Author Topic: Trying to mix Meniere's and computer use  (Read 2922 times)

Offline KerryH

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Trying to mix Meniere's and computer use
« on: Aug 05 2014, 12:49 PM »
Hello,

I wondered if anyone had any tips or insight into how to make getting on with computers a bit less of a problem? One of the main reasons I canít work (even from home and during better times) is that using a computer for more than a few minutes is unpleasant at best and enough to bring on a full attack at worst, which is incredibly frustrating as until how I have been working in academia as a researcher so am pretty dependent on computers!

The balance clinic that I attend suggested trying dictation software- has anyone tried any of this software and was it much use? I had a quick look at some of the software that is available and reviews seem fairly mixed.

Aside from this has anyone found any software, settings or filters etc that have helped you at all? Iím willing to give anything a go. Iíve had a fiddle with screen contrast but just found myself squinting at the screen to see anything! Iím in the first year of Meniereís disease so am still trying to find my way and adapt to this new life, any suggestions on getting on with computers would be very gratefully received, thank you!

Kerry

Offline Janbabs

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Re: Trying to mix Meniere's and computer use
« Reply #1 on: Aug 05 2014, 01:33 PM »
Hi Kerry

I use a computer as I work from home and the key to doing it- for me anyway- is to have a really good monitor and graphics and to use fonts/ backgrounds etc which are dyslexia friendly (anything bright or really busy sets me off- eg some spreadsheets.) This works, along with regular breaks, on my 'good' days and I never work for more than 15 mins at most in one go if I can help it.

On 'bad' days...... well, you probably know the answer to that one! You just have to listen to your body and allow yourself to stop if you need to- I have good days and bad days and just have to be realistic as to what I can do and when.

I hope this helps



Jan

Offline KerryH

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Re: Trying to mix Meniere's and computer use
« Reply #2 on: Aug 07 2014, 10:32 AM »
I'll give this a try, thank you for the suggestions. I know some people that do dyslexia vision research so will pick their brains and post any suggestions that they make- thank you for the idea!

Offline Warren T

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Re: Trying to mix Meniere's and computer use
« Reply #3 on: Dec 08 2014, 02:38 PM »
I'll give this a try, thank you for the suggestions. I know some people that do dyslexia vision research so will pick their brains and post any suggestions that they make- thank you for the idea!
Sorry to bump an old thread... I have a lot of experience here that may benefit others
I work in IT & have done for the last 20 years or so. Last Year I undertook a 4 day "Dyslexia Awareness" training run by an external partner.

For those that suffer with IT usage with MD, I would strongly recommend addressing the issue via a "Dyslexic" approach, where its applicable. There is a lot of support available for IT workers via "Access to Work " the link is here: https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work/overview . In fact it wouldn't hurt if suffering MD attacks with IT tp ask if a Dyslexia test can also be done. 1 in 10 IT users suffer with some form of Dyslexic symptom ie: Dyspraxia, Dyscalcula, True Dyselxia (there is no false) etc etc.. Checkout link: http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/dyslexic/dyslexia-and-specific-learning-difficulties-in-adults. Please do not worry yourself when reviewing the Dyslexia stuff as a lot of it seems to apply or at least it does for myself, although I have been tested & as a result not registered on the Dyslexic scale.

Most IT solutions refer to Voice to Text / Text to Voice software such as Dragon Dictate (link is: http://www.nuance.co.uk/dragon/index.htm ) However its not an ideal solution for every need. I have AT (Assisted Technology) users that hate using the software...it does require a fairly radical change in how you work & takes time to train the software. You would need to consider your working environment as well especially if in a noisy area, although a good quality noise cancelling mic will help you. The problem is also compounded by the fact that these solutions require users to use a headset so as not to distract other office workers. Wearing a headset could also affect your air flow to your ears which might trigger an attack. Its an awkward situation for users & also for the IT support to be able to help with. Of course this is all at the workplace....but from a grey distant & vague memory.....your licence for the software at work may allow you to install a copy at home...BUT I WILL DOUBLE CHECK ON THAT & post back with an update.

That's great if it does apply & allows multi instance single user licencing...but if you don't go down this route it works out quite expensive to do it all manually at home as a user. MS Office 2003 & onwards supports Text to Voice & Windows 2000 (I think) introduced better AT support. In Win XP etc its called Narrator & can be set-up to read text to you.  This may at least help with reading or interpreting information on the screen which could be causing an attack.
The Narrator does sound like a robot when reading back....but over the last 20 years its actually getting better! There are alternate voices you can purchase if you feel that a text to Voice solution is what you need. Voices Link: http://www.nextup.com/attnv.html

Other adjustments you can make are to amend the CONTRAST  & BRIGHTNESS settings on the monitor.
 
Its a common & totally irresponsible fault that a majority of the web, advertising, applications etc etc etc display black text on a white background...this creates high contrast & is a known issue for dyslexic users. Like Dyslexic users, patterns & contrasting shapes or forms can cause distortion or for MD sufferers the onset of an attack. The Dyslexic solution is to adjust the background & text colours. I was told that a good starting point is a creamy yellow background & blue text. Note: This is different for every user !! The idea is to mute the amount of contrast on the screen. As for size of Font etc I was told that fonts like Sans Serif size 12pt on a 1024 x 768 display should be about right.

Like anything IT....users should take a short break from the screen to allow your visual focal depth to adjust. There is also other elements to consider such as seated posture & elements around you. Have a look at the HSE DSE for sound advice. Link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/dse/
" At least I now know why the world spins!"

suzygirl

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Re: Trying to mix Meniere's and computer use
« Reply #4 on: Dec 08 2014, 03:53 PM »
Thank you very much for the useful links and advice  :)

Offline Warren T

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Re: Trying to mix Meniere's and computer use
« Reply #5 on: Dec 09 2014, 10:25 AM »
Thank you very much for the useful links and advice  :)
Just glad I could contribute rather than just ask questions ;-)
" At least I now know why the world spins!"

Offline KerryH

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Re: Trying to mix Meniere's and computer use
« Reply #6 on: Jan 11 2015, 10:17 PM »
Thank you so much for taking the time to put together this reply Warren, I'm really grateful as I'm sure many others will be too. It's also come at a pertinent time for me as I'm starting to get frustrated with how much my Meniere's/ dizziness has affected by ability to do things I took for granted before it started, like using a computer for work- so it's good to be able to see the we can adapt and there are options.

Thank you.

Offline Warren T

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Re: Trying to mix Meniere's and computer use
« Reply #7 on: Jan 12 2015, 06:49 PM »
No worries.....
It's prompted me to get the answer about AT software & home use....which is not a straight answer.
AS Access to Work might fund the hardware for the AT setup & IF your IT dept allow you to use the AT "Laptop" at home for personal use then all is good else...its all about who pays for what & what restrictions there are.
One thing you cant do though is install the app on work hardware then install the same app on home hardware....using the same license... as one is for business use & the other personal.
So I would advise checking with your IT dept/Manager & see what you can/cannot do.

Good Luck ;-)
" At least I now know why the world spins!"