Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mouse Hardware, the Trackball

There are many options for mouse use other than the  conventional mouse that come with computers.  The standard mouse that comes standard is very difficult for many individuals to use.  It is not very intuitive.  It is oddly shaped, doesn't always do what you want (ever have to lift it and move it?).  It also requires good coordination throughout the entire arm.  If there is any weakness, incoordination, or spasticity, it can be had to control and use correctly.

As in a previous post, if the individual is overshooting or undershooting with the mouse pointer, there are changes that can be made in the control panel.  Additional changes can be made with the double click, size of the mouse pointer, ways to find the mouse pointer, as well as many more.  During the trial of alternative options, looking at different mice for the hand could be appropriate.  If the user does not have hand use, there are additional options as well (look at previous post for a head mouse as an options, although not limited to that only choice).

Trackball Mouse:

A trackball mouse is different from a convention mouse is that the user moves the ball with his thumbs and fingers; arm movement is not required.

The size of the ball and buttons vary between brand of trackball.  Some trackball mice have buttons that can be programmed for other features such as drag lock.  

This mouse can be very successful for individuals with work related pain such as carpal tunnel or someone that has weakness in the shoulder from a stroke or other injury.  It can be positioned or mounted to utilize the best strength of the user's arm.  

It is though a small change such as using a trackball vs. a conventional mouse that can enable independence for a computer user.

Feel free to leave comments on your experiences with alternative mice.


  1. Can you tell me what the function for the little grey button right above the darker grey button on each side of the LogiTech Tracball mouse?

    1. That's a great question. The little grey button on the right hand side is forward and the one on the left hand side is backwards, for when you are in a Windows operating system. If you are using this mouse with Macintosh, the left button will access Expose, the right button has no function.

      Keep in mind that with the software for this mouse, you can customize all the buttons to what works best for you.

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