ClickIt! - Create Switch Access to Software
by Gerry Kennedy
For PC Compatibles running MS Windows 3.1/95/98 and Mac OS computers
Create your Own Switch Software Access!
ClickIt! allows a student or adult user to touch an overlay on an IntelliKeys, use a switch or the keyboard to activate Hot Spots on an Apple Macintosh or PC-compatible running MS Windows 95 or 98. You can create switch access for ANY software package, which is ideal for mainstream applications, resources and multimedia programs that are not switch capable. Well, they are now!
Today’s software packages, especially multimedia resource CD-ROM’s, Internet browsers, children’s talking story books and educational software packages, use buttons or have active locations. These “Hot Spots” can be located anywhere on the screen display. Until now, switch and alternate keyboard users had no opportunity or way to access these software genres. ClickIt is the answer. It is easy to set up to create overlays and switch arrays that provide appropriate access for a range of users, including adults who are intellectually impaired.
It’s All About Hot Spots
To create the necessary ClickIt Hot Spots:
1. Decide where the user will need to click to reveal the text, pop-up/pull-down menu, voiced instruction, message, dialogue box, sound effect, music, graphic, chart, animation or video clip. Find out where these are located on the screen of your software package first by trial and error or by reading the user manual.
2. On PC-compatibles running Windows, launch the ClickIt program. (On the Macintosh, this step is unnecessary).
3. Press Control-Spacebar at ANY time, in ANY software program. That’s all there is to it!
4. Create the Hot Spot by placing the mouse cursor over the hidden or revealed location. Click on the screen location and you automatically create a Hot Spot. Give your HotSpot a logical name and assign a keystroke to it. Hot Spots are easy to edit, move, resize or delete. You can add a scanning sound as well, now or later. For example, a Hot Spot can say, “music” or “head” or “two minute video” or something that describes its function or action.
5. Then you scan your Hot Spots with a switch in a number of ways to suit the user’s requirements:
Automatic Scan: Press your switch, spacebar or IntelliKeys to start scanning (IntelliKeys is sold separately). Press it again to select.
Step Scan: Press 1 switch or key to move. Press another to select.
Directional Scan: Press one switch or key to scan forward through the Hot Spots, press a second to go backwards, press a third to select.
You Are Now in Control
With ClickIt! you can have complete control over your Macintosh or PC Compatible menus, scroll bars and dialogue boxes as well. With ClickIt, a person with physical or intellectual disabilities can operate their desktop (or notebook style) computer with keyboard commands and speech feedback. This provides students in mainstream classrooms the capacity to use ALL curriculum software and be included in ALL activities at the computer. Teachers can create ClickIt Hot Spots for their students, or have other children create them as well.
Trainers in adult centres and CRU’s (Community Residential Units)can accommodate their clients’ wishes by customising appropriate software for easy and elegant access. This provides new opportunities to use more mainstream titles that are age, interest appropriate, and cater to clients’ abilities. Skill development, task-oriented training, instruction, enjoyment and leisure options are all possible due to ClickIt’s flexible and comprehensive features.
Users can operate menus, scroll bars and dialogue boxes with IntelliKeys or the regular QWERTY keyboard. Once installed on the Apple Macintosh, it underlines each Mac menu and dialogue box. To access and reveal the Edit menu, type Control-E. Similarly, to reveal the File menu, type Control-F. The user then uses letters or arrow keys to navigate through the menu(s) to make a selection. Type Control-S in a dialogue box to save a document or drawing, Control-C to Cancel the dialogue box and continue working. This is very liberating for Macintosh users, as the operating system has always relied on mouse movements and clicks to access menu and dialogue box items.
Customise and Make Software Work With a Switch!
With ClickIt!, you can cycle through windows using your keyboard. You can then assign your own keystrokes to menu options that don’t include keystroke equivalents (e.g. the Save As or Page Setup options). These keystroke equivalents can then be sent to Overlay Maker to be used with IntelliKeys or be programmed by using other alternate keyboard editors (e.g. with Concept Keyboards, or use Discover:Create with Discover:Board or Key Largo).
It’s Hearing, Seeing and Believing
ClickIt! has high quality speech options as well. You can hear every key spoken if you wish, or voice those that are important, newly programmed or unfamiliar to the user. Hot Spots can be introduced or deleted at any time to cater to user preference or learning requirements. You can select any text, anywhere on the screen and hear it spoken. As you scan through menu and dialogue boxes, ClickIt can announce every name or just speak those that are frequently used. People who are vision impaired can hear menu items being announced before they choose them. Young children or students who are learning English, can benefit from spoken prompts. Even voice text, menu and dialogue box options in a second language!
Have Text Spoken – In Any Package!
Type [Control – “] and the selected text is spoken. Users of all ages can now highlight text in ANY program and have it voiced. This caters to all learners of any age. It assists poor readers, people who find reading difficult due to impaired eyesight, elderly people and those who have an intellectual disability or learning difficulties. It also fun to use for all children who wish to access difficult language, or new vocabulary, that is hard to phonetically decode.
There are a number of input options available, including the following devices:
A mouse click
Any alternate keyboard (large or mini)
Switches (single or two switches)
ClickIt! has so many wonderful and powerful features. It is a must with schools who have switch users, as you can gain access to any curriculum software that uses Hot Spots. Used in conjunction with IntelliKeys, it gives students the opportunity to work with their peers, with immediate switch access as well as use of colourful IntelliKeys overlays.