I've seen this happen with some distros. There was probably no /proc/bus/usb/* or similar directory created for your mouse or your keyboard.
_If_ that's the case, then it is your distribution's fault and there is nothing you can do except find a different, more professional distribution, and try installing that instead.
Have you tried using knoppix? if knoppix doesn't let you access your keyboard and mouse then probably nothing will. If that's the case, then you'd probably hae to try getting a different computer.