Disabilities that we address on this site, including the inability to sit, the inability to bend, and the need to keyboard in bed
Automobile safety for the horizontal passenger
Computer setups for the horizontal:
Leg & Back Rests
Building Arm Slings
Tch Typist Armrest H&P Typist Armrest
Building Stilt Keybd
Building Kbd Holder
Build Laptop Holder
Build Laptop Cover
Build Paper Holder
Make Back Support
Computing on Back
Building Foam Desk
Build a Book Holder
Recliner with Desk
Computer setups for the back-lying
Computer setups for the reclining
Sleeping and reading
accessories for the
Reading and writing
stand for the standing
Music keyboard raiser
Tray holder and standing assistance acces- sory
Raised work trays for kitchen or workroom
Raised workbench for garage
Raised massage table
Raised sinks, faucets, and towel racks
Mattresses for TV watching and eating
Using a reacher device for dressing, picking things up, and grabbing things that are too high or low to reach without bending or straining
Toilet seat riser
Living Room Floor-Level Back-Lying Remote Holder
Living Room Back-Lying Remote Holder
Two High-Leverage Shower Knobs
Raised Shower Head
Remodeled Counter and Sink Faucet and Faucet Knobs in Bathroom and Kitchen
Left-Click Microswitch and Switch-Adapted Mouse
Xkeys for Easier Drag and Copy and Paste Functions
Bathtub Saddle Remodel for Safety
Do-It-Yourself Accessibility Wrench for Pool Filters and Valves
Accessibility Pool Steps with Reduced Riser Height
Hot Tub with Safety Rail and Safety Pole
The Comfort Keyboard's three sections are ideal for helping side-lying people with the idle hand problem, which slows productivity down to a crawl. But you'll need to make one or two stilts. Consult a different part of this site for details on keyboard remapping, hand positions for stilt use, and general stilt use guidelines.
Building a stilt isn't hard unless you aren't good with tools, in which case you should find someone who can use a drill and jigsaw.
Cut a 6-inch by 7 ½-inch (6-inch by 8 ½-inch if it's for the keyboard section with the Backspace) piece of ½-inch plywood and round the corners. Sand it. Get a couple of feet of 3/8-inch dowel and some Tacky Glue. Cut four pieces of dowel 4 ½-inches long-or longer if you have very long fingers. Go really slow when the cuts are nearly done so you don't split the wood. Finer toothed saw blades are helpful for this purpose.
Get a sheet of paper, cut it to the exact shape of the plywood, label one side "against wood," and then put the keyboard section on the paper where you want it and trace around it. Keep in mind that the dowel holes must be off to the sides of the keyboard, and your typing fingers must not discover that the finished stilt has dowels that are in their way. Drill the 3/8-inch holes about ¼-inch from the edge of the plywood, but don't glue in the dowels yet.
Get a small nail and study the back of the keyboard section. There are three relevant screws on the back of the section with Tab, and four screws worth using on each of the other two sections. Study their positions and then put the section facedown and put the template on it with the label showing and use the nail to make a depression centered on each screw.
Remove the screws and get ½-inch-longer versions of them at a good hardware store, matching the threads and screw thickness. To be safe, get the next size up and down for each screw in addition to the ones that will probably work okay. When you remove screws from the keyboard, you might cause something in the keyboard to get shifted unless you're careful, so leave the upside-down keyboard unmolested until you're ready to screw it to the stilt.
Use the paper template to guide you in drilling the screw holes through the plywood—make them extra big but less than the diameter of the screw heads. Check out, by feeling with a small nail, if the plywood holes line up with the keyboard screw holes. You'll likely have to fudge a little and end up with a slightly oblong hole or two. The best ways to avoid this is to use a level workbench and a drill press or at least a drill with a leveling bubble on it, use a nail to start your holes so they're precise, and make sure your template is used to mark the holes on the side of the plywood the keyboard will be on.
Screw in all screws slightly to make sure you can and to keep the keyboard's inner parts lined up, and then screw them all the way in. If you overtighten them they'll strip. If any screw is too short, it won't go in far enough and you'll want to get a longer one or use a countersink. A screw is too long if it's tight in the keyboard but protrudes from the plywood—use a shorter one or a washer.
If you're sure you're going to need only one stilt and won't be switching sides, that stilt's dowels may get glued now—see below. But if you'll be touch typing and switching sides, get dowels big enough to fit the holes tightly enough so they won't slip and forget about gluing, think "press fit." As you'll see, the two inner legs of either stilt will be removed when you switch sides, since they'll stick up in the air and get in the way otherwise.
Use the Tacky Glue (Elmer's is my second choice) and glue in any dowels you'll never need to adjust, but not until you test them glue-less (if you have to shorten them, you don't want to try to saw them once they're glued in). Rattail file the holes bigger if the dowels won't fit even if sanded. It's okay if you have to tap them in with a hammer once there's glue in the holes. If a dowel is loose, glue a strip of paper around the dowel as a shim. Let the glue dry for 24 hours before using the stilt.
Building a Stilt Keyboard