Department of the Treasury

Changing Lives One Keystroke AT A Time

In early May 2011 while at home, I had an issue with my laptop computer. The keyboard was not functioning. I began to search for ways that I could possibly type without the function of my keyboard. By clicking on the mouse at the start- all programs- application-accessibilities, I discovered a tool called the Virtual Keyboard, which allows a virtual keyboard to appear on your computer screen. The mouse can than be utilized by clicking or hovering over the characters on the virtual keyboard to select the character to be typed automatically. This keyboard works within any application.

I immediately thought about one of my employees who suffers from Cerebral Palsy and has been using a mouth stick to key characters from his standard keyboard to his computer screen for 5 years while in government. He has limited range of motion, but can use a mouse.

I shared this wonderful free tool with him; 10 minutes later, his mouth stick, used daily to perform his work inventory, was thrown in the corner of his cubicle. That day the Virtual Keyboard was submitted as a possible Best Practice. One week later the Virtual Keyboard was made a Best Practice and was showcased for the month of June on the MY SB/SE website.

I have received numerous emails from other employees who are now using the Virtual Keyboard short term for injuries such as sprained wrist, carpal tunnel, arthritis and a broken arm stating that the Virtual keyboard has allowed them to be more productive.

The Virtual Keyboard can change lives forever by making employees' tasks a little easier, especially those who have limited range of motion (whether short term or long term), while also allowing them to be more productive in the work place and at home.

 

My suggestion is: Awareness be given to all government agencies on how the operations of this free wonderful tool works.

Gratefully Submitted.

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Idea No. 12808