The three functions under Keyboard Response, RepeatKeys, SlowKeys, and BounceKeys, are enabled and disabled together as a group. This is done to simplify turning the group on and off from the keyboard. Most people are only interested in using one or two of the functions in the group. This is not a problem. You can individually adjust the functions within this group such that when enabled, unwanted functions will have no effect.
There are two adjustments for the RepeatKeys function. The first setting, "Repeat Rate", allows you to adjust the speed at which the keys will repeat when you hold a key down. The smaller numbers (like 0.3) will make keys repeat faster. If you do not want the keys to repeat at all, then just set the Repeat Rate to OFF. If the Repeat Rate is set to OFF, the Delay until Repeat scroll bar will be disabled. To re-enable the Delay until Repeat, you must select a Repeat Rate other than OFF.
The second setting, "Delay until Repeat", allows you to set the length of time you must hold a key down before it will begin to repeat. If you have trouble releasing a key in time, then set this to a higher or longer setting.
(NOTE: For RepeatKeys to work within Windows 3.0, you must adjust the Control Panel keyboard setting for "Repeat Rate", a sliding bar, all the way to the left for "slow". For RepeatKeys to work within Windows 3.1, you must adjust the Control Panel keyboard setting for "Repeat Rate", a sliding bar, all the way to the left for "slow", and the keyboard setting for "Delay Before First Repeat", another sliding bar, all the way to the right for "short".)SlowKeys allows you to slow down the keyboard so that keys must be held down for a while before they will be accepted by the computer. This is useful for individuals who could use the keyboard but accidentally bump extra keys when they try to type. By slowing down the response of the keyboard, these extra key bumps are ignored and only the keys that are typed and held down are accepted. SlowKeys only has one setting called "Acceptance Delay". Acceptance Delay allows you to adjust the amount of time that you must hold a key down before it will be accepted by the computer. If you do not want the SlowKeys function to be active, then just set the Acceptance Delay to OFF.
Individuals who tremor or have impaired control of their hands may find that they type two or more of the same letter when they type. They bounce on the same key either when they are pressing it or when they release it, causing extra characters. BounceKeys allows the computer to ignore these quick bounces on the same key, so that only one key is accepted. There is only one setting for BounceKeys, "Debounce Time". The larger the time setting, the longer you will have to wait after you release a key before you can type the same key a second time (up to 2 seconds!). If you do not want the BounceKeys function, then just set the Debounce Time to OFF. When BounceKeys is on, if you want to type the same key twice you just need to pause a bit between the two key presses. BounceKeys does not prevent you from typing other keys quickly.
BounceKeys and SlowKeys cannot be used or both be active (turned on) at the same time. This may seem confusing, but if you have SlowKeys on (e.g. acceptance delay does not equal OFF), it will provide a BounceKeys like function on both the hit and release of each key. While SlowKeys would assist some individuals, it would hinder others since they may only tremor or bounce when they release a key. Therefore, these individuals would only want to have BounceKeys active.
Once you have set up the desired values under Keyboard Response (RepeatKeys, SlowKeys and BounceKeys), you need to enable group. If the Keyboard Response dialog box is open (e.g. under "Adjust" menu), then select ON at the top of the dialog box. This will turn on any of the Keyboard Response functions which you selected.
Sometimes you may want to enable or disable the Keyboard Response functions from the keyboard without having to open the dialog box. To do this just hold the right shift key down for 8 seconds. After about 4 seconds you will hear 3 short warning beeps. (These are provided just in case someone is accidentally resting their hand on the right shift key and doesn't really want to enable these functions - it's sort of a "get off the key" warning). Since you do want these functions enabled, just ignore these warning beeps and keep holding the key down. After about 4 seconds more you will hear an up-siren (e.g. provided Sound when turned on or off is enabled). You can release the right shift key now and the Keyboard Response functions will be enabled using the values you set for RepeatKeys, SlowKeys and BounceKeys. You can disable the Keyboard Response group from the keyboard using this same procedure. When you disable the group you will hear a down-siren (e.g. provided Sound when turned on or off is enabled).
Some individuals are completely unable to operate the computer unless they can turn the keyboard repeat function off and/or turn SlowKeys on. These individuals could find themselves in a Catch-22, unable to use the computer to turn on the functions they need to operate the computer. There is a solution to this problem built into the Access Utility. There is an emergency enabling routine that allows you to turn the Keyboard Response functions on using only one key on the keyboard. To enable the emergency settings for Keyboard Response from the keyboard, you just hold down the right shift key (as you normally do to enable the Keyboard Response) except that you keep holding it down even after you hear the first up-siren. If you hold the right shift key down long enough, this is the sequence of events that will happen: after 4 seconds, 3 short warning beeps; after 4 more seconds, a single up-siren indicating that Keyboard Response has turned on with the settings you previously chose with the dialog box open or with the default settings; after 4 more seconds, you will hear 2 up-sirens which is the first level of emergency settings, RepeatKeys will have the Repeat Rate OFF (no key repeats), SlowKeys will be OFF, (no acceptance delay), and BounceKeys will have a Debounce Time of 1 second; after 4 more seconds (total of about 16 seconds), you will hear 3 up-sirens which is the second level of emergency settings, RepeatKeys will have the Repeat Rate OFF, SlowKeys will have the acceptance delay set to maximum or 2 seconds, and BounceKeys will be OFF. If an individual activates either of the two emergency settings, they should then open the Keyboard Response dialog box and change the settings to the values they need to operate the computer keyboard. After these changes have been made and saved, the user should exit the emergency settings (hold right shift key down for 8 seconds until the down-siren) and then re-activate Keyboard Response (hold right shift key down for 8 seconds until the up-siren). The Keyboard Response functions would then be turned on with the individuals newly saved settings.
Another very useful feature in the Keyboard Response functions is the setting called "Click when a key is Pressed". If this setting is checked and any of the Keyboard Response functions are active, you will hear a click when you press the key, or when the key repeats. For example, if SlowKeys is active, you would hear a key "click" sound when the key is pressed and also when the computer accepts the key. You may just wish to have a key "click" sound with every key you press while not using the Keyboard Response functions. To do this, set SlowKeys and BounceKeys to OFF, adjust RepeatKeys to your needs, and then turn on the Keyboard Response group. The "Click when a key is Pressed" feature provides additional user feedback. This can be very important when the keyboard has been modified to function or "respond" differently then the expected norm.