Switches can be used to allow kids with physical disabilities to participate in a variety of activities including reading a book, playing on the computer, playing with a toy, making art, cooking, listening to music, taking photographs and making a movie. Get your students participating in fun and functional activities with their switch!
I can use my switch to get online!
Using a switch to access a computer can be a great way to get kids excited about using their switch. If the program you are using only requires the equivalent of a click of the mouse, you can connect a switch to a switch adapted mouse. If the program needs some other key (space bar, enter etc.) you will need to connect your switch to a switch interface. Check out some of these switch interfaces: https://store.bridges-canada.com/C-115/Switch+Interface
I can use my switch to read on the computer!
· Tar Heel Reader is a website with a collection of switch accessible books for all ages. You can also create your own book to add to the collection. Once you’ve selected a book, choose a voice on the left hand side to have the book read aloud. http://tarheelreader.org/
· Tumblebooks is an online library of children’s books. Although this website is not specifically for switch users, books can be accessed with a switch by placing the mouse cursor over the turn page button and ensuring that the mode is set to manual.
· In London, you need to enter in your library card to access the books: http://www.londonpubliclibrary.ca/kids/ click on the Tumblebooks link on the left hand side and enter in your library card.
· In other communities check your local library website to see if you they have a subscription. Some libraries do not require you to enter in a library card. For example, if you go to the Waterloo Public Library website, you can click on the Tumblebooks icon on the left hand side of the screen. http://www.wpl.ca/kidbits/
· Bookshare is a website that requires a subscription. You can download e-books and use free software (Don Johnson’s Read Outloud) to have the books read aloud. You can place a cursor over the read button and have the student read at their own pace. http://www.bookshare.org/
I can play online switch games!
I can use today’s technology!
· Check out this link to information on a switch adapted camera, camcorder and mp3 player:https://store.bridges-canada.com/SearchByKeyword.aspx?word=switch%20adapted
· Create a low-tech picture display of all the switch activities that your child can participate in, to allow for choice making. A symbol representing the activity can also be placed on top of the switch to reinforce the symbol/activity connection.
Light Tech Ideas
· Try using an adapted switch toy. Here are some commercially available products:
· To see some switch adapted toys in action, type “Switch Adapted Toys” in the YouTube search box.
· A switch toy interrupter cable makes simple battery operated toys switch accessible. See a ‘how to’ video: http://www.pisp.ca/video/index_how_to_videos.html
· Care of Switches: To prevent damage, do not wrap the cord around the switch. Instead, secure the wire to itself with an elastic. When removing the switch from a port, hold the switch by the plug instead of pulling the cord.
High Tech Ideas
· Use Ablenet’s Powerlink to connect a switch to a mixer, tape recorder or other simple electronic device. Kids can then use their switch to turn the device on/off. See these links for great ideas on how kids can use switches to participate in a variety of activities:
I Can … be a star!
If you have a success story that you would like to share in the I Can Newsletter, please let us know. Our contact information can be found at the bottom of the page.
October 21- 23rd, 2010
This year's conference builds on a tradition of providing a comprehensive examination of the most current uses of technology by persons with disabilities and the professionals who work with them.
Come and learn, first-hand, about the products and best AT practices and strategies by and for teachers, therapists, clinicians, parents and end users alike. See this link for more information and pricing: http://www.closingthegap.com/conference/
Provincial (BC) Integration Support Program (PISP) Website
This website has exceptional videos and resources for classroom teachers and educational assistants. Be sure to check out: “How to..Videos” under the Videos and Tutorials section. http://www.pisp.ca/index.html
· Switch types and functions: http://atto.buffalo.edu/registered/ATBasics/Populations/Switch/printmodule.php
· TVCC Equipment Services: Clients of TVCC can borrow equipment (through their therapist) including jelly bean switches (11), switch adapted mice (13), toys and switch adapted equipment (38) and powerlinks (2).
· TVCC Resource Centre: The following cause and effect software is available for clients of TVCC to sign out: Attention Teens, Switch Basics, Press to Play Zoo, Press to Play Speedy and Songs I Sing at Preschool.
· Cause and Effect Software to Purchase: https://store.bridges-canada.com/C-191/Cause-Effect