What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology is any kind of technology and/or tool that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability. Often, for people with disabilities, accomplishing daily tasks such as communicating with others, going to school or work, or participating in activities can be a challenge. Assistive Technology (AT) devices are tools to help overcome those challenges and enable people living with disabilities to enhance and have access to a quality of life, that may otherwise not be known, and lead more independent lives.

The mission of this blog is to serve as a voice of a constant researcher in the field of educational and assistive technologies so that the best products, strategies and services may be located easily, in hopes that they will then be delivered, taught and used to better the lives of people with disabilities.

Friday

Switch Activities Online

Online (and iOS) Activities to use with Switch Access
(iPad information at the bottom of this posting, along with computer software links.)
  • Better Living through Technology has several programs that they direct you to designed for switch use. Some you are able to download onto your computer, others are for use right on the internet.
  • Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21 offers many Flash programs that you can download to your computer to use. These are great fun. Be sure to preview as some people are not comfortable with.   
  • CBeebies by Inclusive Technology and CBBC, who have combined their efforts in this project to give switch users the chance to learn about money and prices.It also uses early math terms such as"cheapest" and "most expensive". Most instructions are read out clearly, though non-readers will need a bit of help. Play with one or two switches as well as standard access methods.
  • HelpKidzLearn has sections with stories, games, creative fun such as puzzles and paint, all which can be used with switch access!Many of these activities are not timed, use sound and visual information and have other features that make them appropriate for individuals with disabilities building access abilities. Each activity includes recommendations for products sold by Inclusive Technologies that may be of interest.
  • Hiya allows you to download or play their games online. This is a nice feature. There are various programs available for a variety of skill focuses from early start and beyond.
  • Ian Bean - You'll find nearly 200 activities for switch users here which can be used online or downloaded. They all have options for touch-screens, pointing devices and eye gaze too.You do have to register with the site but it's free and takes only a minute or two.
  • Inclusive Technology offers a very rich site. This will link you to free downloads worth exploring.
  • Judy Lynn offers software for trial. Their software is based on developing switch skills.
  • KneeBouncers - Perfect! Great fun for our little ones.  A must explore site!
  • OneSwitch is a resource of fun ideas aimed at moderate to severely learning/physically disabled people.
  • Papunet Games is a free website that contains games in English as well as Finnish and Swedish. The games are designed with AAC device users or students who use computers with alternative access in mind. They range from very easy to more challenging and can all be played with a mouse or switch.
  • Priory Woods School provides Switch videos and slideshows set to music, which can be controlled by a range of common assistive access devices. They are designed to help children understand and generalize cause and effect (the action/reaction bond), one of the foundation stones for early learning. All of the videos can be played online or downloaded for use on a PC or Macintosh computer. And now, their revamped videos!
  • RJ Cooper has a couple of cause and effect programs worth exploring.
  • SENICT Software is a website dedicated to providing quality teaching activities and games for children with a special educational needs. Their activities are designed to be accessible to everyone including those who access the computer with assistive technology such as switches, touch-screens, mouse and alternative pointing devices including eye gaze.
  • Shiny Learning offers 6 free games designed to be used with a switch, keyboard or mouse. They can be played online or downloaded right to the computer, whichever works best for you and your student. To play these games you need the Adobe Flash Player installed on your computer. These are great, simple cause and effect games.
  • Specialbites has free switch games to download, switch games to play online and tons of video tutorials to help you make switch games.
  • Tar Heel Gameplay has games that everyone can play due to easy access. There is a growing collection of games made from YouTube videos. 

Here's a couple of suggestions for teens and switch use:

YouTube Access
Here are a couple of switch accessible YouTube sites reported to work well:  
These allow you to put in the URL for youtube videos then set a specific amount of time for the video to play.  A student can use a switch to make it come on again.


updated and links checked on 12/17