Friday 5 March 2021

Computer-Usage for pwME or other Chronic Illnesses

One of the M.E. Charities recently requested tips for folk using computers and other similar technology, such as smartphones and tablets. I waded in with my suggestions.

[Image description: open, working laptop]

My twelve tips for computer-usage by people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (pwME) or other chronic illnesses: medical conditions appear in parenthesis after the suggestion.

1.    turn the brightness to the lowest level at which one can still read comfortably (photophobia);

2.    some will find dark-mode is easier to read (white text on black background) (photophobia);

3.       turn on night-mode whenever needed (this filters out blue-spectrum light) or use an app that does the same thing, e.g. f.lux (photophobia);

4. avoid watching programme-streaming, videos and gifs (equilibrioception, dizziness, nausea);

5.    turn off or turn down sound to lowest needed level (hyperacuity);

6.    use services such as Feedly, which gather news and just list headlines (concentration, memory);

7.    use calendar/diary, e-post-it/stickies, spreadsheets/word-processing to create lists of to-do activities (memory);

8.    order shopping on-line, where possible, as it saves spoons (fatigue, etc.);

9.    use on-line/mobile banking to avoid telephoning or visiting banks, etc. (fatigue, etc.);

10.    use email wherever possible, as there is a written record (unlike face-to-face visits or telephone-calls) in case one forgets (memory);

11.    use speech-recognition software if physically using a keyboard is an issue (fatigue, pain);

12.    various types of stands, including some that are similar to a cushion, can be purchased/made (if one is crafty or has a good friend who is) to hold or lean one’s technology against, so negating the need to hold/grip (fatigue, pain).


If the reader has any other good tips, please be at liberty to add them in the comments below.


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