Mouse House Directions



Charlie experiences physical challenges that prevent him from being able to control the mouse on the computer. Instead, Charlie presses on his "Mouse House" to activate and control special software. The computer mouse is inside this small photo album and pressing on the cover clicks the mouse button.



  1. Remove plastic photo pages from the chubby album.

  2. Place the two sponges side by side. Trace and cut out a diagonal hole that allows the mouse to fit snugly between the two sponges. Cut a notch in the sponge to allow the wire from the mouse to lie flat as it runs off the back edge of the sponge. See diagram.

    picture picture

  3. Fasten the sponges onto the inside of the back cover of the photo album with double sided carpet tape. (Hot glue may also be used.)


  4. Place the mouse into the hole in the sponges. See diagram.

  5. Cut a short piece of hot glue with a scissors. Fasten this short piece of glue stick to the inside of the front cover of the photo album with stick tack, above the mouse button. See diagram. The stick tack allows the glue stick to be readjusted directly over the button on the mouse, even with a different model mouse. Note: Make the glue stick long enough to click the mouse button when the photo album is closed over the mouse.

  6. Remove the paper from the back of the adhesive backed loop Velcro. Fold the Velcro in half, leaving about an inch apart at the end. Place this end over the edge of the photo album front cover.



Special software has been created for very young children, children with physical challenges, or children functioning at young levels who may have difficulty manipulating a mouse or using a keyboard. This software is designed to be controlled by a mouse click.

The simplest type of software allows the child to advance through the software by clicking the mouse button to go to the next page, picture or part of a story. This enables the child to be actively controlling the progression instead of passively observing it. (examples: specially designed Hyperstudio stacks, IntelliPics files, switch software and StoryTime software.)

Slightly more complex software offers the child several choices, by scanning or sequentially highlighting choices. With this type of software the child activates the switch when a desired item is highlighted and the computer responds by performing that choice. This allows for more control and active participation, but requires the child to time switch activations. (examples: specially designed Hyperstudio stacks, IntelliPics files, Clickit, Clicker Plus, and StoryTime software.) Note: with two switches, the timing aspect can be removed, but you will need more than a mouse click for the second switch.

The most sophisticated software allows for actual mouse manipulation. These require more concentration, timing ability and higher cognitive skills. (examples: Cross Scanner, Kenex) In addition, some commercial software has a built-in scan feature. (Edmark Early Learning Series and Unifix Cubes) Story programs, such as the Living Books Series can be used if the mouse is place over the "next page" button and then the child may advance the pages by clicking the mouse button.

Traditionally, a switch interface or switch adapted mouse of some type is purchased and connected to the computer so that the child will be able to use a switch to click the mouse. The Mouse House acts as a simple switch without using a commercial interface or adapted input device. The mouse is placed inside a small notebook. Pressing on the surface of the notebook, activates the mouse button. This may be used with the special software discussed above. Another option is to use any mouse activated software as a partner activity with a second mouse. (A "Y" cable would need to be purchased in some cases for the computer to accommodate a second mouse.) A partner moves one mouse to various places on the screen and the child then clicks the other mouse by pressing on the Mouse House.

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Simplified Technology for Children with Disabilities - Assistive Technology and Augmentative Communication

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Make your own talking switch
Make your own mouse house switch
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