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You are in: Home > Articles > Some Solutions to Mouse Problems

Some Solutions to Mouse Problems


Mouse Control
Most computer software is designed to be used by controlling an on-screen pointer with a mouse or other pointing device. Some people do not have the required degree of manual dexterity and hand eye co-ordination required to move the pointer or to press the buttons. There are a number of alternative strategies that can be considered. Ensure that a good working position and seating are available and consider additional arm and wrist supports (QED). Provide the user with suitable software and time to practice mouse skills before considering expensive alternatives.

Changing the computer settings
The computer's control panel settings allows you to alter aspects of the mouse and pointer operation including the mouse speed, acceleration and button function. These can make access easier with either the standard mouse or many of the alternatives mentioned.

Enlarging the screen pointer can make it easier to see and follow.
Keyboard control settings allow selected keys to be used to move the mouse and to perform mouse clicks.

On the PC - On Windows 95 and above you will find the appropriate program in the accessibility options, found in the Control Panel.

On Macintosh - Under 'Universal Access' in the 'Control panel'.

Many programs will also provide keyboard shortcuts to give direct access to operations that may otherwise require considerable use of the mouse and pointer.

Direct mouse alternatives
These are plug in devices to provide mouse control. If they can be connected in the same way as a standard mouse they should work without any additional adjustment, other than alteration of the mouse speed settings in the control panel. Some portable computers are already equipped with alternatives to the standard mouse.

Rollerballs, joysticks, trackpads and track balls are commonly available as mouse alternatives. In addition to the equipment made for the mass computer market, which can be cheap and sometimes not very robust, some are designed specifically for the special needs user.

IntelliKeys USBFeatures that may be required are built-in keyboards, additional buttons to provide latching and single touch double click buttons. Overlay keyboards such as IntelliKeys can also be used to control the screen pointer with suitable overlays.

Switch Control
Software such as Discover Switch can give switch users quick easy access to "point and click" software by defining hotspots on the screen which can be reached with switch presses. This is especially useful for giving ready access to CD-ROM's.

Clicker 6Switches can be used to give direction control over the mouse pointer by using a MouseMover or by running special access software such as SAW (Switch Access to Windows) and Clicker 6.

Mouse Interfaces
Some users find that they are able to move the mouse, but cannot manage to successfully control the buttons. A mouse interface such as the Mouser (SEMERC) will allow the mouse buttons to be switched off and replaced by external switches if required.


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