The switch interface acts a bit like an interpreter. A simple press of the switch won’t be understood by the app, but the switch interface converts the press of the switch into something the app will understand. This is often a press of a key on a keyboard. For example, when you are using one switch for simple cause and effect apps, the switch interface usually sends the press of the space or enter key.
Now I know I’m getting a bit too technical and for some of us we just like to get in there and set it all up. We don’t need the technical explanations!! So I have prepared a short video that shows how you can set up a bluetooth switch interface with your iPad. In the video, you will see the APPlicator interface. The set up in the video will generally apply to most bluetooth switch interfaces for the iPad – although you may need to change the mode/settings on the interface itself to suit the different apps.
If you want to see more about Alternative Access Options for the iPad there is a full video available in our Spectronics Online webinar series.
For information on apps that are switch accessible you can look at the Switch Accessible Apps for the iPad list, compiled by Jane Farrall and Alex Dunn.
There is also great information about teaching switching skills to individuals in the Switch Progression Road Map, written by Ian Bean. This has been recently updated to include using switches with iPads.
And I also really like the handout from Linda Burkhart called Two Switches to Success: Access for Children with Severe Physical and/or Multiple Challenges. I attended this session at the Inclusive Learning technologies conference earlier this year and I learned a lot about moving someone on from one switch.
The mind boggles at all the new technologies available for providing alternative access to the iPad! I am already planning a new video snippet to show the Switch2Scan which provides comprehensive, scanning, switch access to all iPad functions – including Apps, music and media, iBooks and data entry. Stay tuned!