Devices Offering Great Solutions (DOGS)

Computer Mouse and Pointing Devices

A special kind of mouse can help you use the computer.

What does it do?

A mouse is the device you use to control the cursor and make selections on your computer. Different options are available if you can’t grip or move a traditional mouse. There are also changes you can make on your computer to make it easier to use your mouse.

What kinds of mice are there?

Vertical Mouse

A vertical mouse allows your wrist to rest in a natural position, as if you were giving someone a handshake. This is a good ergonomic option. It might be helpful for people with arthritis, carpal tunnel, or tendonitis. Different brands like Anker and Kinesis make vertical mice.

Rollerball Mouse

This kind of mouse has a trackball on the top. You can rotate the ball with a single finger and don’t need to grip, pick up, or move the mouse entirely. The example shown here is from Kensington.


Joysticks can be used more flexibly than a traditional mouse. You can grip them with your hand or use another body part, such as your forearm, to operate it.

Eye Gaze

Eye gaze accessories let you control your computer without touching it. Companies like Tobii and Irisbond make these eye trackers.

Head Tracking

Software like Smyle will let you use navigate your computer by using the existing camera to track head movement. This ability is also built into the iPad for free. Other options include buying a special head-control mouse, like the Quha Zono

Foot Mouse

Your foot is another body part that can help you use the computer. Some products, like the 3DRudder Foot Mouse, use a board that you tilt to control mouse movement. Others, like the Footime Foot Mouse, use a scroll wheel or movement across a mouse pad on the floor.

Cursor Settings

You may be able to change how big your pointer or cursor appears on the screen, what color it is, or how quickly it moves. This can make it easier to navigate no matter what mouse you are using. These options are usually located under “settings” in your computer.

Trackball mouse on a base with four buttons

How do I see what's new?

Technology changes all the time. To find out about the latest options for these, you can type keywords into a search engine such as Google, Safari, Firefox, or Bing on a computer or tablet. These are the keywords for this type of item:

ergonomic mouse, vertical mouse, rollerball mouse, joystick, eye gaze for computer, head tracking for computer, foot mouse

How do I find out more?

If you live in the US outside of Pennsylvania you would need to find your state's AT program.

If you live in Pennsylvania:

  • you could contact TechOWL to work with a specialist. We can meet with you and sometimes demonstrate this equipment. We can also help with different ways to get one for your own.
  • you might borrow this equipment to try out. Do we have this in our lending library?


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Caitlin McKenney

Caitlin is an assistive technology specialist with experience working with students who have multiple disabilities and complex access needs. She runs TechOWL's used equipment and emergency preparedness programs. Caitlin enjoys learning about new tools and helping you make your technology work for you!

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