Thursday, May 29, 2008

Not So Fine Motor Skills

I purchased a new cordless phone for the house last week. Once I brought it home, I had to have someone charge the phone and set the system up. Then, I had to actually read the manual and program the phone with my frequently called numbers. This would probably be a fairly simple task for most people, but it just wasn't that easy for me. I read through the manual and needed to keep going back to it when I started using the phone. To make matters worse, my fingers had difficulty pressing the right buttons. I had created a list of the numbers and names for the phone's directory, but I had to input them slowly to avoid making mistakes. I have a bad tendency to invert numbers, so the whole phone number thing is a constant challenge to me. I often copy down phone numbers only to find that the number I wrote down is the wrong one. My adaption to this problem is to always repeat the number back to the person with whom I am speaking.

Cognitive difficulties combined with hands and fingers that no longer work very well is a bad combination. At least on the cordless phone, the buttons are fairly big. With many technologies becoming smaller and smaller, I feel left out. I have difficulty using many cell phones and my MP 3 player has a scroll function that I can barely feel with the decreased sensation in my fingertips. I even am finding it harder these days to enjoy my PlayStation because of the little buttons. I do own a Nintendo DS that uses a touch screen instead of buttons and I have even tried a Wii, only to find that my hand-eye coordination is worse than ever too. I guess that I shouldn't be surprised.

The thing is that I am a technology junkie. I love my toys and I am frustrated by my diminishing dexterity. I have a digital camera that would be considered ancient by most, but I am still using it because it is big and so are its control buttons. I have looked at some of the new, fancier cameras out there and they are far too tiny for me to use. I may need to buy a Fisher Price model when mine breaks down or becomes obsolete. I hope that when inventors are trying to make something smaller and better, they stop and consider people like me who want to keep "in touch" with technology.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you can get special controls to access games consoles or play them on PC where more accessible software is available.

Check out my page for info:

I use program called Keystrokes in conjunction with a Joystick plus to access my iMac.

Kati (UK)