Posts Tagged ‘accessiblility’

Owlie Boo Switch Games

Owlie boo Switch GamesThis is the second of our Top Ten Websites for Online Switch Activities post. We’re looking in depth at Owlie Boo, which offers a range of switch games.

Owlie Boo is a website which was designed by tech savvy parents who wanted to teach their young son how to use computers in a fun and entertaining way. It is packed with a range of educational games designed initially for young children but many of the games are ideal for switch users because of the simplicity of their design. Many of the games are activated through pressing any button on a keyboard.

Introduction to Owlie Boo Games

Owlie Boo games offer a combination of entertainment and educational. Their range of games is expansive and they also have a range different apps for Android and iOs use specific to different games in their range:

The games are ideal for switch users as many of them involve only the pressing of a single key, any key, which means once they’ve been setup (as cursor use is necessary to setup the game) they can be enjoyed through a single switch. Many of the Owlie Boo switch games are also available to work with Eye Gaze technology.

This video gives a quick overview of how the games work for a switch user:

Key Features

PC or Mac based Owlie Boo games are broken into three key sections:

  • Pressing Keys
  • Moving the Mouse
  • Clicking and Dragging

The games in the pressing keys section are the simplest and easiest to access via switch technology. There are 12 bright, vibrantly coloured games to choose from including Shells, Dolphin, Crazy Monkey and Animals and they are all accessed by simple clicking a button on the keyboard or a single press of a plate switch or similar device. Pressing the switch will cause the animation on the screen to react in some way be that through animation or sound.

The other two groups of games aren’t designed for switch gamers and involve the use of more sophisticated controls. Some users may be able to configure a switch system that works with them but most users recommend sticking to the twelve Pressing Keys games.

Limitations

Owlie Boo Switch Games Screen

Owlie Boo Main Screen

Owlie Boo has advertisements and doesn’t play in full screen mode which may be problematic for visually impaired gamers. It is possible to purchase a subscription to Owlie Boo without advertisements and larger game interface on three different plans: $5 a month for three months, $12 a year or $25 for an institution subscription for up to 30 devices.

We also suggest investing in the apps – these are ad-free, fullscreen and are available at a one-off cost, rather than subscription.

The Owlie Boo apps currently available are:

Animals

Owlie Boo 1 (includes Animals, Jungle, Leaps and Egg)

Owlie Boo 2 (includes Marine, Flying, Shells and Hidden)

Owlie Boo 3 (includes Crazy Monkey, Frog, Dolphin and Dog)

Owlie Boo 4 (includes Bugs, Deep, Bubbles and Kids)

Conclusion

The educational element of Owlie Boo makes it especially popular as the games have a purpose as well as being fun. The interface is simple and the games work quickly and seamlessly. The wide range of games is another plus point as it means users can play for longer and try a range of games before getting bored or moving on.

Owlie Boo is a great choice for encouraging further activities and learning. The games are simply cause and effect but there is scope to discuss what happens and even what we think might happen before the switch is pressed.

For further reading, please have a look at our reviews of the Shiny Learning switch games website and the Special Bites online activities website.

How to Determine the Correct Switch Positioning

How to Determine the Correct Switch Positioning

The world of accessible switches is extremely complex and there are a range of considerations that need to be taken into account before

A Switch safely and correctly positioned on a Trabasack mount

choosing and positioning the switch for a user. It is important that the switch is positioned correctly and securely but it is also important to keep in mind that there may be occasions it needs to be moved so it can’t be a permanent attachment. The switch needs to accessible but equally needs to be secure against any potential damage or risk of being knocked off.

Before you can consider positioning the switch you need to think about what type of switch to choose. Here are some simple criteria which you need to consider before choosing your switch:

Which muscles/appendages will be used to control the switch?

If the switch is to be accessed via the elbow it needs to be position in such a way that it can be reached and this will be different than if it is going to be accessed by hand or wrist.

What kind of switch can be used by these particular muscles/appendages?

There are a range of switches on the market designed for specific usage by specific muscles so pay close attention when considering your switch.

How much force can be generated to activate the switch?

Switch sensitivity can be altered so depending on the force able to be exerted you can choose a switch with corresponding sensitivity.

Where and how is the switch to be mounted?

Before you can think about positioning your switch, you need to consider what mount you are going to use. We of course recommend using a Trabasack, a fantastic multipurpose lap tray and bag which acts as a useful mount for all different types of switch.

Back to positioning, when you’ve ascertained the answers to these questions you can begin thinking about the location of your switch. Here are some basic factors to consider when setting up your switch on your Trabasack mount:

How much force can the mount sustain without moving or breaking? With a Trabasack mount you have the added bonus of a cushioned under-surface meaning it can comfortable sustain any exertions needed to activate the switch.

A Trabasack with Switch safely mounted upon it.

Does the switch mount have any “give” so it can be adapted for users of different strengths? Again, as your Trabasack mount has a beanbag cushion it can handle the amount of pressure needed by any user to activate the switch. It isn’t particularly “tight” and you can mount the switch so it isn’t difficult to use.

How expensive is the switch positioning system? Trabasack is an extremely affordable product, not only because it is multifunctional but also because there are no other products on the market with the same benefits. As well as a functional bag and lap tray, you have its third switch mount functionality.

If you choose to use a Trabasack as your switch mounting device, you will not be disappointed. Extremely versatile and flexible there is scope for switch mounting in a number of ways to suit a range of users.

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About this blog
Trabasack is the ideal mount for your switch and switchmounting.com is a platform on which we will post further updates, news and information regarding the Trabasack and its role as a switch mount and other assistive technology, switch mounting and switch related news.
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