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Intern(al Comput)ing With AAC: Pursuing Internships While Using Multiple Access Met...

Posted May 24, 2021 - 11:37am

by Margaret Moore,  PRC-Saltillo Blogger

In past articles, I discuss using PRC-Saltillo’s Accent 1000 as my Windows 10 tablet as well as my speech device and alternating between the joystick of my motorized wheelchair and PRC-Saltillo’s Look eyegaze module to operate it. To illustrate this process in greater depth, I draw on my experiences interning in the publishing industry.

I aim to work in publishing after graduating from Fairfield University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program and currently intern with Woodhall Press, an independent book publisher. My responsibilities include proofreading books soon to be released, suggesting clearer language in early-stage manuscripts, and other tasks involved in book production.

Transitioning between the Look and the joystick takes merely seconds—I have keys in my user area that instantly make the switch, allowing me to bypass the Access Methods menu.

I determine which method is most efficient on a task-by-task basis. To review manuscripts, I use the comment features in Microsoft Word and PDF X-Change Editor. My device has Windows Clicks to facilitate accurate selection with my eyes on the Windows side, but it is less efficient to use my Look due to the extra clicks needed to navigate the document menus and to place comment balloons in appropriate spots. The joystick is the better option.

When I write up my rationale on whether to accept or reject a manuscript, I switch to my Look. I navigate WordPower much quicker with my eyes, producing sentences almost as fast as they come to mind. I can easily transfer my text to an open document or email on the Windows side of my device to send to my colleagues.

I realize that not all AAC users are striving for a career in publishing. I simply share my experience to demonstrate available methods, settings, and programs. I hope this inspires others to experiment with what features they can mix and match to most efficiently achieve their goals.

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Communicators In Action   -    aac, intern, computer access, access methods, prc, saltillo, eye gaze, eyegaze, joystick


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