Mouse Solutions

Using a mouse can be difficult for many students, but before you spend money on alternative devices try the following:

Check if the student is right or left handed. This sounds obvious, but many left-handers will use the mouse with their right hand because the mouse is typically placed to the right of the keyboard.

Slow down the mouse pointer speed so that the movement of the pointer is easier to control. This is also an important thing to do when using rollerballs or joysticks.

  • In Windows go to Control Panel then Mouse. Click the Pointer Options tab then move the slider left or right to adjust the speed.
  • On a Mac go to System Preferences then Keyboard and Mouse. Click the Mouse tab then move the Tracking Speed slider left or right to adjust the speed.

Make the mouse pointer larger or a different colour so it is easier to see. This may be a critical factor for students with a visual impairment.

  • In Windows go to Control Panel then Mouse. Click the Pointers tab. Choose a Scheme from the drop down list. Windows Black (extra large) is a good one to try first. If the pointer still isn’t visible enough download larger pointers from http://tinyurl.com/acepointers
  • On a Mac go to System Preferences then Universal Access. Click the Mouse tab then move the Cursor Size slider left or right to adjust the size.

There may be restrictions in your institution which means you are unable to adjust these settings. Have a polite discussion with your ICT support to remind them of your institution’s obligation under the Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’.

Fil McIntyre, Assistive Technologist, BRITE

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