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There are various factors to consider when selecting the correct switch. Whether choosing between size, colour, wired or wireless and the activation force required to press the switch, it’s important to identify the individual's needs and requirements to determine which switch is the most suitable for them.
Colour and Symbols
Colour can make a switch attractive to touch and help users with a visual problem when they are placed on a contrasting surface.
The Jelly Bean Switch is supplied with four interchangeable coloured tops which helps the individual identify which function is assigned to what colour.
Older users may prefer a less obtrusive colour, or even different colours as a fashion accessory.
Transparent covers such as those supplied with the Access Switch can allow you to add pictures, symbols or different textures onto a switch. Pictures or symbols can be useful to give your pupil the chance to choose between a number of battery or mains devices.
Wired or wireless
As an alternative to a wired button switch, it may be worth considering a wireless solution. Since they have no cords or connections, a wireless switch will allow the individual to control their assistive technology devices more easily and with less strain.
Not only are wireless switches user-friendly, but they also increase mobility, offer greater accessibility, and improve safety.
Feedback and Activation
For most users the tactile and auditory feedback offered by a switch that moves and clicks when it is pressed is an advantage in the same way that a "proper" keyboard is preferred to a flat membrane keyboard.
If the auditory feedback is proving to be a distraction to the individual then a low-profile switch which can be operated by the slightest touch such as the Pal Pad may be more suitable. Bear in mind however that this will also affect the attraction of the tactile feedback.
If the individual is unable to produce enough force to activate the switch due to physical limitations then a proximity sensor switch, such as the Candy Corn, is highly sensitive and requires a wave of a hand or other body part within 10 millimetres of it to activate