Use of Computer keyboard

Does anyone have any suggestions for using a computer with advancing Parkinson tremors

If you have a decent microphone you could use speech dictation, i use dragon by nuance. google speech to text has become very good, so you could use that, its what i use on my smart phone

The accessibility settings in Windows are worth looking at.

For instance, when I'm "off" I type with one finger, which is a problem if you want to type a capital letter. You can get around this in Windows 10 (I suspect it's much the same in all versions) by doing the following once (thereafter it will be remembered until you choose to change it back):

Start (icon normally bottom left)
Control Panel
Ease of Access
Ease of Access Center
Make the keyboard easier to use
Turn on Sticky Keys

Now to type $, say, you press shift and let it go. Then, when you press the 4 key, you get "upper case 4", which is $, as required.

This setting makes more than the shift key sticky. For instance, the Ctrl key is sticky, so to save a file, you can press the Ctrl key followed by s; the Alt key is sticky, so to close a window you can press the Alt key followed by the F4 key; the Windows key (the key on the bottom row that looks like a flag in a circle) is sticky, so to move a window to the left press the Windows key followed by the left arrow key.

I also have problems with keys being wrongly repeated. For instance, I want to type the word forum but I get fooorum. Or when going back to correct the mistake I overrun, deleting good text as well as bad. To reduce this problem, you can slow the speed at which the cursor moves. From where we were above:

Click on Set up Repeat Keys and Slow Keys and change accordingly.

For more ideas see:


Somebody has already said this, I think, but voice typing is good if it would work for you. If you use Google Chrome on a PC, then you can set up voice typing on Google Docs which is really useful.

I've never managed to get Microsoft speech dictation working but that may just be me.

Depending on your budget, apple have some great products with dictation built in and Cortana is worth using on Windows to do internet searching - I m currently experimenting with Google Voice commands.

If your voice is good enough for dictation however, dragon Dictation on a PC is brilliant but you do have to have a powerful enough machine and it is expensive if you want all the features.

I find swipe keyboards the best, the new Windows 10 build (whatever that actually means) has a one-handed swipe keyboard, it's easy enough to put a Swype keyboard on an iPad and the Google keyboard on Android works really well too. You just move your finger around on the keys and you don't have to lift it up and down which makes it much easier for me. You may well already use this but it's worth looking at YouTube demonstrations to see what I'm talking about if not.

I find a Rollerball Mouse really useful especially the larger ones. They are expensive but I found mine on eBay for a lot less money.

I know people who like keyboards with key guards and large keys but I personally prefer small keyboards with low profile keys so that I have to move my hands as little as possible

Putting any sort of feedback such as keyboard clicks helps me and there are some good programs and packages for accessibility but they are quite pricey.

I love swype keyboard but touch screen devices are my nemesis. I can refile and move everything without even knowing so I quite like connecting my touch screen devices to my PC and using them as a swype keyboard but I'm not sure about the security of doing this.

Some phones have a setting that ignores repeated taps but I do think there's a lot more that could be done in relation to accessibility and dexterity issues both in terms of device manufacturers and website design (if only I was clever enough to do something about it :frowning:

Sorry for the ramble - you may well already have
tried most of these things and if you have any other ideas, I'd love to know because we're going to be more dependent on IT for everything in the near future and my out of control hands do worry me so I like to try anything that might help.
Hope you find something that works for you.
J :slight_smile:

For work, where I have to type a lot, I have just got a Matias half qwerty keyboard - you can use with one hand. For touch typing you press space bar with the same finger you'd use in the hand you're not using. You can use it with two hands too which gives time to learn how to use it. Early days with it at present.

Hi SueJ,

I hope all is well.

You’ve had a lot of great suggestions in this thread and I just wanted to add to that by pointing you in the direction of the ‘accessibility’ section on the Parkinson’s UK website. You can find this information here.

We hope you’ve found all this information useful.


Hi johnt
I am an IT Trainer with the blind and the visually impaired. I have had PD for 10 years now. I was given Dragon Naturally speaking by Nuance, through the acces to work and yes it is ok but difficult to achieve a fully compatible set up. The sett up for ‘Sticky Keys’ is easier if you tap the Left SHIFT KEY 5 times await the sound this says that ‘Sticky Keys’ is active. when you done what you need to do tap; the Left SHIFT KEY 5 times and you are back in the real time again.