A computer mouse, has as it's most common standard features: two buttons and a scroll wheel. However, not everyone can use a 'standard' mouse comfortably. Everyone has their own preference for style and features, and where disability is concerned, i.e. arthtritis, limited hand function, repetitive strain injury etc, there is often no choice other than to find an alternative. Computer Mice now come in many different shapes and sizes: Roller Ball, Trackball , Optical, Laser, Wireless, Touch Pads, Ergonomic, Joystick, Foot operated etc etc.

Learning to use the mouse

Using an adapted mouse

Using a standard mouse with motor difficulties

Mouseless - Using a computer without a mouse

More information about mouseless . . .

Mouse Alternatives

Size adjustable whale Mouse
The size-adjustable Whale Mouse
Selection of contour mice in different sizes
Contour Mice

It is often worth trying a few different mice as different sizes and shapes are available and require varying amounts of pressure on buttons.

The mice illustrated above are from a range of ergonomic mice which can be used to help gain better control of the device, or help alleviate the symptoms of certain upper limb disorders. The Contour mice are available in 5 sizes for the right hand and 3 for the left.

It is also important to note that everything within Windows is accessible from the keyboard alone. There is no need to use a mouse at all if you can not, or do not, want to use it. Perhaps the most important accessibility option within Windows generically are these 'keyboard shortcuts'. Many advanced computer users, find that keyboard shortcuts also provide a much faster way around the computer when in standard applications. Try 'Cntrl+S' to save your documents, rather than using your mouse, for a better idea of how useful using a keyboard instead of a mouse can be.

More ergonomic mice . . .

The RollerMouse

RollermouseNot strictly a mouse, but a device that offers mouse capability.

  • The user moves a ‘roller’ which is situated in between the in-built wrist rests and is more a mere finger movement than the whole hand – vastly reducing the hand movement and cutting fatigue and reptitious actions.
  • The Roller is centralised to the main key area of the keyboard – centralising the operators hands and reducing the tendency for the mousing arm to ‘wander away’ down the desk and over-stretch the mousing arm.
  • Reduces the tendency in some operators to repetitiously move the shoulder of their mousing arm away from the chair backrest, and therefore helps avoid the upper shoulder pain which is sometimes associated with mousing.
(Information supplied by: Ufficio Tel: 01462 742829 01462 742829 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting

Using the Contour Rollermouse

The NC Mouse

Mousetrapper NC mouse

A slightly different concept to the mousetrapper and rollermouse. The NC mouse is essentially a touchpad on which is mounted a small joystick. As you can see in the photo, the joystick can be controlled accurately with the thumb. (source: Computer für Behinderte)

The MouseTrapper Advance

MouseTrapperPlacing the MouseTrapper Advance in front of your keyboard creates a balanced and strain free working position where your arms are comfortably placed close to your body on the soft and large supporting wrist rests.

You can vary your position by operating the mouse pad with either your right or left hand, and alternating between your fingers and the mouse cursor moves without lifting your hands.

(Source: Hela).

Nomus Mouse Rest
Nomus mouse rest
It is important to vary your working position, to obtain support for arms and wrists and distribute the load between your right and left arms. NOMUS™ makes it possible to reduce the load and achieve this kind of variation, thereby preventing unnecessary musculoskeletal injuries.
Information source: StretchNow (Australian) . . .

Nomus wrist rest

Trackbar Emotion rollermouseTrackbar Emotion

Built on the principle of centering the pointing device between the user and keyboard (defined between keys G and H). This positioning keeps the user’s hands and arms in a more natural position during keyboard and mouse work. Employing this principle, this product reduces or eliminates sideways or reaching arm movements that can increase the risk of developing upper limb disorders.
(Photo courtesy of Posturite).

More information about the Trackbar . . .

The MouseTrapper

• Enables the user to access the mouse functions simply whilst keeping elbows close to the body and at 90° angle, thereby maintaining correct posture.
• Gives fast and precise control of mouse functions
• The mouse is placed on the mouse socket so that the mouse buttons sit under the two hooks, controlled by the Mousetrapper click buttons
• The rubberised bar and the click buttons are controlled precisely by using the left or right thumb
• simple to install and available for all types of computers which use a mouse.

More information about MouseTrapper (Posturite) . . .


Scanning mouse

The MauSi Scan

Enables control of a mouse cursor and additional functions and requires minimal motor input. It will also work in conjunction with an Onscreen keyboard, like the WiVik, or a communication program in scan mode.

The required mouse and keyboard functions are activated with the "keys" , which light up automatically (automatic scan) or by the user with the step sensor (step scan) and are confirmed in each case by the OK sensor. The instruction to move the mouse arrow, results in the cursor moving (up, down, left, right or diagonally). The movement of the mouse cursor is dynamic; it begins slowly, then changes to a higher speed so that you can fine tune the movement steps and also cover larger distances more quickly. An animated version of the image is available on the suppliers website, which shows how the scanning function works.

More information about the MauSi Scan . . .
scanning mouse (Computer-fuer-Behinderte.de)MauSi Scan

Using a mouse when you have a tremor

If you have a tremor that affects your hand you’ll know how difficult it can be to operate a computer using a mouse. Simple tasks like opening an email or pressing a web button can be very difficult because of the erratic movements of the cursor on the screen and the problem of multiple clicking caused by a shaking finger.
The Assistive Mouse Adapter was invented by IBM to address this problem. It works by filtering out the unintentional movements of the hand caused by a tremor.

The effect of the adapter is much smoother movement of the cursor on the screen and greatly improved accuracy of mouse operation.
(Source: www.montrosesecam.com ).

There is also a free program called Steady Mouse

Steady Mouse logoSteady Mouse offers:
  • Anti-tremor mouse filtering
  • Removal of accidental mouse clicks
  • Assistive "Icon Targeting" system
  • Quick enable/disable using the scroll lock key
  • Simple design for easy configuration

  • More about Steady Mouse . . .

    Assistive Mouse Adapter

    The Traxys Roller Joystick II is also worth considering for tremor control.

    It's a heavy duty joystick with guard and ideal for those who cannot use a trackball or mouse and can be adapted to suit the user's needs. It caters for a degree of tremor and poor coordination as well as other mobility difficulties. A T-bar or large sponge ball can be interchanged with the joystick.
    Traxys Roller Joystick II

    Anti Tremor Switch Filter

    • Designed to supportswitch usersthat experience an involuntary tremor.
    • The Anti-Tremor Switch Filter provides a choice of 3 time delays (2, 6 or 10 secs) to prevent unintentional switch activations.
    • Can be connected between any single input switch and switch accessible device.
    • Supplied with a 3.5mm link lead and 9V (PP3) battery, ready for connection and use!
    Source: QED online
    Image of anti tremor switch

    RJ Cooper Mouse Button Box

    It's USB so it works on both Mac and Windows (requires accompanying software for both). Very adjustable speeds and functions, even a dwell-click (Windows).

    And I make them with the click buttons on either right (as pictured) or left side.

    More about RJ Cooper products . . .
    Image of RJ Cooper mouse button box

    Using a mouse with your feet

    FootmouseA footmouse allows hands-free mouse operations using your feet instead of your hand.

    All standard mouse operations such as single and double click, drag, cut and paste, etc can be controlled using foot movements.

    Using a trackball with the feet (in conjunction with a head pointer)

    Also consider: Touch Pads

    Bili FootMouse imageFootTime Footmouse by Bili.
    The hands-free way to deal with RSI. Also a good alternative for people with limited upper limb movement who use an on-screen keyboard. Has a scroll wheel and 5 programmable buttons.

    Big Track
    Big Track mouse
    The BIGtrackball has many features that make it ideal for users who don’t have the fine motor skills required by a mouse. The large 3 inch ball has left and right mouse click buttons, which are located behind the trackball to help prevent unwanted clicks. BIGtrack also allows for a second mouse to be connected simultaneously.

    Cursor trail function, when enabled, lengthens the cursor trail making it easier to see on the computer screen for someone with a visual impairment. You can also adjust the speed of the tracking for persons with motor impairments. The BIGtrack is suitable for both left and right-handed use. Both the BIGtrack and a second mouse can be connected together allowing for simultaneous participation between a student and his or her teacher.

    (Supplier: Inclusive Technology, TechReady).

    Savant Elite Foot Switch

    Savant Foot Switch2 buttons. For users who wish to increase their comfort and productivity, completely hands free, the SmartNav and Savant Elite DualAction Foot Switch is the answer.
    Factory programmed for mouse button emulation (left and right click), it can be reprogrammed on a Windows PC to perform any custom keyboard action or key combination.

    More info and supplier . . .

    Standard Mice - What is available

    Mechanical Mouse:

    When the mouse is moved a ball inside and underneath it turns. Two rollers on each side of the ball grip the ball allowing the user to control the cursor. Cursor movement on the screen is controlled by the directional movement of the mouse.

    Optical Mouse:

    An optical mouse uses camera technology and digital processing to compare and track the position of the mouse, rather than a ball and rollers used on older mice. This technology, first introduced by Agilent technologies in 1999, helps give users more precise performance without the maintenance and cleaning needed on older mice.

    Aopen O 35G laser mouse
    Optical Mouse

    Inside each optical mouse is a small camera that takes more than a thousand snapshot pictures every second. A small LED (light-emitting diode) provides light underneath the mouse, helping to highlight slight differences in the surface underneath the mouse. Those differences are reflected back into the camera, where digital processing is used to compare the pictures and determine the speed and direction of movement. This differs from older-technology mice, in which a round ball rolled against a mouse pad to indicate movement.

    Optical mice have a number of benefits over older technologies. One of the biggest benefits is that the elimination of the mouse ball, which frequently required cleaning to scrape accumulated grime of the ball or the rollers inside. As there are no moving parts in optical mice, almost no maintenance or regular cleaning is required. Another benefit is that digital processing often results in smoother, more accurate than prior technologies. Optical mice typically don't require a mouse pad and can be used on many surfaces, including those that are not entirely flat. (Information source: Wise Geek).

    Laser Mouse:

    A small laser is used instead of an LED. This technology increases the detail of the image taken by the mouse. They are wireless and and highly sensitive. However ‘Gamers’ people who play computers games have complained that some models do not respond immediately to movement after it is picked up, moved, and then put down on the mouse pad. This delay is attributed to the power saving features built into them by the designers.

    Mice - Global Assistive Technology Wiki

    In general, the laser mouse moves very smoothly and accurately, although if the system memory is bogged down, it will cause the cursor to lag, along with everything else. In addition, the laser mouse can reflect from almost any surface, meaning that a mouse pad is not necessary. Users have been known to employ anything from desk tops to pant legs as a reflective surface for their laser mouse, making it a great go-anywhere tool. (Information source: Wise Geek).

    MicroTrack Finger Mouse

    This is a small mouse that can be hand held and operated with the thumb, or used on a desk operated with a finger tip or knuckle. It may help in cases where repetitive strain injuries cause problems. The device works very well for people who have good fine control, but limited movement.

    MicroTrack Finger mouse

    Trackball (Rollerball) Mice

    Logitech Trackman mouse
    Logitech Trackman
    (Computer für Behinderte)
    Logitech Marble mouse
    Logitech Marblemouse
    (Computer für Behinderte)
    Trackball with guard
    Trackball with guard
    (Computer für Behinderte)

    Logitech Trackman Review

    Logitech Cordless Trackman Review

    Computer Mice - Everything you ever wanted to know about them

    Programs to make mouse use easier

    Unable to find your mouse cursor or text caret?
    Mouse & Caret BuddyMouse & Caret Buddy™
    Mouse & Caret Buddy helps you find your mouse cursor and text caret by showing pictures next to them. This program is most useful for children and perople with limitations in vision or attention. You can choose from a variety of pictures that come with it or use your own graphics. Download link . . .

    Free Mouse
    A free wrap around mouse. Disappears off the screen one side and reappears on the other. Also works from top to bottom. www.babisoft.com

    Difficulty with the click buttons?
    ToggleMouse is an independent mouse utility, containing a large variety of cursors and productivity features.

    - High visibility, color and animated cursors.
    - Productivity features like QuickScroll, QuickPoint and PopDesk.
    - Scrolling with QuickScroll
    - Pointing with QuickPoint *

    * QuickPoint automatically puts the mouse pointer over the default button when a dialog box appears, saving you a lot of mouse movement. It also has a memory option which let's it adapt to the way you work, learning the options that you most frequently select. Read a review . . .

    Difficulty clicking the mouse buttons?
    Dwell Click
    Free mouse dwell click software from Sensory Software. Allows you to use the mouse without the need to click the mouse buttons. www.sensorysoftware.com

    A utility for manipulating the left and right mouse buttons of a standard mouse or mouse emulator, like the HeadMouse Exrtreme. Dragger can be used to enter mouse clicks by movement and dwell of the on-screen mouse pointer. This dwell selection function is known as AutoClick. Whe enabled, AutoClick watches the pointer and clicks the left mouse button when the pointer is brought to rest for the programmable dwell time. If the pointer remains motionless it will not click again.

    Dragger 32 screenshot

    Using the Dragger toolbar, this single left click can be turned into a double click, right click, or left and right drag (Source: Dragger).

    Software that clicks your mouse for you. You probably click your mouse hundreds of times a day, thousands of times a week. ClickNoMo lets you rest your tendons while you continue to work and get things done. More about ClcikNoMo . . .

    Doing away with the Mouse

    Left Handed Mice

    Logitech MX610 lefthanded mouse
    Logitech MX610 Left hand cordless mouse

    Making your mouse left handed . . .

    Mouser 4

    Connect up to four pointing devices that can be manually selected or used with auto select.
    Designed to allow users to swap mice or pointing devices with ease. Allows the use of specialist equipment alongside conventional input devices where several users may come to one workstation.

    Supplier . . .
    Mouser 4 switch box


  • Posturite
  • TheRSIshop
  • Anthing Left Handed (including mice)

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