Following on from the last two issues, we are continuing with our theme of input devices.
This time we take a look at Traxsys products, the Joystick Plus and Rollerball Plus. These products are computer mouse alternatives, and are designed to be used successfully by individuals with significant physical disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, ataxia or conditions which involve poor hand function (strength, co-ordination, isolated finger movements and control) or use of only one hand.
Both products come with guards to avoid unwanted presses of the buttons but the guards are easily removed if not required. They also have screw holes underneath so that they can be easily affixed to a surface like a table or wheelchair tray.
The cursor is moved around the screen by rotating the ball or moving the joystick in the direction you want the cursor to go. The faster the ball is rotated or the further the joystick is moved, the faster the cursor will move. The cursor will continue to move until the joystick is returned to the central position.
The speed of the cursor is controlled by the speed control button. This button gives 5 cursor speeds. For a wider range of speed control, standard mouse control software can be used – see your PC operating manual.
Both the Joystick Plus and Rollerball Plus have separate buttons to emulate:
• latching drag,
• pointer speed control, and
• horizontal only and vertical only cursor control, making it easier to navigate menus and even to draw straight lines.
The Traxsys Joystick Plus is bundled with additional handles (the SoftKnob and T-bar) and are especially useful for individuals with Cerebral Palsy and those who will use their chin, or feet etc to activate the joystick. Individuals with athetosis (jerky, poorly co-ordinated movements) can also use this joystick very effectively!
For those people who are able to navigate the cursor, but battle to press the buttons, the buttons can be replaced by switches using the RollerPlus Switch Box, which is now included free and, through ergonomic mounting, the switches can be activated using any body part.
More on switches soon… !!