Patent Number: 6,310,608

Title: System and method of keyboard configuration for disabled user access

Abstract: A system and method for grouping together multiple keys on a keyboard to form compound keys is presented. An exemplary configuration of compound keys involves grouping function keys "F1" through "F4" together to form one key, grouping function keys "F5" through "F8" to form a second key, and grouping function keys "F9" through "F12" to form a third key. In such an embodiment, actuating any of the keys "F1" through "F4" results in the same input to the operating system or application program. A compound key may be assigned to a response such as "yes", "enter", or "cancel". In another embodiment, a group of keys could be assigned to a particular alphanumeric character. The alphanumeric keys could in this way be grouped into a reduced number of larger alphanumeric compound keys. A separate group of keys (e.g., the numeric keypad) may be used to toggle between different arrangements of these compound keys, so that all characters may be accessed. A representation of the keyboard illustrating the key groupings active at a particular time and the input corresponding to each grouping may be displayed on the computer's display screen. Alternatively, a template laid over the keyboard may be used to indicate the compound key groupings, particularly for applications in which the grouping does not change during the performance of a task.

Inventors: Kaply; Michael Aaron (Austin, TX), Rodriguez; Herman (Austin, TX), Smith, Jr.; Newton James (Austin, TX)

Assignee: International Business Machines Corp.

International Classification: G09B 21/00 (20060101); G06F 3/023 (20060101); G09G 005/00 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018