By their very design, a standard keyboard and mouse can be difficult,
if not impossible, for students with disabilities to use. The computer
can present barriers when:
- Keyboard keys are too small or too close together,
- Information on the screen is difficult or impossible to see
because of size or clarity,
- The mouse is difficult to hold and control, or
- Sound features are hard to hear.
Options within the computer's operating systems (both Mac and PC)
can begin to address these obstacles. You will find some in your
computer's Control Panel Settings and in other places as well --
we'll show you where. Try these first, before substituting an alternative
keyboard or mouse. You can also use them in combination with a different
Control Panel Options
These settings can be changed via the control panel on a Macintosh
Appearance choices include colors of windows, size of fonts and
icons on the desktop and control strip and other options.
Mouse settings allow adjustment of the tracking and double-click
speeds, mouse tails and the size of the insertion point. Mouse tails
can make the pointer easier to see and follow.
Keyboard settings offer options to slow down or turn off the key
repeat rate. You select the keyboard language and layout here.
Sound options include volume settings, choosing alert sounds or
recording customized ones.
Universal Access Tools
Operating systems also include built-in accessibility features
designed specifically to assist persons with disabilities
when using a keyboard or mouse. You may need to download these
optional settings from the Systems CD. These utilities give
more control to the student, making software interaction easier.
Universal Access Tools (OS 9) includes: