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Synopses of Presentations

2016

2016 was the first calendar year since 1992 or 1993 that I did not teach a course, lead a workshop, deliver a webinar, etc. 2017 will likely be different: I have submitted proposals for several sessions at RESNA 2017.


2015

Software Shortcuts

December 2015
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2015, Toronto

Overview: Alan Cantor, representing the University of Toronto, gave a talk on techniques for customizing computers to better fit the hands and learning style of employees with disabilities.


Introduction to NaturallySpeaking Voice Automation

June 2015
RESNA Conference, Denver Colorado

Overview: Representing Health & Well-being Programs Services at University of Toronto, Alan Cantor taught a half-day course on NaturallySpeaking scripting, with a focus on automating repetitive work-related tasks.


Five Counterintuitive “Rules” for Squeezing the Best Performance from NaturallySpeaking

June 2015
RESNA Conference, Denver Colorado

Overview: Alan Cantor discussed strategies for improving NaturallySpeaking performance. The strategies arise out of challenging assumptions about how speech recogntion works. He showed that:

  1. User profiles are expendable.
  2. Accuracy does not continually improve.
  3. Profile training is overrated.
  4. Knowing how to gracefully recover from errors has greater impact on performance than improving accuracy.
  5. Mouse emulation by voice is best used as a last resort.

Macro Solutions for Voice-enabling a Java Application

June 2015
RESNA Conference, Denver Colorado

Overview: Alan Cantor described how he provided reliable NaturallySpeaking access to a Java application using Macro Express scripts and Windows Control Panel settings.


Macros to Annotate PDFs by Voice and Keyboard

June 2015
RESNA Conference, Denver Colorado

Overview: Alan Cantor demonstrated macros he created to automate the adding of annotations to PDFs for an employee with upper body mobility restrictions.


Macro to Drag the Mouse by Dwelling on Start and End Positions

June 2015
RESNA Conference, Denver Colorado

Overview: Alan Cantor demonstrated two Macro Express scripts that enable a single-digit typist to drag the mouse by dwelling on the start location, and then either dwelling on the end location, or moving the pointer to the end location and pressing a key on the keyboard.


Laundry Rake for an Employee with Restricted Shoulder Mobility and Strength

June 2015
RESNA Conference, Denver Colorado

Overview: Representing Health & Well-being Programs Services at University of Toronto, Alan Cantor discussed laundry rakes he made for an employee from garden and barbecue implements, vinyl tubes, and Sugru. Cost per rake: $15 - $20.


A Recorder Builder's Odyssey

February 2015
Toronto Early Music Concert

Overview: Alan Cantor described his journey to England to learn to build recorders, and played a Telemann Fantasy for solo flute to demonstrate his scratch-built instrument.


2014

A Recorder Builder's Odyssey

October 2014
Toronto Early Music Fair

Overview: Alan Cantor gave on overview of the instrument's 800-year-long history; described his journey to England to learn to build them; and demonstrated his scratch-built instrument.


2013

A Recorder Builder's Odyssey

November 2013
Nerd Nite Toronto

Overview: Alan Cantor gave on overview of the instrument's 800-year-long history; described his journey to England to learn to build them; and demonstrated his scratch-built instrument.


Pushing the Envelope with NaturallySpeaking

June 2013
RESNA Conference, Bellingham, WA

Overview: Alan Cantor, representing Health & Well-being Programs Services at University of Toronto, taught an in-depth pre-conference course on developing skills to take full advantage of NaturallySpeaking. Workarounds to common problems, and fast "counter-intuitive" ways to perform everyday tasks were demonstrated and discussed. The overall aim was to help users double their throughput with NaturallySpeaking.


Two NaturallySpeaking Techniques for Quickly Opening a Document by Voice

June 2013
RESNA Conference, Bellingham, WA

Overview: Alan Cantor, representing Health & Well-being Programs Services at University of Toronto, demonstrated two techniques for rapidly opening documents by voice. Neither technique involves macros or scripting.


2012

Accommodation at University of Toronto

November 2012
University of Toronto

Overview: Alan Cantor, Health and Well-being Programs & Services, presented a webinar on the University of Toronto's approach to accommodating staff and faculty.


Keyboard Remapping for One- (and Two-) Handed Typists

June 2012
RESNA Conference, Baltimore

Overview: Alan Cantor, representing Health & Well-being Programs Services at University of Toronto, demonstrated how he uses AutoHotkey to improve keyboard access to employees with upper-body mobility disabilities.


Macros, Hotkeys, Keyboard and Mouse Remappings, and other Computer Access Tricks

June 2012
RESNA Conference, Baltimore

Overview: Alan Cantor, representing Health and Well-being Programs & Services at University of Toronto, taught a post-conference course introducing macro scripting techniques.


NaturallySpeaking: the Basics and Beyond

November 2012
University of Toronto

Overview: Alan Cantor taught a 90-minute lunch-and-learn for NaturallySpeaking users at the University of Toronto.


Speech Recognition: Beyond the Basics

June 2012
RESNA Conference, Baltimore

Overview: Ray Grott of San Francisco State University and Alan Cantor of University of Toronto led a 70-minute workshop on improving the experience of speech recognition for people with disabilities.


2011

Computer Access: What People without Disabilities Can Learn from People with Disabilities

February 2011
University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa

Overview: Learn to perform tasks ten times faster — and with a lot less effort — by getting acquainted with the computer access techniques used by people with sensory, mobility, and learning disabilities.

Discover web browsing without a mouse, fast and accurate speech recognition technologies, abbreviation expansion methods, and undocumented commands that are built right into the programs you use everyday.

Through this exploration, you will better understand the vital importance of accessible software — not just for people with disabilities, but for everybody.


Implementing Accommodation Policies and Procedures

December 2011
6th Employer's Duty to Accommodate Course, Toronto

Overview: Alan Cantor of University of Toronto, and Tom Proszowski of Disability Options Consulting, bring together the crucial elements of an accommodation strategy, considering legal requirements, corporate culture, and the needs of changing workforce demographics, to generate a step-by- step implementation plan. Learn how to implement an accommodation strategy that works for your organization.

Who should attend: Managers, human resource executives, corporate and union legal advisors, Human Rights Commission staff, labour relations professionals, labour lawyers, arbitrators and mediators, return-to-work consultants, and occupational health professionals.


Macro Grokking: Efficient and Reliable Interaction with Nonstandard Applications

June 2011
RESNA Conference, Toronto

Alan Cantor demonstrated macro scripting techniques that mimic programmatic access to applications that lack accessibility "hooks."


Speech Recognition: Beyond the Basics

June 2011
RESNA Conference, Toronto

Alan Cantor and Ray Grott led a workshop on speech recognition that focused on maximizing success by people with disabilities.


The Virtual Keyboard Interface: Improving Access to Mouse-Intensive Applications

March 2011
26th International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference, San Diego

Overview: Despite accessibility standards, guidelines, specifications, and regulations for web content and software (e.g., WCAG, Section 508, ISO/TS 1607), many web-based, mainstream, and proprietary applications continue to be awkward, inefficient, or impossible to drive by keyboard.

During this presentation, I describe how third-party macro scripting utilities may be used to "overlay" an inaccessible application with a virtual keyboard interface: a set of keyboard commands, not native to the application, that allows users to control the program by keyboard.

Although memorization is needed to drive an application without a mouse, I illustrate how to design a virtual keyboard interface so that the commands are intuitive, discoverable, and easy to remember. Furthermore, I outline a simple technique for "recycling" the keyboard commands as NaturallySpeaking commands.


2010

Implementing Accommodation Policies and Procedures

December 2010
5th Employer's Duty to Accommodate Course, Toronto

Overview: Alan Cantor brings together the crucial elements of an accommodation strategy, considering legal requirements, corporate culture, and the needs of changing workforce demographics, to generate a step-by-step implementation plan. Learn how to implement an accommodation strategy that works for your organization.

Who should attend: Managers, human resource executives, corporate and union legal advisors, Human Rights Commission staff, labour relations professionals, labour lawyers, arbitrators and mediators, return-to-work consultants, and occupational health professionals.


Super Shortcuts: an Introduction to Software Customization and Macros

October 2010, Toronto

Overview: Learn new ways to accommodate employees with disabilities in computerized workplaces by reducing the physical and mental effort of operating a PC. At the end of this session, you will know how to:

All of these shortcuts are easy to make. No special technical skills are required. The techniques for creating these shortcuts are poorly documented — and in some cases, completely undocumented.

Who should attend: This session is for both non-technical and technical staff, including:


Customizing Microsoft Word: A Primer for Assistive Technologists

October 2010, School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University, Toronto

Learn how to "sculpt" Microsoft Word to better fit an individual's hand and mind.

Topics:


NaturallySpeaking for Writers, Researchers and Journalists

April 2010, Toronto

Discover how to use NaturallySpeaking for "serious" writing projects. Learn commands and techniques that significantly ease the process of drafting, revising, and formatting documents.

Aim: To increase your throughput by 50% when using NaturallySpeaking to research on-line, and compose and edit documents.

Topics:


Optimizing NaturallySpeaking for Accuracy and Reliability

March 2010, Toronto

Learn to improve NaturallySpeaking performance by understanding what happens "under the hood" when you use the program. Many undocumented techniques will be presented.


Electronic Band-Aids: Healing Usability “Boo-Boos” with Macros

March 2010, Toronto

This presentation is based on a paper of the same name.

Today's operating systems and applications fall short of being highly usable, particularly for people with disabilities. After outlining a model for assessing software usability, I demonstrate how keyboard interaction with ribbons is less usable than the menus that the ribbons replace.

Usability problems are not unique to ribbons. Many standard and proprietary applications suffer from a glut of problems that reduce their usability.

In this presentation, I illustrate how I use macros to reduce physical effort, cognitive effort, and the likelihood or consequences of error, while increasing productivity and user satisfaction.


Understanding Web Accessibility

Greg Gay and Alan Cantor moderated several on-line course on Web accessibility. (Greg and Alan developed the course.)

This course helps Web authors develop the skills and understanding to create WCAG 2.0 compliant Web sites.

Learn more about “Understanding Web Accessibility.”


2009

Optimizing NaturallySpeaking for Accuracy and Reliability

November 2009, Toronto

Learn to improve NaturallySpeaking performance by understanding what happens "under the hood" when you use the program. Many undocumented techniques will be presented.


Understanding Web Accessibility

Greg Gay and Alan Cantor moderated an on-line course on Web accessibility three times, beginning 21 September, 12 October, and 9 November. (Greg and Alan developed the course.)

This course helps Web authors develop the skills and understanding to create WCAG 2.0 compliant Web sites.

Learn more about “Understanding Web Accessibility.”


The Five Minute Macro

June 2009, RESNA Conference, New Orleans

During this half-day hands-on session, discover easy software shortcuts that every assistive technologist should know. These shortcuts reduce the physical and cognitive effort of operating a Windows-based computer: Add shortcuts to launch applications, web pages, and documents; produce Word "macros" to insert text, tables, templates, and images by typing words; assign hotkeys to activate any command in Microsoft Office; record custom commands in Word; modify Microsoft Office applications to make any feature available via keyboard, mouse, or voice command; and use Wizards to produce Macro Express scripts.

All shortcuts can be created in under five minutes, and involve no programming.


Dive into NaturallySpeaking Custom Commands

June 2009, RESNA Conference, New Orleans

NaturallySpeaking has thousands of built-in commands. But sometimes these commands are not enough. Custom commands save time, energy, and frustration by automating tasks that are difficult, time-consuming, or impossible to perform with built-in commands.

During this half-day workshop, learn to script voice commands that type text, insert graphics, open applications, manipulate windows, and simulate built-in commands. You will also learn to script "list commands" — a single command that performs dozens (or millions!) of related actions.

Familiarity with NaturallySpeaking is essential. No programming experience is assumed.


Optimizing NaturallySpeaking for Accuracy and Reliability

June 2009, RESNA Conference, New Orleans

Learn to improve NaturallySpeaking performance by understanding what happens "under the hood" when you use the program. Many undocumented techniques will be presented.


A Method for Differentiating Homophonic First Names when Using Speech Recognition Technology

June 2009, SIG 11 Show-and-Tell, RESNA Conference, New Orleans

Despite the accuracy of speech recognition technology, homophonic first names will always be subject to error. During free-form dictation, no amount of context or data will enable the software to reliably determine whether a user means "Katherine," "Kathryn," or "Catherine;" or "Bobby," "Bobbi," or "Bobbie."

To address this difficulty, I demonstrate a mnemonic (memory aid) that makes homophonic names acoustically distinct.


Web Accessibility for Municipalities

June 2009, Ontario Municipal Information Systems Association Conference, Oshawa

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is now in force, and as a result, Ontario municipalities are obligated to provide accessible Web sites. Attend this session to understand:

  1. The meaning of Web accessibility.
  2. How the AODA applies to municipalities.
  3. Web accessibility standards.
  4. The scoop on the new "Information and Communication Standards" and its impact on Ontario municipalities.

Co-presented with Shamir Furtado of Imex Systems.


Optimizing NaturallySpeaking for Accuracy and Reliability

March 2009, CSUN Conference, Los Angeles

Learn to improve NaturallySpeaking performance by understanding what happens "under the hood" when you use the program. Many undocumented techniques will be presented. Overview:

  1. Descriptions of NaturallySpeaking acoustic and language models
  2. A protocol for creating a new user
  3. Techniques for improving accuracy and reliability
  4. Techniques for maintaining peak performance

Jumping Over Virtual Barriers: Web 2.0 and Assistive Technologies

March 2009. Innoversity Summit. Toronto.

During a lively panel discussion moderated by Don Peuramaki, Alan Cantor, Kelly MacDonald of NBRS, and Jutta Triviranus and Charles Silverman of the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the University of Toronto spoke about usability challenges faced by the community of persons with disabilities; assistive technologies; best practices for Web design; current and coming international standards, regulations, and guidelines; and recent developments in captioning and descriptive video technologies.


2008

Speech Recognition Update: Transitioning to NaturallySpeaking 10

November 2008. Toronto.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10, released in August 2008, is a mixed bag. Its accuracy is unprecedented, but several features have troublesome side effects. For example, new commands meant to simplify dictation can cause blocks of text to disappear without warning. During this session, learn to take advantage of NaturallySpeaking while sidestepping its problems.


Boost Productivity with Macros

November 2008. EmployABLE 2008. Toronto.

Learn about software shortcuts that significantly reduce the cognitive and physical effort of operating a computer, including: macros activated by voice, hotkeys, typed words, and mouse; plus automatic, interactive, and "smart" macros.


Adding Keyboard Commands to Non-standard Programs and Web Applications

June 2008. RESNA Conference. Washington DC.

During this hands-on course, learn to use macro software to add keyboard commands to hard-to-access or inaccessible software.


Introduction to Job Accommodation

June 2008. RESNA Conference. Washington DC.

Learn the art and science of job accommodation during this highly-interactive half-day course.


“I Just Want it to Work” — Computer-Based Assistive Technology Training For People with Little Technical Ability or Inclination

June 2008. Educator's Forum. RESNA 2008, Washington DC.

A talk about experiences training people who have little technical ability and inclination to use computer- based assistive technologies.


Two Methods for Triggering Macro Express Scripts with NaturallySpeaking

June 2008. SIG-11 Show-and-Tell. RESNA 2008, Washington DC.

Different methods to activate Macro Express scripts via NaturallySpeaking were tested while voice-enabling a complex application. The application consisted of approximately 30 pages, each page with up to twenty fields and 25 hypertext links. Built-in NaturallySpeaking commands for interacting with form elements did not work reliably or, on many pages, did not work at all due to HTML and JavaScript problems.


An Interactive Macro to Automate the Downloading of Digitized Articles

June 2008. SIG-11 Show-and-Tell. RESNA 2008. Washington DC.

A demonstration of an interactive script to automate downloading of library articles.


Screen Reader Friendly “Find” Commands for Microsoft Word

June 2008. SIG-11 Show-and-Tell. RESNA 2008. Washington DC.

A demonstration of three new "Find" commands for a trial lawyer who is blind developed in Visual Basic For Applications (VBA).


Macros for Repairing Computer Access Problems

June 2008. Collaborative Assistive Technology Conference of the Rockies. Denver.

During this intermediate-level course, learn to script macros to repair inaccessible software. No programming experience necessary.


Macros for Success

June 2008. Collaborative Assistive Technology Conference of the Rockies. Denver.

Discover the world of shortcuts that streamline access to Windows-based PCs for persons with disabilities. Learn about macros that are activated by pressing hotkeys and typing words; customization techniques that will save you time and effort; and software tools that make it a snap to automate repetitive tasks. These easy-to-learn techniques can be implemented in five minutes or less.


Keyboard Access to Windows: Introduction

April 2008. Tech Fair Assistive Technology Conference. Albuquerque.

Learn ways to operate Windows without a mouse during this half-day course. These skills are fundamental for assistive technologists.


The Five-Minute Macro: Easy Shortcuts for People with Disabilities

April 2008. Tech Fair Assistive Technology Conference. Albuquerque.

During this hands-on course for beginners, discover undocumented and poorly documented shortcuts that improve computer access for people with disabilities.


Macros for Repairing Computer Access Problems

April 2008. Tech Fair Assistive Technology Conference. Albuquerque.

During this intermediate-level course, learn to script macros to repair inaccessible software. No programming experience necessary.


Super Shortcuts: Easy Ways to Customize PCs for People with Disabilities

March 2008. CSUN Conference. Los Angeles.

During this half-day pre-conference course, learn how to optimize Windows for people with a range of disabilities.


Voice-enabling a Web Application: Lessons Learned

March 2008. CSUN Conference. Los Angeles.

This paper highlights the trials and tribulations of scripting 300 NaturallySpeaking voice commands for a complex web application.


Escaping the Mousetrap: Keyboard Access to Windows

February 2008. WSIB Ergonomics Week, Toronto.

During this demonstration session, learn the "logic" that underlies keyboard interaction with Windows and Windows-based programs.


2007

Competitive Employment for People with Disabilities: Tips for Job Counsellors

December 2007. Toronto. Mazemaster / Youth@bilities.

Discuss ways to improve counselling practices so that young people with disabilities are successful in competitive employment.


Accommodation Strategies: the Big Picture

November 2007. Symposium on Disability and Employment. Toronto.

Panel discussion with Rick Schobesberger (Transport Canada), Sharon Myatt (Myatt & Associates) and Alan Cantor. Host: Employer Outreach Secretariat, Ministry of Community and Social Services.

What is employment accommodation? What are the 15 ways that people with disabilities are accommodated? What are the stages of an accommodation?


Barriers, Accessibility and Assistive Technologies

September 2007. Showcase Ontario. Toronto.

Gain insight into different kinds of barriers, including physical, architectural, informational, legislative, policy-related, institutional, and attitudinal. Learn strategies for identifying and removing barriers that prevent Ontarians with disabilities from achieving equality. See demonstrations of a speech recognition software system, a screen reader, and other assistive technologies.


Speech Recognition for Broadcasters

July 2007. Women in Film and Television 2007. Toronto.

Speech recognition technology has almost come of age. It is fast, affordable, and in certain circumstances, works remarkably well. But the question remains: what are those circumstances? During this session, discover the potential of speech recognition, and see demonstrations of speech recognition systems. The facilitator has introduced speech recognition systems to many people in the broadcast industry.

This session was presented in partnership with Innoversity.


Super Shortcuts: Easy Ways to Customize PCs for People with Disabilities

June 2007. Collaborative Assistive Technology Conference of the Rockies. Denver.

A full-day preconference course on macros, macro-like techniques, and user interface modifications.


Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Macros (but were Afraid to Ask)

June 2007. Collaborative Assistive Technology Conference of the Rockies. Denver.

A two-hour lecture/demonstration on macros.


Macros for Repairing Computer Access Problems

June 2007. RESNA Conference. Phoenix.

During this hands-on session, learn to script macros that reduce the physical and cognitive effort of running Windows-based programs. Working from case studies and guided exercises, participants will repair everyday access problems experienced by people with a wide range of disabilities. Access problems to be addressed include missing hotkeys, inefficient keyboard navigation, user interface inconsistencies, programming errors, and overly-complex program features.


Text Macros for Choosing Folders

June 2007. SIG-11 Computer Applications Show and Tell. RESNA Conference. Phoenix.

This case study describes a technique for automating the task of changing folders using macros that are activated by typing words and codes. The case study.


Super Shortcuts: PC Customization for People with Disabilities

May 2007. Ontario Association for Physical and Health Disabilities. Toronto.

Learn techniques for streamlining access to Windows-based PCs for persons with disabilities. These shortcuts dramatically reduce the physical and cognitive effort of operating a computer. All of the demonstrated shortcuts can be created in less than five minutes, and require no special PC skills.


Computer-based Assistive Technologies: An Introduction

April 2007. York-Seneca Institute for Mathematics, Science and Technology: Redefining the Possible: Breaking Barriers with Technology.

Discover the exciting world of assistive technologies that individuals with disabilities use to further personal, education and vocational goals. You will see speech recognition systems, alternative keyboards, screen readers, “Smart” macros, and much more.


Creative Approaches to Workplace Accommodation

March 2007. Scarborough Centre for Employment Accessibility. EmployABLE 2007. Scarborough.

Alan facilitated a workshop for employers on practical and creative ways to accommodate young adults (between 18- and 35-years-old) with disabilities.


Introduction to Assistive Technologies

March 2007. Scarborough Centre for Employment Accessibility. EmployABLE 2007. Scarborough.

Alan demonstrated a wide range of assistive technologies, including speech recognition, screen readers, screen enhancements, and macros.


Enhance Accessibility and Usability with “Smart” Macros

March 2007. CSUN Conference, Los Angeles.

Learn about macros with built-in intelligence. “Smart” macros make decisions and take action based on feedback from the user, the computer, or both. These macros dramatically improve accessibility and usability of mainstream and proprietary software.

Smart macro paper.


PDF Accessibility Survey: Progress and Contradictions

March 2007. CSUN Conference, Los Angeles.

In a recent survey, people with disabilities were asked to describe their PDF experiences. The conclusion: Although PDF may be technically accessible, reliable access remains elusive. Discover the barriers that remain, and what can be done to minimize them.

Executive summary of PDF survey.


Accommodating People with RSIs in Computer-Intense Jobs

February 2007. International RSI Awareness Day, Toronto.

What contributes to success — and to failure — when employees are returning to work after developing computer-induced injuries? Alan Cantor, who has been accommodating employees with RSIs for 15 years, shared his perspectives.


Escaping the Mousetrap: Driving Windows from the Keyboard

January 2007. Scarborough Centre for Employment Accessibility.

During this half-day hands-on session, learn to drive Windows by keyboard alone — without a mouse, pointing device or MouseKeys! The skills you will learn are indispensable for individuals who are blind, have low-vision, operate PCs with a finger, toe, head-pointer or mouth-stick, have mouse-induced repetitive strain injuries, and have certain learning disabilities. As a bonus, using the keyboard is significantly faster and more accurate than pointing-and-clicking.


2006

Technologies for People with Disabilities in the Film and Television Industries

October 2006. Innoversity Summit: Media Access and Participation (MAP) Initiative. Toronto.

What are the unique barriers to people with disabilities in the film and television industries? During this session, we will discuss this question, and brainstorm industry-specific solutions.


The State of PDF Accessibility Today

September 2006. Showcase Ontario. Toronto.

In this session, the accessibility of PDF for persons with disabilities is reviewed. Topics covered:


The Five-Minute Macro: Easy Shortcuts for Assistive Technologists

July 2006. Manhattan.

Alan Cantor facilitated an all-day, hands-on session for New York City Department of Education rehabilitation professionals on macros and other software shortcuts.


“Intelligent” Macros that Reduce the Cognitive Effort of Operating a Computer

June 2006. SIG-11 (Computer Applications) Show-and-Tell at the RESNA Conference in Atlanta.

Macros that automate repetitive tasks reduce the physical effort of running a personal computer. During this presentation, I demonstrate macros that also lessen the cognitive effort of learning and operating software.

Presentation notes on macros that reduce cognitive effort.


Introduction to Job Accommodation

June 2006. Preconference workshop at the RESNA Conference in Atlanta.

This workshop introduces an approach to accommodation planning that enhances the productivity, comfort and safety of employees (and students) with disabilities, while respecting their privacy, autonomy and dignity. Through presentations, discussions, brainstorming and case-study exercises, participants will: understand key concepts about employment accommodation as they relate to people with disabilities; know the reasons for and the consequences of improperly planned accommodations; learn a general approach to workplace accommodation planning; and apply this approach to cases of employees and students with disabilities who need accommodation.


Case Study: Keyboard Training and Hotkey Macros Quadruple Productivity

March 2006. General session at the CSUN Conference in Los Angeles.

This case study describes how training on keyboard access to Windows and hotkey macros enabled an employee with a disability to perform a complex task four times faster by keyboard than when using a combination of a keyboard, a mouse, and MouseKeys. She was able to complete a task that had previously taken over an hour in 16 minutes, and without aggravating a previous mouse-induced repetitive strain injury. Read the case study.


2005

Wormholes through Windows: Enhancing the Usability and Accessibility of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office

5, 12, 19 and 26 October 2005. Four-part on-line course produced by EASI.

Discover ways to operate your Windows-based PC faster, more accurately, and with less energy. During this four-part interactive course, you will customize your PC, experiment with built-in commands, and try out unconventional techniques. By the end of the course, you will be using your PC faster and with less effort than you ever imagined possible.

Modern software is malleable; it can be molded to fit your hands and working style. During this course, you will tailor Windows and Office to fit you. Modern software features built-in commands that can significantly increase productivity, yet many of these "tricks" are poorly documented or undocumented. Let Alan Cantor be your guide to the techniques and features that will help you become a more efficient and effective PC user.

This series will benefit people with all kinds of disabilities, plus teachers, seniors, assistive technologists, rehabilitation professionals, and IT professionals. The course will also interest individuals without disabilities who struggle with awkward laptop keyboards and pointing devices, who operate PCs in noisy or otherwise distracting environments, or who want to use software more quickly and directly.


Keyboard Access to Windows: Advanced

June 2005. RESNA Conference. Atlanta, Georgia.

The ability to use Windows without a mouse is an essential skill for assistive technologists. Keyboard techniques are indispensable for individuals who have visual impairments; operate computers with a finger, toe, head-pointer, or mouth-stick; have mouse-induced RSIs; and have certain LDs.

This course takes participants beyond the basics to introduce intuitive — and counterintuitive — techniques that enable keyboard users with disabilities to operate a PC more quickly, accurately and with less energy expenditure. Topics include customizing the appearance and functioning of Windows to improve its keyboard interface; creating global hotkeys; and modifying applications to enhance keyboard access.


Introduction to Macro Express

June 2005. RESNA Conference. Atlanta, Georgia.

Running Windows without macro software is like cycling in the mountains — on a one-speed bicycle. Macros reduce the physical and mental effort needed to operate a PC while multiplying speed and increasing efficiency.

Learn to tap the power of Macro Express to create software solutions for people with disabilities, including macros triggered by hotkeys, typed text, mouse clicks, pop-up menus, and events. You will also make workarounds for accessibility problems in mainstream products. No programming experience is needed.

You will leave the workshop with a collection of functioning macros, and the skills to develop new ones.


Case Study: Keyboard Training and Hotkey Macros for an Operational Support Person with Cerebral Palsy in a “Paperless” Office

June 2005. Job Accommodation and Computer Applications Show-and-Tell. RESNA Conference. Atlanta, Georgia.

The productivity of an employee with cerebral palsy quadrupled after she was taught how to perform tasks by keyboard instead of a mouse, and provided with 17 macros.


Soaring to New Heights or Going Down In Flames: The Promises and Perils of High-Tech Assistive Technologies

June 2005. 8th Annual Assistive Technology Summer Institute. Litchfield Park, Arizona.

Assistive technologies afford people with disabilities opportunities to independently pursue vocational, educational and personal goals. This presentation highlights both the promises and perils of computer-based assistive technologies (including health and safety risks associated with their use); recommends strategies for minimizing the risks; and argues for a more comprehensive approach to accommodation planning.


Discover Creative Approaches to Accommodating Employees with Disabilities

May 2005. Alan Cantor was the guest speaker at an HRPA Dinner Series event. Sheraton Centre Hotel, Toronto. Topics:


Dimensions of Usability: Toward a Rational GUI Keyboard Interface

March 2005. CSUN 2005. Los Angeles.

The Windows keyboard interface is fairly accessible, but not particularly usable. I will discuss and demonstrate features of a truly functional keyboard interface for a hypothetical Windows-like GUI. This GUI greatly streamlines keyboard interactions while simultaneously improving mouse interactions.

Dimensions of Usability: the paper.


Radical Software Surgery: Case Studies In Advanced Customization

March 2005. CSUN 2005. Los Angeles.

Commercial applications are rarely as accessible or usable as they could be. People with disabilities regularly encounter software tasks that they cannot perform, or can perform only with great difficulty. I describe four customization techniques that improve Windows accessibility and usability: modifying the user interface; recording commands; developing Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) procedures; and scripting macros. I draw on case studies to illustrate how these techniques produce accessibility and usability enhancements that can be achieved in no other way.

Radical Software Surgery: the paper.


Gears for your PC: More Speed and Less Sweat with Macros

17 February and 3 March 2005. Alan Cantor presented two web-casts on macro techniques, hosted by EASI. He described a wide range of macro techniques for Windows-based PCs, many of which are undocumented or poorly documented.


2004

Keyboard-only Access to Windows: Advanced

October 2004. 2.5 hour hands-on class on keyboard-only access at Closing the Gap. Minneapolis.

The ability to use Windows without a mouse is an essential skill for assistive technologists. Keyboard-only techniques are indispensable for individuals who are blind; who have low-vision; who operate computers with one finger, toe, or stump; who use head-pointers, mouth-sticks or similar appliances; who have mouse- induced repetitive strain injuries; and who have certain learning and cognitive disabilities.

The audience for this course is individuals who have prior knowledge of how to operate Windows without a mouse. In this hands-on session, participants will learn intuitive — and counterintuitive — techniques to enable keyboard-only for only users to work more quickly, accurately and with less energy expenditure. Topics include customizing Windows to improve keyboard-only access; creating global hotkeys; and modifying applications to enhance keyboard-only access. By the end of the this course, participants will understand the untapped potential of keyboard-only interface, and be better equipped to teach people with disabilities to operate a Windows-based PC without a mouse, pointing device, or MouseKeys.


Creating Accessibility Enhancements for Microsoft Word

August 2004. Manhattan.

Alan Cantor facilitated an all-day, hands-on session for New York City Department of Education rehabilitation professionals on techniques for improving the accessibility and usability of Microsoft Word. These techniques include: built-in commands, the macro recorder, UI modifications, AutoCorrect, and Visual Basic.


Introduction to Job Accommodation

June 2004. Half-day pre-conference course, RESNA Conference.

The goal of this workshop is to introduce participants to an approach to accommodation planning that enhances the productivity, comfort and safety of employees (and students) with disabilities, while respecting their privacy, autonomy and dignity. Through presentations, discussions, brainstorming and simulation exercises, participants will: understand key concepts about employment accommodation as they relate to people with disabilities; know the reasons for and the consequences of improperly planned accommodations; learn a general approach to workplace accommodation planning; and apply this approach to cases of employees with disabilities who need accommodation.


Creating Accessibility Enhancements in Word

June 2004. Full-day, hands-on, pre-conference course at RESNA 2004, Orlando.

Learn poorly-documented techniques for creating accessibility enhancements to Microsoft Word (and by extension, to other Office products) by using built-in commands, user interface customizations, macros, and Visual Basic. During this course, you will tap the power of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). VBA gives access to the inner-workings of all Office applications. VBA allows you to do things programmatically rather than through the user interface, and is an ideal environment for creating accessibility and usability enhancements for people with disabilities. No prior programming experience is assumed.


Tips, Tricks, and Juicy Tidbits: Getting the Most Out of Speech Recognition

June 2004. Ray Grott, Kirk Sviqeland, and Alan Cantor presented an advanced workshop on speech recognition at the RESNA Conference in Orlando.


Enhancing the Accessibility and Usability Of Microsoft Office Applications Using Visual Basic

March 2004. CSUN 2004. Los Angeles.

Learn how "Visual Basic for Applications," the programming environment built into Microsoft Office, is used to create custom commands, improve accessibility, and enhance usability.

Conference paper on VBA at CSUN 2004.


Breaking Barriers: Accommodating People with Disabilities

March 2004. Toronto District School Board workshop, at the Geneva Centre, Toronto.

Alan Cantor presented on physical and attitudinal barriers that young people with disabilities face in the workplace.


2003

Understanding Accessibility Laws and Their Effects on the Development and Design of your Web Site

December 2003. Mary-Jo Monk, Senior Policy Advisor, the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, and Alan Cantor presented at Web Site Usability & Accessibility for Government. Ottawa.

The Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) (2001) was created to improve the identification, removal and prevention of barriers faced by persons with disabilities and to make related amendments to other Acts. This act outlines that the Government of Ontario shall provide its Internet sites in a format that is accessible to persons with disabilities, unless it is not technically feasible to do so. This session will discuss the importance of the Act and its effect of your Web site. Topics:

  1. Understanding the impact of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act on your Web site
  2. Incorporating the Act into your Web site design, development and evaluation process
  3. Best accessibility practices regarding government Web sites

In February 2004, an article by Scott Foster about this presentation appeared in itbusiness.ca.


Improving Access to Windows Using Macro Software

November 2003. Alan Cantor facilitated a half-day, hands-on workshop, at the 6th Accessing Higher Ground: Assistive Technology and Accessible Media in Higher Education. Boulder, Colorado.

Macro software allows users with (and without) disabilities to operate Windows-based PCs with greater speed and less energy expenditure than is possible using "standard" techniques. During this hands-on workshop, participants will (1) learn many ways that people with disabilities can benefit from macro software, and (2) create a variety of macros that enable users with disabilities to operate a computer faster, easier, and more efficiently.


How to Code Accessible HTML Data Tables

November 2003. Alan Cantor described and demonstrated proven techniques for coding accessible HTML data tables at the 6th Accessing Higher Ground: Assistive Technology and Accessible Media in Higher Education. Boulder, Colorado,

Learn proven ways to improve the accessibility of HTML data tables. Topics include: Access issues for people with different disabilities; simple vs. complex tables; techniques for all data tables; techniques for simple tables; techniques for complex tables; testing tables for accessibility; and techniques for remediating data tables.


Keyboard-only Access to Windows: Introduction

November 2003. Alan Cantor facilitated this half-day, hands-on workshop at the 6th Accessing Higher Ground: Assistive Technology and Accessible Media in Higher Education. Boulder, Colorado.

This session introduces concepts and techniques for operating Windows by keyboard alone, i.e., without using a mouse, pointing device or MouseKeys. Topics include: fundamental principles of keyboard-only access; universal keyboard commands; file management; and special considerations for using keyboard-only techniques with MS-Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer.


Rethinking Disability: Barriers, Accessibility, and Accommodation

September 2003. Alan Cantor facilitated a three-hour workshop for staff at the Shaver Hospital (part of the Niagara Health System) in St. Catharines, Ontario. Topics included:


Approaches to Coding Accessible HTML Data Tables

September 2003. Alan Cantor described techniques for coding accessible HTML data tables — and his experience communicating these techniques to web developers — at the W3C WCAG Techniques Task Force Face-to-Face Meeting, Toronto.


Playing Around: Games for Grown-ups

Alan Cantor facilitated his eighth games workshop at the 30th Blue Skies Music Festival, Clarendon, Ontario, August 2003.

Magoo poses with three muscle-flexing, mud-coated  
children.

Magoo, Master of Ceremonies for the Blue Skies Festival, poses with friends

During this workshop for adults, we play uproarious games that tease the intellect, energize the body, and spark creativity. The curriculum consists of ice breakers, informal dramatics, and word and action games.

Alan's workshop included a smorgasbord of old favourites (e.g., "Mime Rhyme," "Music Magic," and "Clothespin Tag") plus a delectable assortment of new games.

Prerequisites: Playfulness 101 (or equivalent) and a proven aptitude for giggling.


ADAPTABLE: a Creative, Practical and Inclusive Approach to Workplace Accommodation Planning

June 2003. Half-day pre-conference course at RESNA Conference. Atlanta.

This workshop introduces an approach to accommodation planning that enhances the productivity, comfort and safety of employees (and students) with disabilities, while respecting their privacy, autonomy and dignity. Through presentations, discussions, brainstorming and simulation exercises, participants will: understand key concepts about employment accommodation as they relate to people with disabilities; know the consequences of improperly planned accommodations; learn ADAPTABLE, a general approach to workplace accommodation planning; and apply the ADAPTABLE approach to cases of employees with disabilities who need accommodation.


Keyboard-only Access to Windows: Advanced

June 2003. RESNA Conference. Atlanta.

Discover intuitive — and counterintuitive — techniques to enable keyboard-only users to work more quickly, accurately and with less energy expenditure. Topics include customizing Windows to improve keyboard-only access; creating global hotkeys; and modifying applications to enhance keyboard-only access.


Improving Access to Windows Using Macro Software

June 2003. RESNA Conference. Atlanta.

Macro software allows users with (and without) disabilities to enter text and operate a Windows-based PC with greater speed and less energy expenditure than is possible using "standard" techniques. During this hands-on workshop, participants will (1) learn many ways that people with disabilities can benefit from macro software, and (2) create a variety of macros that enable users with disabilities to operate a computer faster, easier, and more efficiently.


Coding Practices and Accessibility Testing Techniques for HTML Data Tables

June 2003. SIG-11 Show-and-Tell. RESNA Conference. Atlanta.

A summary on how to code accessible HTML data tables. Topics:

Accommodating Volunteers with Disabilities

May 2003. Alan Cantor was a panelist in the "Involving and Accommodating Volunteers with Disabilities" forum at the Volunteer Centre of Toronto in Scarborough, Ontario.


Macro Techniques: Wormholes Through Windows

March 2003. CSUN 2003. Los Angeles.

Learn how macro software and macro-like features enable users with disabilities to operate Windows- based PCs with greater speed, ease, and efficiency. The presenter will demonstrate macro writing techniques using suggestions from the audience.

Macro Techniques: Wormholes Through Windows: the paper.


2002

Making the Most of Speech Recognition

December 2002. National Ergonomics Conference and Exhibition. Las Vegas.

What kind of impact can speech recognition have on your existing ergonomics program? Although not yet a mature technology, speech recognition has great potential as a partial (or total) replacement for the keyboard and mouse. Nevertheless, many individuals who switch to speech input use it inefficiently, give up on it altogether, and may even develop permanent vocal injuries. You will learn about how common shortfalls in planning and implementation, and unrealistic expectations about the technology's capabilities, contribute to these risks.


Introduction to Keyboard-only Access to Windows

November 2002. Accessing Higher Ground: Assistive Technology in Higher Education. Boulder Colorado.

This half-day, hands-on session introduces concepts and techniques for operating Windows by keyboard alone, i.e., without using a mouse, pointing device or MouseKeys. Topics include: fundamental principles of keyboard-only access; universal keyboard commands; file management; and special considerations for using keyboard-only techniques with Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer.


Speech Recognition: An Accommodation Planning Perspective

November 2002. Accessing Higher Ground: Assistive Technology in Higher Education. Boulder Colorado.

This session describes an 11-stage planning model that increases the likelihood that students will benefit from speech recognition software; and reviews common misconceptions that prevents them from achieving success with the technology.


Keyboard Virtuosity: Customizing Windows for Mouse-Free Operation

November 2002. Accessing Higher Ground: Assistive Technology in Higher Education. Boulder Colorado.

The default settings for Windows (and most Windows applications) are not conducive to mouse-free operation. On the contrary, standard installations often feature objects that are hard (or impossible) to access by keyboard alone. During this session, I will describe and demonstrate dozens of ways to modify the appearance and operation of Windows and Windows applications to enhance keyboard-only access. Many of these techniques are undocumented or poorly documented.


Playing Around: Games for Grown-ups

August 2002. Blue Skies Music Festival. Clarendon, Ontario.

During this workshop for adults, we play uproarious games that tease the intellect, energize the body, and spark creativity. The curriculum consists of ice breakers, informal dramatics, and word and action games such as "Music Magic", "Mime Rhyme "and "Clothespin Tag".

Prerequisites: Playfulness 101 (or equivalent) and a proven aptitude for giggling.


Keyboard-only Access To Windows — Fundamentals

June 2002. In this pre-conference session at the RESNA Conference, in Minneapolis, learn concepts and discover techniques for operating Windows by keyboard alone, i.e., without using a mouse, pointing device or MouseKeys. Topics include: fundamental principles of keyboard-only access; universal keyboard commands; file management; and special considerations for using keyboard-only techniques with MS-Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer.


Improving Access to Windows Using Macro Software

June 2002. In the second of two pre-conference sessions at the RESNA Conference, learn to use macro software. Macro software allows users with (and without) disabilities to enter text and operate a Windows-based PC with greater speed and less energy expenditure than would be possible using "standard" techniques. During this hands-on workshop, participants will (1) learn many ways that people with disabilities can benefit from macro software, and (2) create a variety of macros that enable users with disabilities to operate a computer faster, easier, and more efficiently.


Keyboard-only Access to Windows: Fundamentals

March 2002. Alan Cantor facilitated the first of two half-day preconference workshops at CSUN 2002 in Los Angeles. The "Fundamentals" course is a hands-on session that introduces concepts and techniques for operating Windows by keyboard alone, i.e., without using a mouse, pointing device or MouseKeys. Topics include: fundamental principles of keyboard-only access; universal keyboard commands; file management; and special considerations for using keyboard-only techniques with MS-Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer.


Keyboard-only Access to Windows: Advanced

March 2002. Alan Cantor facilitated the second of two half-day preconference workshops at CSUN 2002 in Los Angeles. The "Advanced" session built on the "Fundamentals" course to teach intuitive and counterintuitive techniques to enable keyboard-only users to work more quickly, accurately and with less energy expenditure. Topics include customizing Windows to improve keyboard-only access; creating global keyboard shortcuts; using macro software; and modifying applications to enhance keyboard-only access.


2001

The Vocational Expert Model and Employment Accommodations

November 2001. Half-day workshop at the Fall 2001 Conference of the Canadian Association of Rehabilitation Professionals, Ontario in Ottawa.

  1. You will learn ADAPTABLE, a general approach to accommodation planning.
  2. You will understand how to prevent secondary conditions that may result from the use of assistive technologies.
  3. You will apply the ADAPTABLE approach to cases of employees with disabilities who need accommodations.
  4. You will know factors that contribute to the success and failure of the accommodation process.

ADAPTABLE: a Creative, Practical and Inclusive Approach to Workplace Accommodation Planning

October 2001. Half-day workshop for the Federal Public Service Job Accommodation Network, Treasury Board Secretariat, Ottawa.


Customizing Windows to Enhance Usability for Older Users

September 2001. A hands-on, 90-minute workshop at the "International Conference on Technology and Aging" in Toronto.

The default settings for Windows and many Windows applications complicate access for older users. During this session, I demonstrate dozens of ways to modify the appearance and operation of Windows and Windows applications that enhance accessibility and usability for older users. Many of these techniques are undocumented or poorly documented. Instructional strategies when teaching computer skills to novice users in their 60s, 70s and beyond in light of the functional limitations common to this population are also discussed.


Playing Around: Games for Grown-ups

August 2001. A workshop for adults at the 28th Annual Blue Skies Music Festival, in Clarendon, Ontario

During this workshop, we play uproarious games that tease the intellect, energize the body, and spark creativity. The curriculum consists of ice breakers, informal dramatics, and word and action games such as Music Magic, Mime Rhyme and Polite Conversation.

Prerequisites: Playfulness 101 (or equivalent) and a proven aptitude for giggling.


Improving Computer Access Through Keyboard Shortcuts — Advanced

June 2001. Pre-conference course at the annual RESNA Conference, Reno, Nevada.

This hands-on session builds on the basic course on keyboard-only access to Windows (taught at RESNA 1998, 1999, and 2000) to introduce intuitive and counterintuitive techniques to enable keyboard-only users to work more quickly, accurately and with less energy expenditure. Topics include customizing Windows to improve keyboard-only access; creating global keyboard shortcuts; using macro software; and modifying applications to enhance keyboard-only access.


Beyond Ergonomics: Strategies for Preventing and Accommodating Computer Overuse Injuries

June 2001. Alan Cantor presented this session at "Inclusion by Design — Planning the Barrier- free World." This international congress was hosted by the Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work, Montréal.

Learn an approach to preventing and accommodating computer-induced repetitive strain injuries. Crucial to the approach is the idea that four distinct factors contribute to the development of RSIs must be considered: the ergonomics of the individual's work station, their work habits, their working conditions, and their activities outside work.


ADAPTABLE: A creative, Practical and Inclusive Approach to Accommodating People in the Workplace

June 2001. This presentation at "Inclusion by Design — Planning the Barrier-free World" describes a proven approach to accommodation planning that enhances the productivity, comfort and safety of employees with disabilities — without compromising the privacy, autonomy and dignity of the individual.


Keyboard Virtuosity: Customizing Windows for Mouse-Free Operation

March 2001, CSUN Conference, Los Angeles

"This is a special two-hour session based on a chapter in the presenter's forthcoming book on how to operate Windows without a mouse."

When Windows and Windows applications are installed, most default schemes and settings are not, in general, conducive to mouse-free operation. On the contrary, standard installations often feature objects that are hard (or impossible) to access by keyboard alone. This session describes dozens of ways to modify the appearance and operation of Windows and Windows applications to improve keyboard-only access. Many of these techniques are undocumented or poorly documented.


Speech Recognition: An Accommodation Planning Perspective

March 2001, CSUN Conference, Los Angeles

Speech recognition has almost come of age. Although not yet a mature technology, voice input has great potential as an alternative to using a keyboard and mouse, both for people with and without disabilities. Yet many individuals who switch to speech input do not become proficient users. Instead, they use the software in limited or inefficient ways, or "give up" on it altogether.

This presentation describes ways to enhance the effectiveness of speech recognition as a workplace and educational accommodation. The first part details an accommodation planning model that attempts to circumvent implementation problems by identifying critical stages during which things can go awry. The second part examines common misconceptions about the nature of voice input technology, how it works, and how to best use it. Addressing these assumptions can help lessen disappointment when the technology proves to be more complicated than expected, or does not perform as imagined.

Speech Recognition: an Accommodation Planning Perspective: the paper.


2000

Old Games for the New Millennium

August 2000. This was the fifth year that Alan presented a games workshop at the Blue Skies Music Festival, Clarendon, Ontario.

During this workshop for grown-ups, we play traditional games that tease the intellect, energize the body, and spark creativity. The curriculum consists of ice breakers, informal dramatics, word games, and action games such as "Music Magic, Mime Rhyme" and "Oh no no no!"


ADAPTABLE: a Creative and Practical Approach to Workplace Accommodation Planning

June 2000. Pre-conference course at RESNA Conference.

The aim of this half-day workshop is to introduce participants to an approach to accommodation planning that enhances the productivity, comfort and safety of employees (and students) with disabilities, while respecting their privacy, autonomy and dignity.


Improving Computer Access and Use Through Keyboard Shortcuts

June 2000. Pre-conference course at RESNA Conference.

This half-day, hands-on session introduces concepts and techniques for operating Windows by keyboard alone, i.e., without using a mouse, pointing device or MouseKeys. Keyboard-only techniques are indispensable for individuals who are blind; who operate computers with one finger, toe, or stump; who use head-sticks, mouth-sticks or similar appliances; or who have mouse-induced repetitive strain injuries. Topics include: fundamental principles of keyboard-only access; universal keyboard commands; global shortcuts; file management; and special considerations for using keyboard-only techniques with MS-Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer. Problem-solving strategies are demonstrated, and the advantages and limitations of keyboard-only techniques are discussed.


Roundtable on Improving Accessibility and Usability of Information Technology

May 2000. Alan Cantor facilitated a roundtable discussion at the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Conference, Victoria College, University of Toronto. Guiding questions:

  1. What needs to happen to ensure that the next generation of technology is fully accessible to people who are blind?
  2. How should we position ourselves to influence manufacturers to achieve our goal?

Through the Wormhole: Exotic Computer Shortcuts for People with Disabilities

March 2000. Alan Cantor presented at CSUN 2000. Los Angeles.

Poorly-documented Windows shortcuts that enhance access for people with disabilities are presented, including keyboard-only strategies, hotkey and macro software, software customization techniques, and voice recognition tricks.

Through the Wormhole: the paper.


Beyond Ergonomics: Strategies for Accommodating Computer Overuse Injuries

February 2000. Alan Cantor was an invited speaker at "International RSI Awareness Day" in Toronto. In his talk, he addressed three questions:

  1. Why do attempts to accommodate computer-induced RSIs often fail?
  2. What are the limitations of the ergonomic approach to accommodating computer-induced RSIs?
  3. What RSI accommodation strategies are effective?

1999

Demonstration of Alternative Access Techniques

Alan Cantor demonstrated alternative access techniques that he teaches to people with disabilities at the Adaptive Technology Showcase, University of Toronto, 18 November 1999.


RSI Prevention Workshops for Graduate Students

28 and 30 September 1999. Alan Cantor presented three 90-minute seminars on computer injury prevention for graduate students at York University.


Beyond Ergonomics: Strategies for Preventing and Accommodating Computer Overuse Injuries

September 1999. Alan Cantor presented a 90-minute session on RSI prevention and accommodation for the Enabling Resource Centre for People with Disabilities, Public Service Commission, Ottawa.


Look Ma, No mouse! Keyboard-only Access to Windows

June 1999. Alan Cantor facilitated a half-day pre-conference course at RESNA 1999. Long Beach, California.

This hands-on session introduces concepts and techniques for operating Windows by keyboard alone, i.e., without using a mouse, pointing device or MouseKeys. Keyboard-only techniques are indispensable for individuals who are blind; who operate computers with one finger, toe, or stump; who use head-sticks, mouth-sticks or similar appliances; or who have mouse-induced repetitive strain injuries. Topics include: fundamental principles of keyboard-only access; differences in keyboard access between Windows 95, 98 and NT; universal keyboard commands; global shortcuts; file management; and special considerations for using keyboard-only techniques with MS-Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer. Problem-solving strategies are demonstrated, and the advantages and limitations of keyboard-only techniques are discussed.


Enhancing Word 97 Accessibility with Built-in Commands, Macros & Visual Basic Procedures

June 1999. Alan Cantor facilitated a full-day workshop on customizing Word for people with disabilities at RESNA 1999.

This workshop introduces techniques for creating accessibility enhancements for MS-Word by using built- in commands, customizing the user interface, and writing Visual Basic procedures.

Visual Basic is a programming language that gives access to the inner-workings of all Office applications. It allows you to do anything programmatically that is normally done manually through the user interface. Because Visual Basic is integrated into all Office applications, it is an ideal environment for creating features for people with disabilities.

Prerequisites: Visual Basic is easy to learn. However, an elementary understanding of computer programming is assumed, as is excellent knowledge of Word.


Demonstration of Two Unique Keyboard-only Techniques

June 1999. Alan Cantor demonstrated two different ways to use the keyboard to facilitate computer access for people with disabilities, RESNA 1999 in Long Beach, California, SIG 11 Show-and-Tell.


Speech Recognition as an Educational Accommodation: Benefits and Limitations

June 1999. Alan Cantor presented a workshop on voice recognition technology for a group of university service providers from across Ontario, in Windsor.


Tricks for Keyboard-only Access to Windows

June 1999. Alan Cantor facilitated a one-hour workshop on essential keyboard-only techniques on at Frontier Computing in Toronto.

Learn poorly-documented techniques for operating Windows by keyboard alone, i.e., without using a mouse, pointing device or MouseKeys. Keyboard-only techniques are indispensable for individuals who are blind; who have low-vision; who have certain learning disabilities; who operate computers with one finger, toe, or stump; who use head-sticks, mouth-sticks or similar appliances; or who have mouse-induced repetitive strain injuries. Topics:

  1. Indispensable keyboard commands and techniques.
  2. How to create one-key shortcuts for launching applications and opening folders and files.
  3. Special keyboard-only techniques for Microsoft Word.
  4. Get answers to your questions about Windows' keyboard-only interface.

Demonstration of Assistive Technologies

May 1999. Alan Cantor demonstrated a voice recognition system, keyboard-only techniques, and alternative keyboards and pointing devices at a Town Hall Meeting on disability issues organized by Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Member of Parliament, and Industry Canada, Toronto.


Escaping the Mouse-Trap: an Evaluation of the Accessibility and Usability of the Keyboard-only Interface to Windows

May 1999. Alan Cantor presented on Developers Day at the 8th International World Wide Web Conference, Toronto.

This paper evaluates the accessibility and usability of keyboard-only access to Windows 95, 98 and NT. I identify the people who need a good keyboard interface; highlight barriers they encounter when using Windows without a mouse; recommend ways to improve the keyboard interface; and establish design principles that developers can apply to ensure that applications are as accessible by keyboard as by mouse.

Escaping the mouse-trap: the paper.


Beyond Ergonomics: Strategies for Accommodating Computer Overuse Injuries

March 1999. Alan Cantor presented at CSUN 1999 in Los Angeles.

An approach to accommodating people with RSI is presented. This approach considers ergonomics, plus the individual's work habits, working conditions, and activities outside work.


ADAPTABLE: A Creative and Practical Approach to Accommodating People with Disabilities

February 1999. Alan Cantor facilitated a workshop for members of C.A.R.P. Ontario Inc., (Canadian Association of Rehabilitation Professionals), North York, Ontario.

Learn an approach to accommodation planning that enhances the productivity, comfort and safety of employees with disabilities - without compromising the privacy, autonomy and dignity of the individual.


What's your RSIQ? Computer Injury Prevention for Journalists and Broadcasters

January 1999. Alan Cantor conducted a workshop on computer injury prevention geared to the needs of journalists and broadcasters. Hosted by the Canadian Media Guild at the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Commission) Broadcast Centre, Toronto.


1998

What Every Computer Professional Needs to Know about Repetitive Strain Injuries

December 1998. Alan Cantor was the opening speaker at a full-day workshop on RSI at the IBM Centre for Advanced Studies Conference, sponsored by IBM and National Research Centre of Canada.

Misconceptions about computer-induced repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) abound. Many people believe, for example, that carpal tunnel syndrome is the most prevalent computer injury; that using "ergonomic" office equipment safeguards against RSI; and that fast and accurate voice recognition technology will solve the RSI problem.

The aim of this presentation is to correct common misconceptions and to provide fundamental information about RSI. You will learn:


Breaking Barriers: New Approaches to Accommodating Employees with Disabilities

November 1998. Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA).

In January 1998, changes to the Workers' Compensation Act increased the onus on employers to return injured workers to the workplace and accommodate their disabilities. Requirements already exist under other legislation such as the Human Rights Code to accommodate disabled employees. In addition to these legislative pressures, increasing numbers of motivated, highly-skilled persons with disabilities are entering the work force. Employers who have hired them report that they are particularly productive employees whose enthusiasm for the job is infectious to others.

This workshop presents a creative and practical approach to workplace accommodation planning. This approach enhances the productivity, comfort and safety of employees with disabilities.


Playing Around: Games for Grown-ups

August 1998. Alan Cantor facilitated a two-hour games workshop at the 25th Annual Blue Skies Music Festival, Clarendon, Ontario.

During this workshop for adults we play uproarious games that tease the intellect, energize the body, and spark creativity. The curriculum consists of ice breakers, informal dramatics, and word and action games such as Music Magic, Mime Rhyme and Polite Conversation.


Look Ma, No Mouse: a Workshop on Keyboard-Only Access to Windows 95

June 1998, RESNA 1998, Minneapolis.

This hands-on session introduces concepts and techniques for operating Windows by keyboard alone, i.e., without using a mouse, pointing device or MouseKeys. Keyboard-only techniques are indispensable for individuals who are blind; who operate computers with one finger, toe, or stump; who use head-sticks, mouth-sticks or similar appliances; or who have mouse-induced repetitive strain injuries. Topics include: fundamental principles of keyboard-only access; universal keyboard commands; global shortcuts; file management; and special considerations for using keyboard-only techniques with MS-Word, Excel, and Internet Explorer. Problem-solving strategies are demonstrated, and the advantages and limitations of keyboard-only techniques are discussed.


ADAPTABLE: a Creative and Practical Approach To Workplace Accommodation Planning

June 1998, RESNA 1998, Minneapolis.

This workshop introduces an approach to accommodation planning that enhances the productivity, comfort and safety of employees (and students) with disabilities, while respecting their privacy, autonomy and dignity. Through presentations, discussions, brainstorming and simulation exercises, participants will

  1. Understand key concepts about employment accommodation as they relate to people with disabilities.
  2. Learn ADAPTABLE, a general approach to workplace accommodation planning.
  3. Apply the ADAPTABLE approach to cases of employees with disabilities who need accommodation.

Avoiding the Mouse-Trap: an Evaluation of Keyboard-only Access to Windows

March 1998. CSUN 1998.

This presentation discusses the usability of Windows' keyboard-only interface; establishes requirements for Windows-compatible expanded keyboards; and highlights barriers faced by anyone who demands keyboard-only access to Windows.


Disability in the Workplace: Successful Accommodation Planning

January 1998. Alan Cantor led a workshop at "NATCON 1998" hosted by the National Consultation on Career Development / Colloque national touchant le développement de carrière, Government Conference Centre, Ottawa.

The aim of this presentation is to introduce participants to the principles of accommodation planning and implementation. ADAPTABLE is a practical and creative approach to accommodating employees (and students) with disabilities. Topics include: accommodation basics; the legal duty to accommodate; the costs and benefits of accommodating; the reasons that accommodations sometimes fail; the ingredients of successful accommodations; a seven-stage model of accommodation planning; and twelve accommodation strategies. Audience: professionals in human resources, occupational health and safety, disability management, health care, and education; people with disabilities; and labour and union representatives.


1997

ADAPTABLE: a Practical and Creative Approach to Accommodating Employees and Students with Disabilities

October 1997. Alan Cantor facilitated a well-attended workshop at the "National Conference on Supported Employment: Partnerships in Changing Times", Toronto.

This workshop introduces ADAPTABLE, a practical and creative approach to accommodating employees and students with disabilities.


Fifty Ways to Prevent and Accommodate RSI

October 1997. Alan Cantor conducted a workshop on computer injury prevention strategies for the RSI Support Group, Lakeshore Area Multi-purpose Project (LAMP), Etobicoke, Ontario.


Playing Around: Games for Grown-ups

August 1997. Alan Cantor facilitated a workshop on communication, recreation and team-building at the 1997 Blue Skies Music Festival, Clarendon, Ontario.


ADAPTABLE: a Creative and Practical Approach to Workplace Accommodation Planning

June 1997. Alan Cantor facilitated a half-day instructional course at RESNA 1997. Pittsburgh.

The aim of this workshop is to teach participants a creative and practical approach to workplace accommodation planning. Applying the ADAPTABLE approach enhances the productivity, comfort and occupational safety of employees with disabilities, while respecting their privacy, autonomy and dignity.


An Evaluation of Keyboard-only Access to Windows for Single-digit Typists

June 1997. Alan Cantor presented a scientific paper at RESNA 1997. Pittsburgh.

This paper describes the current status of keyboard-only access to Windows 95 for "single-digit typists" — individuals who operate a computer with one finger, toe, or stump; or who use a head-stick, mouth- stick or similar appliance. The analysis emerged while planning and implementing an accommodation for an adult who types with one toe. The paper asks whether keyboard shortcuts are usable in practice; establishes requirements for Windows-compatible expanded keyboards; and highlights barriers faced by anyone who demands keyboard-only access to Windows.

An Evaluation of Keyboard-only Access to Windows for Single-digit Typists.


The RSI Factor

May 1997. Alan Cantor conducted an information session on computer injury prevention geared to the needs of journalists and broadcasters. Host: Canadian Media Guild, Toronto.


Keys to Successful Employment Accommodation

May 1997. Alan Cantor gave a presentation and was a panel discussant at The "Equity and Accommodation Workshop" hosted by the Canadian Association for Career Educators and Employers, Toronto.


Breaking barriers: New Approaches to Accommodating People with Disabilities

April 1997. Alan Cantor conducted a full-day workshop on accommodation planning, wellness, and injury prevention for about 200 students and faculty at the University of North Carolina, the Department of Medical Allied Health Professions, Chapel Hill NC.


1996

The Future of Workplace Accommodations: Containing Costs and Maximizing Effectiveness

October 1996. Alan Cantor was a guest speaker at The National Conference on Disability and Work.

Today's computer-based assistive technologies allow people with injuries and disabilities to pursue independently their vocational, educational and personal goals. Consequently, there is a growing reliance on these devices as workplace accommodations. This presentation highlights the promises of computer-based workplace accommodations, documents the health and safety risks associated with over-reliance on these devices, recommends strategies for minimizing the risks; and argues for a more comprehensive approach to supporting employees with injuries and disabilities.

Accommodation planning is shown to be an exercise in creative problem solving. The success of the undertaking depends on an openness to new ways of thinking.


Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs): Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies for Employees who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication Systems

August 1996. Lecture delivered at the Pittsburgh Employment Conference for Augmented Communicators, Pittsburgh.


1995

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) at the Adapted Keyboard: Preventing Computer Overuse Injuries in Persons with Disabilities

March 1995. Alan Cantor spoke at the CSUN Conference in Los Angeles.

Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) at the Adapted Keyboard: the paper.