Computer Mouse Control Options
(Rev. 2008) Loreta McPartland, Lynnley Moore, Nancy Inman - Kennedy Krieger Institute
Patients with A-T often complain about difficulty controlling a standard mouse, especially double clicking required for opening files and using the “drag” function. Alternative control devices that provide one touch access for double-click, locking-drag features, and are adjustable for speed of the cursor movement are often recommended instead.
Windows and Macintosh
- Joystick Plus II by TRAXSYS: Allows for easy cursor speed adjustments as well as double click and latching drag feature. Has interchangeable handles. No additional software required. Available at Don Johnston, Inc. (800-999-4660).
- Rock Adapted joystick - programmable right left buttons, drag-lock for one- handed click and drag operation. Available at Ablenet (800-322-0956).
- Use arrow keys on an enlarged keyboard to control the mouse. (such as on The Intellikeys)
The numeric keypad on a standard keyboard can be used; need to hold-down the keys to operate movement; To convert to Arrow Keys go to the Control Panel, open “Easy Access”, “Mouse Keys”, “On”
- Use Arrow keys on an enlarged keyboard to control the mouse. (such as on the Intellikeys)
- The numeric keypad on a standard keyboard can be used to control the mouse; Need to hold-down the keys to operate; To activate this feature go to the “Control Panel”, “Accessibility Options”, “Mouse”, click on “Use Mouse Keys”, “Apply”; Adjust speed of pointer in “Settings” menu.
Windows and Macintosh
- Kensington Expert Mouse 7.0 This trackball comes with software, which provides latching drag and double click switches, as well as adjustable speeds. Additional software required (included). Available at Kensington, Inc. or (650-572-2700).
- Roller Plus: large ball with double click, latching drag, and variable cursor speed. No additional software required. By TRAXSYS; Available at Don Johnston, Inc. (800-999-4660).
- Wave Wireless switch adapted trackball, programmable left- and right-click buttons, drag-lock for one handed click and drag operation
- Kidtrac: 2-button trackball, adjusts for right- and left- hand use, and has drag-lock feature. – –Available at Mayer Johnson (800-588-4548).
may be used in place of a mouse when mouse control is particularly difficult. Use of the “Sticky Keys” feature, noted in the section above, is helpful when using keyboard shortcuts. “Sticky Keys” eliminates the need to hold down two keys simultaneously.
||[Command I ]
||[Ctrl I ]
||[Command Shift < ]
||[Ctrl Shift < ]
||[Command Shift > ]
||[Ctrl Shift >]
We have found that many patients with A-T are most successful using the arrow keys on the Intellikeys USB or a joystick because of their stable base and easily adjustable controls. If a patient is successfully using a different device, there is no reason to change. However, these devices should be considered for first-time computer users, or if difficulties arise with an alternative device. Personal preference and past experiences play an important role in final recommendations. Prices for alternative mouse control devices range from $30 to $500.