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Assistive Technology Guide - Keyboards And Keypads

AT Guide
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(1 supplier)

For information contact AT Aust on 1300 452 679

Last updated: Nov 19 2021

Short Description

Standard keyboards have been developed for the average user. A range of alternative keyboards are available for computers. They are considered when there is an identified need for:
* increased accuracy
* improved comfort
* accommodating limited range of movement
* automation of specific functions
* using an alternative body part (eg. fist or foot) to operate a device.

Additional Info

More Details

Some keyboards have been designed for a specific purpose (eg. one handed). Others can be used in a variety of ways depending on individual needs.

Features to consider:
* Type of feedback the keyboard provides (tactile, auditory, visual).
* Pressure required: people with limited strength or pain may require very sensitive keyboards. Those with inaccurate movements (eg. tremor) may benefit from a less sensitive or time delayed keyboard to avoid accidental activation.
* Mounting, positioning and portability: consider the size and weight of the keyboard to achieve the desired location and flexibility of the system.
* Ergonomic factors: consider angle of the wrists and elbows, the position of the shoulders and head when using the keyboard. Accessories such as wristrests may be necessary to improve comfort and access.
* Range of movement: it is important to match a keyboard to the available range of movement over which a client has control.

In some situations it may be advisable to consult an expert in the area of technology for people with disabilities. The Computer Assistive Technology Services (CATS) is a division of Northcott and located in North Parramatta. They also travel extensively through NSW. The Assistive Technology Service of Cerebral Palsy Alliance is located in Allambie Heights.

This information has been prepared by the COMPUTER ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY SERVICE (Div. of Northcott).



Some assistive technology needs to meet Australian or other standards. Standards may relate to materials, manufacturing and installation. Products that meet Australian or international standards will have written certification. To find out if a product meets Australian Standards ask the supplier to show you the certificate. For more information about standards also see

Many of the items on the Assistive Technology Australia website are categorised as a Medical Device. Medical devices that are approved for use in Australia have been entered into a national database called the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), which is maintained by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). You can ask the supplier for the ARTG number for the device you wish to purchase and search the ARTG for the entry. To access information on the ARTG visit

When buying a medical device it is advisable to only choose a medical device that is recommended by a healthcare professional and has been included on the ARTG.


Assistive Technology Australia (prev Independent Living Centre NSW)
NSW Australia
Sales: 02 9912 5800
Contact Person: AT Australia Infoline Team
Toll Free: 1300 452 679


Whilst all care is taken to provide accurate information with respect to the item described, the Independent Living Centre New South Wales (ILCNSW), operating as Assistive Technology Australia, is not involved in product design or manufacture, and therefore not in a position to guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. Selection of equipment, which is both suitable and appropriate for individual needs remains the responsibility of the person(s) considering requisition, and no responsibility is taken by the ILCNSW (Assistive Technology Australia) for any loss or injury caused through use of the equipment or alleged to have arisen through reliance upon information provided. As information is subject to change any enquiries should be directed to the manufacturer.