Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Alternative Mouse Control

There are many ways that an individual with disabilities can control their computer.  If the individual can control their mouse, they can typically control their entire computer.  This can be achieved through alternative access methods such as head, eye, or mouth control.

Using a Quad Mouse:

An example of an alternative mouse is a Quad Mouse or a mouse that the user can control with their mouth.  

Quad Mouse is a joystick that plugs into a computer that enables an individual with significant physical impairments control their computer.  The user moves the joystick with the mouse to move the mouse pointer.  For example, if the individual moves the mouse up with their mouse, the pointer on the screen moves up.  

How does the user click with this mouse?  

The user can click one of several ways.  The first way is to use dwell click software, see previous blog post describing this:  


The second way to click is through sip and puff clicking.  Through sipping and puffing, the user can emulate all mouse functions.  This includes left and right click, double click, and lock and drag.

An additional way that the user can click is through an ability switch that is mounted at a site of accurate movement.  This can be through a very small movement, such as a toe or finger, or a gross movement, such as a knee or elbow.  When accessing a switch access site, it is very important to choose an area that does not fatigue.  

How does a user type?

The user types using an on screen keyboard.  This can be the keyboard that comes within the accessibility options of the computer.  Additional on screen keyboards can be installed that have features to increase efficiency with typing such as word prediction.

It is always important to remember to trial various types of hardware and software before making the final decision on the most appropriate equipment.  After a fully evaluation, assisting with setup and training is just as important to facilitate independence for the user.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting... Looks like the predictions in the 1981 book by Joel Garreau "Nine Nations of North America" came true. You should read it (If you haven't) it's a great book.