March is not only the first month of spring, it’s also National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. While raising awareness about disabilities and the obstacles facing individuals with disabilities is an ongoing effort, in recent years, advances in technology have gone a long way toward making the obstacles they face, more surmountable.
“Mobile devices have become incredibly popular for their ability to weave modern conveniences such as Internet access and social networking into the fabric of daily life,” writes Larry Greenemeier for Scientific American. “For people with disabilities, however, these devices have the potential to unlock unprecedented new possibilities for communication, navigation and independence.”
With the introduction of Apple’s iPad in 2010, people with all sorts of disabilities could gain access to hundreds of apps by just activating a switch. For those new to switch technology, switches come in a variety of shapes, colors, sizes and types. The choice of which switch to use depends upon users’ abilities as well as how they plan to interact with the technology. Enabling Devices offers switches and switch-related accessories to make iPad use accessible to everyone. Check out these products:
1. The iPad Wireless Switch Interface (Item # 1166)
To use your own switches with your iPad, you’ll need switch interface. Just plug in the switch of your choice and gain access to hundreds of switch accessible apps on your Bluetooth-equipped iPad or tablet! Our new model features six modes that provide additional functions. To see a demonstration of how to operate the iPad wireless switch device, click here….
2. iPad Wireless Switch (Item # 1164)
The one switch is the simplest type of switch. A great tool for teaching kids about cause and effect and making choices, one switch devices are also appropriate for beginning users and those with significant cognitive or physical impairment,” says Enabling Devices tech guru, Vinny Livoti! To see a demonstration of how to operate the iPad wireless switch, click here.
3. iPad Wireless Two Switch (Item # 1167)
The two switch is somewhat more complex than the one switch and gives users more navigation options. Those who are physically and cognitively able and/or more experienced with switch technology, may prefer two switch interface because it is faster, and doesn’t have the same timing requirements as the one switch, Livoti explains. Setting up two switch scanning is easy, says Livoti. To see a demonstration of how to operate the iPad wireless switch, click here.
“The first switch moves the cursor around the screen and the second switch makes the user’s selection.” Be sure to turn off auto scanning!
4. Switch Control
Apple’s IOS 7 and the recently introduced IOS 9 have built in switch control, so users can access their iPads, iPhones or tablets by using one or multiple switches or even by using the device’s screen as a switch!
As Apple.com explains: “Switch Control allows you to navigate sequentially through onscreen items and perform specific actions using a variety of Bluetooth-enabled switch hardware. Switch Control is customizable for both beginners and advanced users — you can simplify existing actions or create your own.”
Once you’ve decided what kind of switch suits you best, it’s time to explore apps! You can find an extensive of switch accessible apps for the iPad and apps specifically for individuals on the autism spectrum, here.
If you have thoughts about technological accessibility you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you. Talk to us on Facebook or Twitter.