2006 Conference General Sessions

Steps to scanning — developing switch

Presenter #1

Roger Bates
Catehead Business Park
United Kingdom
Day Phone: 4-44 01457819790
Email: roger@inclusive.co.uk

Two switch control works best for many students — see lots of programs designed to develop switching skills from cause and effect to choice making for many students basic “cause and effect” using a switch is achievable. A developed sense of switch control can be harnessed in many ways to give a child opportunities to interact with their surroundings and with other people. The session will, start by showing a range of activities and programs that can be used to develop “cause and effect” and to move on to higher switch skills such as looking, waiting and pressing at the right time. This first stage of switch skill development is the key to future success, basic skills can be established to enable the child to use their switche(s) with ease, and then they can concentrate on what the switch does.
• Pressing at any time — pressing at the right time
Needing physical prompt
• Needing verbal prompt
• Self-motivating
• Favorite rewards
Basic activities using a single switch and cause and effect operation cannot offer the user many opportunities for choice making. This can be done in a number of ways including
providing the users with an alternative input system offering a greater number of direct choices. Some users will progress to using input systems such as IntelliKeys, touch screens, large keyboards if they have the physical abilities to target discrete areas. For those who can only manage switches we will need to examine this method of access and to offer choices by a scanning process controlled, in the vast majority of cases, by either one or two switches. Single or two switch operation of scanning both have advantages and disadvantages. These will be illustrated with particular reference to the difficulties faced by students with complex needs including severe learning difficulties and CVI (cerebral Visual Impairment).
It is becoming clear that achieving choice making by single switch scanning is an almost impossible task for many students. However the extra benefits conferred by using a two- switch step scan with auditory prompts have been found to enable significant additional numbers of students to progress to choice making using this method.

Developing two—switch skills
This section will consider a selection of computer and simple—tech activities that can be used to progress toward using a two-switch scan. A range of software and devices will be considered.
Initially the student should have some degree of switch awareness and then can begin to explore the issues of using two switches. At this stage we will try to give them a range of activities where they can become familiar with the concept of having two switches that do different things.
Two switches - but only one does anything
• Two switches — two different awards
Toy control one switch for go the other for stop using Inclusive toy control box One switch makes picture other plays sound
At the same time we can begin to consider establishing switch positions that are best for the student.
Two switch scanning
We now can consider how we can progress using the pupils two-switch skills with a range of computer software. The Inclusive SwitchlT programs can offer an excellent to progress from cause and effect to choice making with simple building and story making activities. The various visual and auditory scanning possibilities will be examined and off—screen and supporting off—screen activities suggested. A useful technique to introduce scanning off-
a computer is to use a cut out paper “scan box” to scan and choose real objects. The child scan then use computer •scanning to select digital pictures of the same objects. Inclusive
Chooselt Maker 2” is an easy program that lets you make scanning grids with visual and auditory scanning. A graduated range of grids will be shown offering the pupil increasingly challenging choosing opportunities allowing them to become proficient and controlling scanning using pictures, symbols and words.

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