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PC Mice Modifications Make Windows More Accessible

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PC Mice Modifications Make Windows More Accessible

Persons with mobility impairments and dexterity issues can make Windows easier to use by adjusting mouse functionality.

Microsoft

People with mild to moderate dexterity and mobility issues can find it hard to use a standard PC mouse.

Seemingly simple movements such as double-clicking or clicking and dragging can be extremely difficult for persons with arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome, or impaired fine motor skills.

Along with many built-in accessibility features, the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system has settings that can help make the mouse easier to use. These settings modify two basic things: mouse speed and functionality.

Changing Mouse Speed

To change settings, open Mouse Properties.

  • Click Start followed by Control Panel.
  • Click the mouse icon to access Mouse properties.

People with impaired motor skills sometimes find double-clicking with the mouse difficult. One solution is to change the double-click speed. To do this:

  • Click the Buttons tab.
  • Click on the "Double click speed" and slide it to the left (slow) or right (fast).
  • Click OK..

You can increase or decrease the pointer's drag speed by adjusting the speed button under the Pointer tab. You can make similar adjustments to the mouse's wheel speed, i.e. the per-turn scrolling distance, under the Wheel tab.

Changing Mouse Functionality

You can switch the functionality of the right and left mouse buttons. This change makes the mouse easier for left-handed users and can relieve finger stress or stiffness. To do this:

  • Click the Buttons tab.
  • Check "Switch Primary and Secondary Buttons."
  • Click OK.

Users who lack dexterity or fine motor skills can reset the mouse to be able to highlight text or drag icons without having to click and hold the mouse button. To do this:

  • Click the Button tab.
  • Check the box next to Turn on Click Lock.
  • Click OK.

Other mouse modifications include changing pointer size and color to be easier to see, and using the keyboard to control the mouse. One can also download free Windows accessibility software that includes alternative input methods.

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