A contortionist would find it easily. Anyone else, not so easily. However, a flash light is all that is needed. There is no need to pull the dash apart for inspection.
Refer to the exploded diagram of a 1997 F150 steering column:
Item 15 (there are two) are the bushings. The Torx-headed bolts (shown but not labeled) are what hold bracket #19 to the end of the inner shift shaft.
Pointer realignment cannot fix this type of problem. That can only address the mis-registration of the pointer when everything else works properly.