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I find myself suddenly with vision loss - not 100% but fairly close. I have lots of general questions, but this one is more specific. I'm wondering if people could recommend ways how to work around keyboard issues. (I cant find mine :)). I can read enough screen that I don't need text to speech. eDictation is great for email, letters, web sites like this.

eDictation is not good for development work, and neither is touch typing (compound keys for example). I use a Mac, but I believe these types of questions cross platform boundaries.

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would this be viable as keyboard alternative? – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Apr 13 '13 at 14:15
Thanks Zau, that would definitely be an improvement. It's just really hard to even see the keyboard (and even to see my hands) +1 for good idea). – David DelMonte Apr 13 '13 at 14:17
Damn thats horrible. I wonder if those big colourful kids keyboards might be helpful, and/or the use of macros to speed up things like compound keys. – Journeyman Geek Apr 13 '13 at 14:25
So, I take it that you are specifically looking for something for coding? (might help to state that explicitly). I'll answer accordingly. – William Saunders Apr 13 '13 at 15:12
This may be interesting for you - – Łukasz Zaroda Apr 13 '13 at 22:31


It is possible to use dictation for programming, although there isn't a perfect way to do so yet.

There's an open-source project for programming by voice called VoiceCode, using Dragon NaturallySpeaking and emacs at

Other people use custom macro systems. There are a couple of discussion groups around programming by voice where you can ask around for suggestions:

Unfortunately, these systems are all optimized for windows (which has the best version of speech recognition software, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, at the moment), but it might be worth considering switching.

Chorded Keyboard

Another possibility might be to use a chorded keyboard ( The basic idea is that you use only as many keys as you have fingers, and press different chords or combitinations of keys to send different symbols. (That way, you only need to find one position on the keyboard).

A quick google search reveals, which claims to be able to use a regular keyboard for chording (mac version here:

Other Keyboard alternatives

Orbitouch keyless keyboard uses two independant domes that you can just leave your hands on. You'd need to memorize the layout rather than reading it off the device, but you'd need memorization for the chorded keyboard anyways.

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Your answers make me very glad I asked the question .. Lots of good things to look into, maybe even writing my own macros! – David DelMonte Apr 13 '13 at 15:34

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