As assistive technology means accessibility, it is logical that mice and switches make up a great deal of what we offer through our Technology Lending Center. The mice we have available all share one design element: they are of ergonomic design. Earlier, we featured a group of six trackball mice, including one little mouse that is literally at one’s fingertips! This week, our Asssitive Tech Tuesday feature explores additional three mice of unconventional but very useful designs.
Evoluent VerticalMouse. VerticalMouse is actually a family of ergonomic mice. What they share is that they enable the user to relax his or her wrist. As its name implies, its vertical, upright design supports the hand and forearm, via what the company calls the “hand-shake grip.” Most important, the arm is not twisted, as it would be with a conventional mouse. That could lead to significant discomfort during long sessions on the computer. A small lip at the base of the mouse supports the little finger and keeps it off the mouse pad. Another noteworthy feature is a small button behind the wheel. This control adjusts the pointer speed, visible though small LED indicators. Six programmable buttons and powerful driver software allow for a high degree of customization, sharply reducing the need to move the mouse or touch the keypad. The VerticalMouse family comes in both right- and left-handed versions; all are both PC and Mac compatible.
HumanScale Whale Mouse. The distinctive Whale Mouse is fully adjustable to fit each user’s hand. Both the front and rear sections are connected to a bar in the middle; the ends can be pulled away or pushed together, as needed. The ergonomic features are designed to the hand by having the larger, stronger arm muscles to ease the stress repetitive movements can cause. As the user holds the mouse with the palm, the more delicate muscles of the hand and wrist are relieved. The HumanScale Switch Mouse is the newer version of the Whale Mouse.
Aerobic AirO2bic Mouse. The maker of the AirO2bic mouse claims its design takes the vertical mouse a step further with this non-grip design. The aim is to allay the risks of carpal tunnel syndrome, or at least to reduce the pain and discomfort among those suffering from the condition. As with the other mice discussed here, the AirO2bic mouse allows the wrist to rest right on the comfortable curved groove built into it. In addition, the fingers are not extended forward in a pinch grip, which can injure other small muscles in the hand. As the name implies, the AerO2bic mouse reduces physiological load “to avoid the hours of muscle tension that can cut off the oxygen supply in muscles while they are tensed.” This mouse is available in both right- and left-handed designs, each in a sleek black or white color.
New Jersey residents can try out all three mice at the Technology Lending Center for free and determine which solution best fits their needs!