Justin in wheelchair typing on communication device
Accessibility (#A11y), Advocacy

Accessibility: What works for me

Hey there – I’m going to tell you about resources that help me do the things I love to do. Just a reminder, I need to use assistive technology to access my world. I use an adaptive keyboard, joystick mouse, a lot of online resources and augmentative communication device, to help me write, read, and communicate.

I have athetoid cerebral palsy (uncontrolled movement that affects every part of my body), auditory neuropathy (my hearing sounds like a static-y radio a lot of the time), and visual tracking difficulties. Uncontrolled movement makes it difficult for me to do what I want to do. I can type slowly with the middle finger on my right hand. I need text that can be enlarged and it’s very helpful when reading to have text highlighted as the computer reads aloud. I can do so much when my technology is set up to work for me. It’s a work in progress though and I keep discovering new ways of doing things.

Here’s what is working best for me right now


Bookshare is an accessible online library service for people with print disabilities offering audio, braille, large font and highlighting as you read along. It has helped me read for years—for school, as well as for recreation. This service is free for students who have visual, physical or severe learning disabilities and unable to use traditional print books. It is, wait for it….awesome!

Justin looking at computer monitor with hand on joystick mouse
Justin using Clevy Keyboard and n-AbLER Joystick while reading book using Bookshare

Clevy Keyboard with key guard, n-ABLER Pro Joystick

This is the assistive technology I use to type and work on my Mac computer. It has helped me for a decade. I use heavy duty Velcro to attach them both to my desk. I use a 27” monitor so that I can enlarge documents and text.  Find out more at Clevy Keyboard and n-ABLER Pro Joystick.

Other Helpful Websites

 Crash Course

Thanks to Crash Course and John Green, I have the best time in the world! The awesome Green brothers, Hank and John, teach Crash Course World History and US History along with many other subjects. Their humorous, informative videos make learning fun! The videos are closed-captioned.

Physics Classroom

Physics was one of the worst classes for me as far as accessibility ever. Over the years, working with math equations (through Advanced Algebra) has been difficult – imagine being unable to write and trying to solve equations. Trying to do this in PDF or Word documents is incredibly difficult. It was also difficult with experiments because of my physical disability that limited me to an observer role. I found the Physics Classroom website in my senior year and it helped me better understand the basic concepts in Physics.  Resources like this allow me to study and learn independently and not have to rely on paraprofessionals or other helpers to help me out.

Originally published in previous blog site on 8/26/16

4 thoughts on “Accessibility: What works for me”

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