How to make your computer easier to use – for people with Parkinson’s
My Computer My Way
Accessibility controls in Google CHROME Web Browser on PC/Mac
These tips are offered for the CHROME browser. Google offers two useful “extensions”, that you can install for free. These allow you to personalise your browsing experience for your particular circumstances.
Font/Text size changes
Use the CTRL button with + /- keys to increase and decrease text size
Install the Chrome Extension “High Contrast”
Install the Chrome extension “Colour Enhancer”
Installing Chrome Extensions
- To find accessibility extensions for Chrome, visit the Chrome Web Store and search for ‘accessibility’.
- When you find an extension that you want, add it to Chrome:
- In the Chrome Web Store, click the extension that you want to install.
At the top-right, click Add to Chrome.
When prompted, confirm by clicking Add extension. An icon for the extension will appear to the right of your address bar.
Accessibility settings for mobile phones
If you are new to Zoom and would like help joining Zoom meetings, the following page on the Zoom website explains how to do it, and has a video explainer as well:
Joining a meeting – Zoom Help
The Importance of Web Accessibility for People with Parkinson’s
People with Parkinson’s disease experience challenges using the Internet that aren’t always obvious to people without a motor or cognitive disability. For example, the hand tremors caused by Parkinson’s can make it hard for people to use a standard mouse or even a keyboard. The dementia present in some people with Parkinson’s can also cause a decline in their capabilities for memory, reasoning, and problem solving.
For people with Parkinson’s, interacting with small website elements, or elements that are very close to each other, may be difficult or impossible without accidentally activating the wrong control. As a result, many people with Parkinson’s choose to interact with their computer using voice recognition software. They may also use an oversized keyboard or a “keyguard,” a plastic or metal plate that sits on top of the keyboard and that prevents accidental mistypes.
Each person may have different needs. The links above are a good place to start researching methods of improving website accessibility.