Our friends at the Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation have developed two new assistive switch designs, made possible by the Canadian Government’s Assistive Technology Program. Through both a quality improvement program and research study, they collected valuable feedback from stakeholder communities across Canada on how the assistive switches could be improved. Updated versions of the devices are currently being developed, which will be released on the Makers Making Change library by the end of summer 2022. These assistive switches are intended to improve access to the digital economy for people with the most limiting physical disabilities.

The Lift Switch

The Lift Switch is for people who have movement ability, but who no longer have the strength or endurance to hover their hand or foot or other body part over an accessible switch they already own. The Lift Switch has three modes that all allow for use of your accessible switch in reverse, where lifting off of the switch activates it. The existing accessible switch is unplugged from the interface device and plugged into the input jack on the Lift Switch. The Lift Switch is then plugged into the input of the interface device.

Rendered image of Lift Switch. The Lift Switch has a 3.5mm input on one side and a 3.5 mm output plug on the other end. An indicator light is on the top and a mode button is on the side.

The Lift Switch is able to operate in three different modes: Normal, Latching, and Reverse. The mode is indicated by the color of the LED light on the Lift Switch and can be changed by pressing the Mode button.

Original versions of the Lift Switch are still available for donation. If you are interested, please contact [email protected]

The Twitch Switch

The Twitch Switch is designed for people who have very limited motion. It consists of a controller box with three wireless sensors. Up to three sensors can then be attached to any part of the body where any movement is possible. That movement will be picked up by the sensors, allowing the user to navigate a computer or wireless device screen, or operate switch adapted devices via the three 3.5 mm output jacks.

A rendered image of the Twitch Switch. The Twitch Switch consist of a base unit and 3 sensing units. The base unit has lights that indicate the operating mode, buttons to change the mode and profile, and three adjustments and indicators for the different sensing units. The base unit has three 3.5 mm output jacks. Each of the three wireless sensing units responds to movement and can be strapped as a wearable.

Original versions of the Twitch Switch are still available for donation. If you are interested, please contact [email protected]

Anyone who has received a Lift and/or Twitch Switch and tried it are invited to please complete the short quality improvement survey.