Technology @ High Point, vol. 13
Tech for teaching and learning in our new space
Fill Your Toolbox!
This Week's Tech Feature:
Most classrooms at High Point are equipped with Orby, Specs and Little Candy Corn switches. These 3 switch styles will meet most switch needs in the classroom, particularly when paired with the variety of mounts available in the classroom.
It is important to know that switches alone do not do anything. They simply close a circuit so the thing the switch is plugged into can work. You always need to plug a switch into something for anything to happen.
The Orby switch is very similar to switches from other vendors including the Jelly Bean, Buddy Button and Moon Switch. It is a 2.5 inch diameter button that is triggered by a light press with an auditory and tactile click when pressed. It has a 5 foot long cord.
The Specs switch is a smaller switch at 1 3/8 inch diameter. It works well for users who have good targeting skills and for placing a switch in a small space. It has a 6 foot long cord.
The Little Candy Corn switch is a proximity switch which means the user can activate it without touching the switch. The switch will activate when anything gets within 0.5 inches of the triangular switch surface which is 2 inches wide. It has a 6 inch long cord. It requires a battery operate.
Here is a video to show you how to get started with the Little Candy Corn switch.
Who is it for?
- Have difficulty using small buttons
- Are confused by many buttons together, like a keyboard
- have difficulty seeing buttons
- Need buttons placed in alternative locations, like at their feet or elbow.
All of these switches can be Velcroed to a Universal Switch Mount arm or the Modular Hose mounts. The Orby switch has a non-slip material that can be used to keep it from sliding on a flat surface. The Specs switch can, alternatively, be anchored to the Universal Switch Mount using screws. If you need the hardware to make this happen, contact Jamie Mayo.
The Specs switch has a flanged base that makes it more stable and offers the screw holes for connecting it to the Universal Switch Mount. There is also a base that removes this flange for a more compact switch and a base that allows a strap to be attached so the Specs switch can be attached to your hand or anywhere. See photos below for ways the strap can help with positioning of the switch. For these extra bases, contact Jamie Mayo.
The Little Candy Corn switch uses a CR2032 button battery that will periodically need to be replaced. Turn the switch off when not being used to conserve battery life.
Ideas for Using This Tech in the Classroom
Little Candy Corn
Melissa is a young lady with very little finger movement due to a past stroke. Her small finger movement does not have the strength to activate a mechanical switch. The Little Candy Corn works with very little movement and no strength. Melissa uses this switch and automatic scanning to access her AAC device.
Jimmy uses a power wheelchair for mobility and his wheelchair joystick also controls his computer for his schoolwork. He uses a Specs switch Velcroed to the side of his wheelchair for left click on his computer.
Jackson is a child in the hospital and wants to blast his Nurse with a water gun. He can't do that because of the danger of water on the floors, but he is able to use an Orby switch plugged in to a battery interrupter in a Nerf dart blaster. His Nurse never saw it coming! Here is a video of the Nerf Blaster before it was mounted on his wheelchair... does that tester look like he could share some genes with Jamie Mayo???