FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


  • People with physical disabilities - Especially people who have limited or no use of their hands meaning that they have difficulty using a standard keyboard and/or mouse.

  • Adults and children of all ages

  • Conditions - People who have benefitted from Grapevine include people with conditions like Cerebral Palsy, Motor Neurone Disease, Spinal Cord Injury, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Repetitive Strain Injury, and a wide range of rare, progressive neuromuscular disorders.

  • Examples - Some people can use a keyboard but tire easily and quickly. Other people can use a mouse but have difficulty with common operations like double-click and click-and-drag. Some people can't use a pointing device (mouse) at all and are limited to using a single button or input (like eye blinking or a sip/puff switch). Grapevine can help in all of these scenarios and more.

  • Try it out! - The above are simply guidelines. It costs nothing to try Grapevine so please do so if you think it would be beneficial.

No. Sorry, Grapevine currently only works on PCs, laptops and tablets with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10.

Note on Windows 8 support: Grapevine can interact with all traditional desktop applications in Windows 8. It does not interact with apps in the 'Modern UI' section (i.e. tiles). We are currently working on full Windows 8 support but for now, Grapevine does everything on Windows 8 that most Windows users require.

Yes. All of the shortcuts (buttons) on the Google Chrome shortcuts page will work in any web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox). However, the 'Link Tags' feature (see below) will only work in Google Chrome.

Accessing Grapevine using a Mouse or Pointing Device

Yes. Any device that you can plug into your computer and use to move the mouse cursor around the screen and click can be used to control Grapevine. Most of these devices will work as soon as you plug them in. Others may have a 'Mouse Emulation' feature that needs to be enabled.

Examples of the kinds of pointing device that work with Grapevine can be seen on our Equipment Options page (under "Pointing Devices"). Some additional information regarding using physical inputs with Grapevine can be found on our "How Can I Use It?" page.

If you can use a mouse or pointing device, but struggle with things like double-click, right-click or click-and-drag, Grapevine's 'Easy Clicks' feature may be of benefit to you. Demo video.

Accessing Grapevine using Buttons or Switches (Scanning)

Scanning is a method of computer access that allows a wide range of tasks to be performed using very limited inputs (e.g. one or two buttons). Scanning demo video.

Yes. You can try out scanning using the following buttons on the top row of any standard keyboard:

  • F3 = Move
  • F6 = Select
  • F9 = Back

Section 8.5 of the User Manual gives a complete guide to connecting switches. Here is a brief summary:

  • The following devices (and more) can be used as 'Switches' to control Grapevine: Large button, sip-puff switch, muscle/blink switch. More details here (see section "2. Switch Devices").
  • You need a switch adapter or switch interface to connect switches to a computer. This is a simple piece of hardware that plugs into the computer's USB port and includes sockets for attaching two or more switches (the type of socket used to connect switches is similar to a headphones 'jack' on a phone or mp3 player).
  • Commonly used switch adapters that work with Grapevine include Joy Cable, Joy Box and Crick Switch Interface. However, Grapevine should work with almost all switch adapters.
  • You may need to use software that is supplied with your switch adapter to configure it to work with Grapevine. You will need to set up switches so that they are linked/mapped to keyboard buttons as follows: F3 = Move, F6 = Select, F9 = Back.

'Link Tags' is a feature unique to Grapevine which appears on the Google Chrome shortcuts page. It adds a yellow numbered tag to each link on a webpage so that you only need to enter a number to follow a link (no mouse required!). This is particularly useful for people who use Grapevine in 'Scanning' mode (using just 1, 2 or 3 buttons or switches). Demo video.

Solution 1

If Link Tags generally works for you but sometimes doesn't, the problem may be that you are trying to use Link Tags when you are in a text-entry field - for example, when the text cursor is blinking inside the search text box on Google's home page. Link Tags doesn't work when you're in a text-entry field. Luckily there's a button called "Exit Text Input" and pressing this should get you out of the text-entry field. Now "Show/Hide Link Tags" should work.

Solution 2

If Link Tags never worked for you and you see a red 'X' on the "Link Tag Status" button, then you do not have some essential components of 'Link Tags' installed. Click the "Link Tag Status" button (red 'X') on the Google Chrome shortcuts page. The settings menu will open on a page that shows 3 items that will have either a green 'tick' or a red 'X'. Items with an 'X' can be resolved by pressing the button next to that item and following the simple instructions on screen.