I found that it is actually rather easy to turn them on. It just requires modifying the build.prop with the following:
If you want to disable them later just change it to:
After you modify the build.prop you have to reboot for the changes to take affect.
This change will turn on the soft-keys, but it does not disable the hardware keys. But you can disable them too. You have to open
/system/usr/keylayout/Generic.kl and comment out the following by added a '#' to the beginning of the line.
# key 158 BACK
# key 139 MENU
The home key is located in
# key 172 HOME WAKE
To turn these back on just remove the '#' and reboot.