What alternative pointing systems are available for someone who cannot use a mouse?
Other alternative pointers can be found in many mainstream computer stores and supply catalogs. External touchpads, similar to those built into many notebook computers, are ideal pointers for some. A handheld pointing device with a small control surface area may be useful for someone with very limited hand mobility. For a person with a mobility impairment who already uses a joystick to drive a wheelchair, a joystick-style mouse substitute may be an excellent choice.
A person with good head control who cannot control a mouse or an alternative pointing device with any limb should consider using a head-controlled pointing system. These systems use a transmitter or reflector that is worn on the user's head and translate head movement into mouse pointer movement on the computer screen. An additional switch replaces the mouse button. Combining a head-pointing system with an on-screen keyboard allows someone who cannot use a standard keyboard and mouse full computer control.
For more information about adaptive technology, consult Working Together: Computers and People with Mobility Impairments or view the video by the same title; also consult Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology or view the video by the same title.