Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mouse Keys

What Are Mouse Keys?

Mouse keys are an alternative way to perform mouse skills for individuals that have physical impairments that would limit their ability to utilize a conventional mouse.  Mouse keys allow the numeric keyboard to emulate mouse functions.  For example, when the user presses the number 8, the pointer will move up.  Pressing the number 6 moves the pointer to the right.  When using mouse keys, the conventional mouse is not required.  The image below helps illustrate these buttons and their correlating movements.

This feature is available with both the Windows and Macintosh operating systems.  Below are screen shots of where to access this feature in both operating systems.



The rate of speed of the mouse point can be modified in the settings to accommodate for the users needs.  Access of the numeric keyboard can be achieved through direct selection of the an individuals hands on the keyboard,  a mouth stick or pointing device on the physical keyboard, or use of the on screen keyboard.  In addition, if is easier for the individual, the mouse pointer can be made bigger for increased independence in the mouse settings (please see an earlier post).  

Mouse keys is another example of how simple modifications can facilitate independence for an individual with a disability.

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