Posted in ICT, Visual impairment

Making the mouse easier to use

For some children and young people, using a mouse can be challenging.  This can be because they cannot physically access the mouse, or it can be because the way the mouse responds is a bit tricky – for example, the cursor may be difficult to see.

There are several things that can be done to mitigate some of these access problems.

Changing the mouse settings

CursorsSome learners may benefit from a larger, or different coloured cursor.  You can download a good range from the ACE Centre here.  They also give full instructions for installing them.

It’s also worth looking at Microsoft’s guide for changing the mouse settings in Windows 7 (the operating system our refreshed computers are running).

Another useful guide, with details of how to do things like change a mouse from being right to left handed, has been produced by AbilityNet as part of their “My Computer My Way”pages.

Trying an alternative mouse

A standard mouse can be difficult for some people to operate.  Below are a couple of alternatives that can be used.  All the hardware pictured can be purchased from Inclusive Technology, but please contact us first before buying as we may have something available in our loan bank.

joysticksJoysticks are much easier for some people to grip, they sit securely on a desk, and there is no need to click with the same hand as you move the cursor with.

rollerballsRollerballs are another good alternative to mice, and can be controlled just with the fingers rather than a whole hand.  Again, there is no need to click with the same hand as you move the cursor with.

Both joysticks and rollerballs could be paired with a single switch, if it was easier for the child or young person to click with that.

For more advice, contact us.

Author:

Acting ASL Service Leader within City of Edinburgh Council.

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