Alternative keyboards


Just wondering if anybody has any ideas for alternative keyboards for a pc or lap top? I use Swype on my i pad which really works for me, but I have to use a pc at work and am finding hitting the right keys in the right order increasingly difficult - who knew there were so many shortcuts available? I'm guessing that you can't buy a Swype keyboard that links to a pc and I'm pretty sure that I can't link my i pad to my pc to use the iPad Swype on the pc.  I can't use the iPad as I can't transfer data due to security settings.

Dictation works to a degree but my speech isn't always good enough so I'm looking for any options. Of course I'm totally stuffed when everything goes wrong on the same day - to me it sometimes feels like I'm trying to stay one step ahead of an avalanche which is gaining momentum, knowing that it's a losing battle in the long run, but feeling compelled to keep stumbling on in the meantime :-( .

Anyway, it seems that really useful technology is  available if only I knew how! I haven't looked into it, but does PD UK have anybody who advises on assistive  technology? 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated,

Have you tried the Touch or Onscreen keyboard option?  You can still use your mouse to select keys without a touch screen. You enable it by right clicking on the taskbar.  It doesn't have swype but worth a try?

Hi Jackson,

Although we can't recommend a specific keyboard, an organisation called AbilityNet may be able to help you. This organisation aims to make computer technology available to people with disabilities. Their free helpline 0800 269 545 offers expert advice and information.

The AbilityNet website is

We also have a page on our website which gives some general advice about getting online ( although this does recommend tablet devices and speech recognition so the AbilityNet website may be more helpful to you. 

Best wishes,


Depending on the IT setup at work you could ask if they'd instal a remote desktop client on your PC that lets you view your pc on your ipad screen and use your ipad keypad to type.  I use.

It can be set with varying levels of security and while there is a web based option for working on your pc from a different location, the pc server software can be set to use the office internal wifi with all the security protocols in place.  The data remains on your pc it's just the screen image and keypad inputs that are shared.


Thank you both for your replies, I'm off to investigate your suggestions. Yes, it's worth trying them all. Using my iPad to type onto the pc would be ideal.

Thanks again, much appreciated, J 


Have just got Swype for my iPad. It's brilliant. Never heard of it before. Much faster than my unreliable typing and amazingly intuitive. So glad you mentioned it Jackson. Just have to read what it puts a bit carefully. Could be embarrassing otherwise. big grin


I just wish I'd found it before! I suspect there's other 'stuff' out there too that could make my IT experience easier so it's now my project for nights when I really can't sleep :-) I was getting so frustrated with my slow and dodgy typing that sending emails and other online communication outside of work was becoming a chore that I was avoiding, but this is so easy. There's also Swype for lots of mobile phones and a similar function on Microsoft smart phones (there are probably other versions too but I don't know of them). Until finding the setting on my phone, I had pretty much given up texting-  forays into dictation had ended in sending a text saying I'd lost my very vocals! Though you're right, nothing is perfect, especially when your hands sometimes do their own thing. Proof reading is pretty essential :-) J

Hi there,

had a few ideas for you to try while you are seeking a better alternative.

My computer has an ease of access control panel where you can choose an

on-screen keyboard,

switch off shortcuts, 

only use one key at a time to engage shortcuts,

use filter keys to ignore  brief or repeated keystrokes,

have a sound when you engage caps lock, num lock or scroll lock - so you would know you had touched it in error!

Good luck with exploring the more useful options talked about by others!!