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Do you have a SCI?
Hands don't work?
Work on a Mac?
Try KeyStrokes!

Do you have a SCI?
Have 1 muscle?
Work on a Mac?
Try SwitchXS!

You want to work on a Mac OS X computer, but you can't use your hands? If you can move your head, well then this page is for you! This page provides information about the hardware and software I use. There are of course other hardware & software options (look at the bottom of this page), but this page is about what I chose to use.

Note: If you can't move your head, or if you are blind, or can't speak, or move like an unguided bomb, check out

Having access to a computer is of vital importance to me, not just to prevent depression, but also to: arrange my care, meet people and do work. I need two computers: one in my living-room, and one for my bed (I sometimes have to stay in bed for many days... but also useful at night or early in the morning). Besides the usual stuff like a: computer, local network, internet, back-up, printer and such, I need:
- A head-controled mouse (Origin HeadMouse, 2x)
- A puff to switch strow (2x)
- A switch device to wake up the computer from sleep (Mini-SwitchPort, 2x)
- A fully-functional on-screen keyboard (Software: Keystrokes)
- Telephone dialing software (ABDailer) (and Skype is a new rising option)

My bed computer

Above my bed, I have a self-designed construction with a small silent computer (first a Cube, now a Mac Mini). The inset shows what I see when lying in bed: an up-side-down mounted flat-screen and HeadMouse, which, together with KeyStrokes, provide me with access to my computer while lying in bed, flat on my back!

Having access to a computer in bed is very important to me for every day, but especially for these times when I have to stay in bed for a couple of days or even weeks.

The screen resolution is 1280x1024. I would like to have a larger screen, but that would be problematic for my neck (which I don't want to break again!).

KeyStrokes is much more than just an on-screen keyboard, the amount of useful options is amazing! Including: advanced word prediction & personal dictionary editor, a dwell-click system, smart transparency, audio feedback, the option to design your own keyboard layout.. More and more features continue to be added! On Mac OS X this software simply is the best option. Some people complain about the prize, but I'd say it's realistic, especially if you take into account all the options and the extremely small users group world-wide.
I have a special connection with KeyStrokes, as in 1996 (soon after my spinal cord injury) the first version was specially programmed for me by David Niemeijer and I have been a beta tester since then, plus I made some of the graphics for the AssistiveWare software.

Giesbert Nijhuis


("HeadMouse" is a registered trademark of Origin Instruments Corporation)
by Origin Instruments Corporation

Needs Software to run




Large headset


USB, and no adaptor.


The Origin HeadMouse has been here for a long time, it's the first one that freed me from a large wired headset, giving me a lot of freedom. The Origin HeadMouse may be a bit more expensive than some other devices on the marked today, but keep this in mind:
- It runs without software, making it very reliable and fast.
- Again; no software that consumes most of your processor power.
The new HeadMouse Extreme is very small and USB connected & powered (can be used on a mobile computer with USB).

To get a Mac awake from sleep, you'll need a low-power switch extra: I use the the Mini-SwitchPort (In sleep, a Mac only listenings to low-power devices). If you'd want more control over mouse accelerating behavior, the software utility "USB-Overdrive-X" may be useful. (I don't use it).

From the Origin website:

The HeadMouse sensor replaces the standard desktop computer mouse for people who cannot use their hands. The HeadMouse is a device that translates the movements of a user's head into directly proportional movements of the computer mouse pointer. The HeadMouse is a wireless optical sensor which tracks a tiny and disposable target that is placed on the user's forehead or glasses. When this capability is combined with an on-screen keyboard, the HeadMouse can completely replace the functions of a conventional keyboard. On-screen keyboards provide an image of the keys on the computer display, with key selection made by positioning the mouse pointer over a key. The actual key press is implemented by dwelling over that key for a set period of time or by using an adaptive switch. A Remote Switch Interface is available for wireless transfer of adaptive switch inputs from a wheelchair to the computer.

Tiny, flexible and paper thin tracking dot is typically placed on the forehead.


Hardware, head controlled mouses

HeadMouse, by Origin

HeadMouse for Portables, by Origin

HeadMaster Plus, by Prentke Romich International

Tracker, by Madentec

The QuadJoy, by S E M C O

APT Cordless Gyro-HeadMouse, by Advanced Peripheral Technologies

Software, on-screen keyboards

KeyStrokes, by AssistiveWare

SwitchXS, by AssistiveWare
(single switch controle)


ScreenDoors 2000, by Madentec

OnScreen, by Innovation Management Group

SofType, by Origin

Software, "dwell" control

Magic Cursor 2000, by Madentec

Dragger, by Origin

The symbols represent:

= headmouse hardware

= on-screen keyboard

= word prediction

= dwell control

= Apple Macintosh OS

= Windows OS

please mail corrections here

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