Mac Trackpad Accessibility for Quadriplegic


I am Nipun Malhotra. I was born with a quadriplegic disability. I am a Disability Rights Activist and social entrepreneur based in India.

I'm a Big Apple fan and use an iPhone 14, Apple Watch 9, AirPods and an Apple TV.

I used a MacBook until 2020, but I had to switch to a Surface Pro 7 that year because the new MacBooks had a trackpad that was too wide for me. When I tried using a friend's MacBook for a day, I found it difficult to type because my hands would accidentally touch the trackpad while typing.

The reason for this is that I can’t lift my hands against gravity. I rest them on both sides of space outside the trackpad (the space of which has reduced with the new wider trackpad) and move them around the keyboard typing with one finger from each hand. While moving my hands they keep accidentally moving onto the trackpad and clicking on it making it impossible to type properly.

I am looking at upgrading my laptop again and am very tempted to buy the M3 MacBook Air. The trackpad is still too large so the problem persists.

I wrote about this on a few forums and someone at the MacRumors forums suggested BetterTouchTool can help deactivate portions of the trackpad? Is that true and if yes, how? I will immediately order the MacBook if this indeed can be done

Thank you!

unfortunately BetterTouchTool can't help with this because it would require to modify the Apple trackpad driver, which can not be done without disabling some of the macOS security functions.

There was GitHub - cocoahuke/shrink_trackpad: Solve the Apple Macbook "oversized" trackpad problem. but I don't know whether it still works. Also it requires loading a custom kernel extension, which requires to disable macOS SIP (system integrity protection).
//edit/ Actually it seems like Apple Silicon chips have an additional protection which breaks this and can not be disabled.

Honestly I believe currently the only real way to disable parts of the trackpad is to put some non-conductive tape over it ;-(

I’d recommend filing feedback with Apple about this accessibility issue!