Posts Tagged ‘switch postioning’

Northern Grid SEN Switcher Switch Games

a text blockSEN Switcher is a specifically designed website which offers a range of switch accessible games designed to help teach basic ICT skills through cause and effect methods. The range of games is simple and designed by the team at Northern Grid.

Northern Grid SEN Switcher games and activities can be used to help build up basic IT knowledge and can be accessed via single switch or keyboard.

Introduction to SEN Switcher

Northern Grid is a small team of education specialists based in the North East of England. They specialise in providing support and solutions for schools and local authorities in their local area and SEN Switcher is one of their products which is accessible to all and free to use.

SEN Switcher has been described as a progressive teaching and assessment tool and there are also notes provided for use by teachers or carers. SEN Switcher is regularly used in school and education environments as well as home and there are also assessment records and checklists. SEN Switcher can be accessed online or downloaded.

Key Features

SEN Switcher features 15 different switch activities. There are seven different sections into which these activities are split:

Each of these sections of games has different complexities, allowing the user or their teacher or carer to select games of the right difficulty. The games are designed to help develop ICT skills and utilise a range of sensory and switch skills including basic clicking, row scanning and also timed targeting.

SEN Switcher can also be customised, once the panel is opened, to utilise different colours. Colours can be setup to support users who are visually impaired or may have difficulties with specific colours as this video shows:

SEN Switcher uses a range of different graphics from simple lines and shapes to more familiar objects and animals. There are sound effects as well as images and the Targeting and 5 Press sections of the suite also involves some scenes, placing objects in context.

Limitations

SEN Switcher is a far reaching and well developed suite which offers games with a progressive feel, allowing users to graduate from one activity to the next as their skill set develops. All the games teach simple but important cause and effect skills.

SEN Switcher Switch Games Homepage

SEN Switcher Homepage

Conclusion

SEN Switcher is a highly educational switch activity suite which is also entertaining and enjoyable. It can be used in a classroom environment but many people also enjoy the games at home. The related notes and additional materials give teachers and parents the opportunity to track progress and help understand the development the skills that the games are designed to work on.

Northern Grid SEN Switcher has been designed to ensure a wide range of different people with different abilities can develop their basic ICT schools in a straightforward and fun way. These switch games are designed with switch use in mind, although they can be accessed via computer keyboard.

 

 

 

Educational Activity Suite Apps – Part 1

If you child is comfortable using touchscreen devices such as iPads, we’ve found a collection of expansive, high quality educations suites that can teach a number of subjects using a range of simple activities that are all switch compatible.

Chooseit! Science

Icon for Chooseit! Science app shows an illustration of a conical flask with green bubbling liquid inside.First in the range of Chooseit! activity suites is Science – an award-winning app that hosts over 160 different activities related to learning about science. The concise and simple to navigate activities are especially designed for those with disabilities and special educational needs. There are over 3000 simple multiple choice activities to choose from, and the entire app is brimming with accessible features that allow everyone to enjoy learning more about science.

The app has been created in cooperation with experienced teachers who truly understand the needs and obstacles that can sometimes be encountered by children with special needs in an educational setting. The app supports touch navigation, along with single or two switch scanning, and the full audio support provides clearly spoken questions that are presented in straight forward language.

Chooseit! Science features bright and appealing graphics that will instantly appeal to children, and the layout of the app is consistent and clutter-free, helping to keep distraction to a minimum so children can concentrate on learning.

Image shows a screen shot from the Chooseit! Science app - black text on white background reads "Find the metal object" below which is a photograph of a ladder and a wooden tableChooseit! Science covers four key areas of learning, which include:

Foundation Living Things – a simple introduction into the exploration of the world around us, including humans, plants and animals.

Living Things – a more challenging look at the world for those who have comfortably completed the first section.

Forces and Electricity – 30 graded activities that take a look at electricity and physics.

Materials – 30 activities that helps children study familiar materials and their properties.

Light, Sound and Space – Space is a popular area of study for children, and often a great place to start if you want to pique their interest in the sciences. This section includes 31 activities that look into the basics of Earth, space, sound and light.

Interested in more educational activity suite apps? We review the Chooseit! Numeracy app as part of our Lego Bricks & More post, and the Chooseit! Literacy app as part of our Ginger Tiger switch activities post.

Papunet Switch Games

Papunet Switch GamesHere we are looking at the next website in the top ten list of websites offering online switch games. Unlike others in our list Papunet Games are almost entirely accessible via switch users rather than adapted from a range of regular games. Papunet is one of the few sites that specialises in switch games.

The website is mainly in Finnish so it can be hard to work out what’s what but the games themselves are entirely functional and there are a wide range to choose from.

Introduction to Papunet Games

Papunet is a Finnish website which offers a small amount of AAC information in English but it is essentially a Finnish website through which you can access a range of 33 games and exercises, almost all of which can be enjoyed using switches.

As well as standard games the Papunet website has a range of exercises including time and number exercises, word exercises and colours and shapes exercises.  Like with our previous posts, including HelpKidzLearn and CBeebies, there is a video showing off some of the games within the Papunet website:

Key Features

Papunet is brilliant resource with a wide range of different games. Some are simply for fun whilst others allow for a degree of learning as well as fun. Some of the fun games require the ability to press and hold as well as click the switch and some games require scanning as well as clicking. There are games which can be played with two switches or a range of switches rather a single click and there are also games which can be played using an Eye Gaze device.

The games section of the Papunet website is split into several sections:

Games of Precision

Papupult Switch Games

Papupult Switch Game

These games involve coordination and timing skills. They include the Snail Game and Papupult. They are brightly drawn in cartoon style and are reliant on the user being able to press a single switch at the right time or hold the switch down and release. They are amongst the simplest games available through the website.

Sudoku

The Sudoku section can also be used by switch users though the process of clicking from square to square make take some time. Sudoku with numbers, colours and pictures are available and they are known for their neurological stimulation.

Dominoes

The domino games have the same functionality of the Sudoku and can be enjoyed by users of all ages able to click through and select, using a two-switch system as keyboard users need to use the space bar and return key.

Memory Games

Memory Games once again work along the same lines as the Sudoku and dominoes games with numbers, pictures and colour and shape options. As with the other similar games using two switches is the most effective way to enjoy memory games at Papunet.

First Games

Papunet first games once again allow for single switch use. They are simple, fun and appeal to users of all ages. Games include Find the Animal, Follow the Animal and Identify the Animal and the only input that is needed is single switch clicks. The games are bright and have an audio accompaniment which can be turned on and off easily.

Limitations

The main drawback with Papunet is the lack of English instructions and direction, though there are simple instructions it would be useful to have a better guide for some of the games to see how to play them properly with a switch or even with a keyboard.

Conclusion

Papunet is different than many of the other sites on our list as it specialises in switch gaming and activities, rather adapting to them. The range of 33 games and exercises offers something for people with different interests and hobbies and there are games of varying difficulties to offer something challenging and enjoyable to a wide audience.

Switch Accessible Apps

If you are looking for switch accessible apps for the iPad rather than PC-use, below we have listed a selection of great turn-taking apps that are perfect for younger children.

Turn Taking App

Icon for the Turn Taking app shows yellow arrows directing a loop, on a green background

The Turn Taking range of apps and additional content from the iTunes store are a brilliant way to entertain children whilst also helping them to understand waiting, turn-taking and patience. These switch games are ideal for all children with additional needs, and especially useful for helping children with autism further understand social etiquette. Each game in the Turn Taking range is both touch and switch accessible, and includes 12 different activities per “bundle”.

 

 

Screen Shot of Turn Taking app shows photo of chocolate-coated apples with one section blanked out. Image of different children playing the game are set either side of the apple image.

Turn Taking App offers motivating visuals that encourage turn-taking, along with video rewards.

The Turn Taking app is a two player game, where players must take turns pressing the screen or their switch to reveal a piece of a hidden picture. With team work, the players can eventually reveal the whole image, helping to promote patience and an understanding of waiting. When finally fully revealed, the players will be rewarded with a video presentation related to the original image.

When a player incorrectly presses their button out-of-turn, they will receive both a visual and audio prompt – both of which can be chosen by the caregiver to appeal specifically to the individual, further motivating the idea of “waiting your turn”.

There are five game bundles available for the Turn Taking app, which include the following visuals:

Bundle #1 includes Jet Plane, Balloon Game, Basketball, Candy Apples, Cows, Planet Earth, Blue Fish, Water Flume, Carousel, Seahorses, Guitar and Penguins.

Bundle #2 includes Baseball, Bicycle, Bulldozer, Dog, Fireman, Yellow Fish, Jellyfish, Logs, Parachute, Quarters, Dropper Ride and Skateboard.

Bundle #3 includes Boat, Bowling, Bus, Elephant, Fireworks, Hammerhead Shark, Jet, Meteor, Racing Car, Ferris Wheel, Soccer Ball and Wrecking Ball.

Bundle #4 includes Dance, Drums, Football, Gorilla, Helicopter, Radio City, Shark, Skiing, Taxi, Volcano, Water Tube and Roller Coaster.

Finally, Bundle #5 includes Falling Balls, Harp, Race Horse, Juggler, Kayak, Motorcycle, Rocket Ride, Swings Ride, Stingray, Train, Turtle and Waterfall.

As you can see from the above bundle lists, there are a huge variety of images available per game download, making it perfect to pick a motivating topic of interest for your child, such as animals, fish, vehicles and sports etc.

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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