can benefit greatly from a virtual or on-screen keyboard, where they can point to letters or words to enter them as text.
Discussion by Disabilities
An on-screen, virtual keyboard allow people with certain disabilities to enter text more easily and more efficiently than with a traditional keyboard.
Please note that these products are not necessarily endorsed by RtF, but represent the range of available options.
Open Source and free
These products are free and their source code may be modified with few restrictions.
- AAC Keys – (open source)
- Dasher – University of cambridge
- GazeTalk – COGAIN (Communication by Gaze Interaction)
- GOK – ATRC at University of Toronto
- ICUTalk – U. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
- Opengazer – AEGIS
- Remote Commander – Pittsburg Pebbles PDA Project
- CARIBOU – GNOME
Free, not necessarily open source
These products are free to use, but may have strict restrictions on viewing and modifying source code.
- Click-N-Type Virtual Keyboard – Lake Software
- E-triloquist – (open source)
- Speak for Yourself
- CLICK TO PHONE APP – UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE
- TAPIR – THE INFERENCE GROUP
- NOHANDCOM – SOFTWARE OPEN SOURCE DI PHILIP KELLER
Commercial, with free trial
These products are free to try for a limited period of time or with limited functionality. They must be purchased for full functionality.
- Aurora Suite – Aurora Systems
- beKey – beEnabled
- CubeWriter – CubeWriter Software
- Discover Screen – Madentec
- EZ Keys – Words Plus (Words+)
- KeyStrokes – AssistiveWare
- Hot Virtual Keyboard – Comfort Software Group
- My T-Soft – IMG
- Penfriend – PenFriend Ltd, Cricksoft
- PTP-PC (Point-to-Pictures PC) – RJ Cooper
- Proloquo – AssistiveWare
- ProtoType – Sensory Software
- SayIt Sam – Words Plus (Words+)
- SpeechPro & Multimedia Speech System – Gus
- SwitchXS – AssistiveWare
- Virtual Keyboard – Corallo Software
- Virtual Keyboard – Mount Focus
- WiViK – Bloorview Kids Rehab, Ontario Rehab Tech Consortium
Commercial, no free trial
These products must be purchased to be used, and did not offer free trials at the time of posting.
Related Research and Papers
- A virtual logo keyboard for people with motor disabilities – University of Algarve – Norte, S. and Lobo, F.G. (2007)
- An evolutionary system for the Sc@ut platform – University of Granaca, Spain – Paredes-Garrido, M. D. (2006)
- The design and field evaluation of PhotoTalk: a digital image communication application for people with Aphasia – University of British Columbia – Allen, M., McGrenere, J., and Purves, B. (2007)
- Text Entry for Mobile Devices and Users with Severe Motor Impairments: HandiGlyph, a Primitive Shapes Based Onscreen Keyboard- Mohammed Belatar, Franck Poirier