How do people who have fine motor control difficulties access the AAC app?
Depending on their physical abilities and needs, a person can control a computer or a communication aid using a slight movement of their foot, blinking an eye or moving their head. These various ways of controlling an AAC device are called access methods. It can be useful for those having difficulties with fine motor control, e.g. having Cerebral Palsy etc.
There are two types of access methods:
- Direct access (pointing / pressing the screen directly)
- Indirect access
1. Direct access
- Eye gaze (eye-tracking technology)
- External keyboard
- Key guard
- Head pointer
2. Indirect access
- Visual scanning
- Auditory scanning
- Switch scanning
Auditory scanning and partner assisted scanning
Switch access scanning
Switch access scanning is an indirect selection technique (or access method), used by an AAC user to choose items from the AAC app by connecting external devices (called switches) to the app. These can be wired or wireless for ease of use.
Connecting (wired) switches to the AAC app
The user taps the switch to select an item in the app, during the scan: