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Alternative Mice

Joystick Mouse

Joystick Model A

Model A

Joystick Model B

Model B (showing three different handles)


For people who have shaky or unintentional arm movements Joysticks can replace the traditional mouse and provide greater control of the direction and speed of the cursor on screen. An individual can use the joystick in whatever position he/she finds most comfortable when operating the computer. They are highly flexible and enable the user to move the cursor both horizontally and vertically at various speeds.

They have separate buttons for left click, right click and drag lock with color corresponding switch ports on the back of the units. A flashing light indicates the drag button has been activated. The products include a keyguard to help users isolate on the buttons. The Joystick comes with two alternative handles to accommodate different input needs, T-Bar and Soft Sponge Ball.

The user may select items by either using 'click' and 'drag' buttons on the joystick.

An added advantage of using a Joystick is that the user can rest his/her hand on the device while moving the cursor. It provides a stable base for the user, and as a result, may prove useful for individuals who find that their hand/arm movements are unstable when using a standard mouse.

Technological Requirements

Most joysticks are compatible with both Windows and Macintosh Platforms.


Joysticks similar to ‘Model A’ shown above with enhanced features cost approximately €400. Model B examples shown cost approximately €250.

Trackball or Rollerball Mice

Trackball Model A

Model A

Model B

Trackball Model C

Model C


On a traditiional mouse the ball that controls the cursor on the computer screen is on the bottom. On a Trackball or Rollerball the cursor is controlled by the user moving a ball located on the upper surface of the trackball. Consequently, the mouse itself does not move on the surface of the table and there is no need for a mouse mat. The user selects items by using 'click' and 'drag' buttons on the trackball.
Trackball or Rollerball Mice frequently come with software drivers that allow you to use and adjust other features such as:

  1. Lock the Menu. Click once and the menu stays open.
  2. Change the click actions. Open file directories with a single, precise click. No more double clicking.
  3. Change the drag requirements. Click the beginning and the ends of phrases or graphics. You no longer have to hold down the mouse button.
  4. Set a default point on a special location of the screen.
  5. Slow the cursor down even more. Provides pixel-by-pixel cursor control for detailed work.
  6. Change the speed of the pointer. This option delivers a slower slow and a faster fast than the control panel options, giving you even more efficient cursor control.
  7. Create commands (from printing to saving) to execute with a single click.

An alternative to the ‘Trackball’ mice shown in Models A and B above and considerably cheaper are the ergonomically designed type shown in Model B. The ergonomic design is suited to either hand. The example shown above comes with a wheel device making it easier to browse the internet. They are available from most computer supply stores (off the shelf) and are considerably cheaper.

Similar to using a Joystick, a Trackball user has the added advantage of being able to rest his/her hand on the device while moving the cursor. It provides a stable base, and as a result, may prove useful for individuals who find that their hand/arm movements are unstable when using a standard mouse.

Technological Requirements

Compatibility: Windows 95, 98,ME or NT Apple Mac ® OS 8.5 or later (with USB port)


Model A above which is a very recent model with advanced features costs approximately €80. Models B and C cost approximately €20 and €40 respectively.


Touchpad variantTouchpad Variant

Touchpads replaces the mouse as a pointing device to move the cursor on screen and are used extensively in laptop computers. A touchpad is a flat-surface on which the user moves his/her finger across the surface in order to control the cursor. The user can select by either tapping quickly on the touchpad (for a double-click) or by using the standard mouse buttons. Minimal movement is needed from the shoulder, arm, wrist or hand.
Driver software which comes with the device provides for customizing the buttons for easier control.

Technological Requirements

Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP or Mac0S 8.5. Windows ME not supported.


They cost approximately €60.



A 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 are controlled using foot movements.


Between €100-€200

A mouse is a handheld device used for controlling the pointer or cursor on a computer screen to perform some task. For example selecting the ‘Print’ command to send a document to a printer connected to the computer. The computer mouse is a small object fitted with one or more buttons and the natural shape of it allows it to sit neatly under the hand. The underside of the mouse houses a device that detects the mouse's motion relative to the flat surface on which it moves. The mouse's motion is typically translated into the motion of a pointer or cursor on the computer screen.
It is called a mouse simply because it looks like the little rodent with the main body and cord resembling the look and overall shape of a mouse.
The major movement translation techniques are by Mechanical Click and Optical and Laser sensors.

Standard Mice

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. The cursor on the screen moves accordingly reflecting the choice of movement directed by the user.

Mechanical Mouse

Model A: Mechanical Mouse

Optical Mouse:

Whereas a traditional mechanical mouse uses a ball and wheels to detect the movement of the mouse, an optical mouse uses a light emitting diode and photodiodes to detect the movement of the mouse pad.

Optical Mouse

Model B: Optical Mouse

Laser Mouse:

This mouse utilizes a small laser instead of the normal LED. The new technology can increase 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.

Model C: Wireless Laser Mouse

Technological Requirements:

All the models shown will run on either Macintosh or Windows PC.


Model A costs approximately €10. Models B and C: Optical and Laser Mice cost between €20 and €65.

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