Wired Switches

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Wired Switches

In its most common form, a wired switch is a button shaped device with a 3.5mm jack plug lead. To access a PC, the lead connects to an interface, or it can be plugged directly into a switch adapted product, an interactive toy, for example. The switch is then commonly operated by a hand or finger press to activate the device it is connected to.

Understanding the Differences

A large variety of button switches are available. With devices of different colours, sizes and profiles available, deciding the best switch to purchase for an individual can often be a challenge. 
In addition to this, different switches require different amounts of pressure to activate. It is important therefore to first recognise the needs and requirements of the switch user when considering what will be the most suitable switch for them.

Switch Sizes

Button switches are available in a range of different sizes.

It may be advisable for an early switch user to operate a larger sized button switch for a period such as a Large Smoothie Switch at 125mm.

Through practice and experience, the switch user may then progress onto a switch with a smaller activation surface area that is less obtrusive such as the Buddy Button at 65mm.

For a more discrete solution, switches as small as 30mm, such as the Piko Button or Access Switch, are also available

Switch Colours

Colour can make a switch attractive to touch and help users with a visual impairment when they are placed on a contrasting surface. Different colours can help the learner using two switches and can be associated with different devices – for example, a red switch for a fan, a blue switch for a toy etc. Older users may prefer a less conspicuous colour or even want different colours as a fashion accessory.

The Specs Switch (35mm) is available in five different colours – green, yellow, blue, red and black.

Meanwhile the Jelly Bean Switch (65mm), also below, includes 4 different coloured interchangeable tops and a clear snap cap which can be used to secure a picture or symbol onto the switch.

Switch Pressure

Different switches require varying amounts of pressure to activate, and it’s advisable to check the activation force of the switch as some individuals may not be able to exert the amount of pressure needed to operate them.

The amount of pressure isn’t dependent on the size of the switch, a larger switch such as the Big Red Switch (125mm) , for example, requires 160g of pressure to activate.

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