Our top 4 tech tips for Encephalitis sufferers

Today (February 22nd) is World Encephalitis Day and whilst a comparatively rare illness, the after effects can be long term and can cause difficulties with memory issues as well as physical movement. Here are some questions that we get asked regularly...

Frequently Asked Questions

Since my diagnosis, I've found that I get tired when trying to produce work. What tech can help?Photo of a woman holding a mobile phone and using its voice recognition app

Voice recognition is a really useful piece of technology and will help you get work done in a more effective way. You can edit documents and also control many of the functions of your computer. Enrolment is quick and easy too - all you need is a USB microphone and a little bit of patience! The built in voice recognition is surprisingly good and once correctly set up, the system should recognise around 95% of what is said if you speak clearly.

My memory has got worse with my illness and I need to be reminded to take my medication. What might help me?

You can download apps on your smartphone which will remind you when it's time to take your drugs. If you have a smarthome device such an Alexa you can download a skill to help you remember your medication schedule

I am now finding it difficult to control my pointing device. Are there any alternatives?Selection of alternative computer pointers

There are lots of other pointing devices that might be more efferctive for you to try out. We've got a Factsheet which has lots of ideas and companies are often happy to let you try equipment out before you buy to see if it is suitable for you. You can also slow down your pointing device to make it more manageable.

I'm struggling at work and I don't know if my employer will understand my issues. How can I start a conversation with them?

It is difficult to start a conversation about how your health is affecting your work with your employer. It might be useful to create a profile on Clear Talents as it is a resource that is designed to aid you in discussing your difficulties with your employer. Your employer might feel that it is appropiate for a work place assessnent to take place to identify useful solutions. 

Case study

Gulbadam contacted our helpline as she is recovering from Encephalitis and wants to be able to use her voice to control her Iphone and Ipad.  We pointed her towards our My Computer My Way resources, where there are some great examples of what functions you can access by voice.  She  is not very good at remembering appointments so the ability to use her voice is going to be very useful!

How we can help:

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help people with disabilities and older people use computers and other digital technology to achieve their goals. There are a number of ways and situations in which you can contact us and request our help:

  • Call our free helpline - our friendly, knowledgeable staff can help with many computer problems and questions about adapting digital technology to your needs. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 0800 269 545.
  • In a work environment, all employers have a responsibility to make Reasonable Adjustments to ensure people with disabilities can access the same opportunities and services as everybody else. For more details read How to Identify Reasonable Adjustments and visit the Clear Talents website.
  • Arrange a home visit - we have a network of volunteers who can help if you have technical issues with your computer systems. They can come to your home, or help you remotely over the phone.
  • We have a range of factsheets which can be downloaded for free and contain comprehensive information about technology that might help you.
  • My Computer My Way - a free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones

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