With each new operating system release, iPads have become increasingly more powerful, yet have also remained extremely user-friendly. Adults and children alike are able to browse the web, access content, play games and more through a simple swipe, pinch or tap. With a pinch in different directions, the pressing of a button, rapid double-tap or press and hold, users have complete control over the device. But what if you are physically unable to execute all of those gestures? What if your fine motor skills prevent you from performing the actions that many of us take for granted?
Apple has always strived to make the iPad accessible to everyone, even those with motor impairments, and their recent operating system releases don’t disappoint. With the switch control feature, users can utilize an external switch or even the iPad itself to make choices, open apps and navigate their iPad. Bluetooth wireless switches are available to use, or you can use a Bluetooth switch interface. Some of my recommendations include:
Once you have the Switch, you must first pair the Switch with the iPad. To do this, go to Settings, then select Bluetooth and select the device. After connecting the Switch to the iPad, you will need to turn on Switch Control and add the Switch.
- Go to Settings, then General, then Accessibility
- Select Switch Control (do not turn Switch Control on yet)
- Go to Switches, Select Add New Switch, Select External
- Activate Switch by pressing it
- Name the Switch
- Choose the Switch Action (typically Select Item)
- Go back to Switch Control and Turn On
- The iPad will now begin Auto Scanning, use the Switch to select when it is highlighted. It will also give you other options to choose from.
- To Turn Switch Control Off, Triple Click the Home Button
- You can also Triple Click the Home Button to Turn On Switch Control.
-Nicole Weckherlin, OTR/L