Vol. 37 No. 5, September/October 2000
Pages 591 - 598

Abstract - Factors affecting the use of a single switch with assistive technology devices

Jennifer Angelo, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, ATP

Rehabilitation Science and Technology, 5044 Forbes Tower, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Abstract — Identifying consumers' motor ability for consistent and reliable control can be a difficult yet essential part of a single switch assessment. Current literature does not identify the essential components of a single switch evaluation. Therefore, the following focus group study was conducted. Six occupational therapists with experience in assistive technology service delivery participated in a focus group meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to identify essential components of a single switch evaluation in the single switch assistive technology assessment. Eleven items were identified as essential to the single switch assessment. They are: reliability of motor movements, volitional nature of movement, safety, movements that are easily performed, endurance, activities and positions the client assumes throughout the day and evening, efficiency of movement, previous successful movements, ability to perform timed response, ability to activate the access device within a given time frame, and time between switch closures. The significance of this study is that essential components of a single switch evaluation were identified. Using this detailed information should lead to optimal switch placement and switch use.

Key words: control interface, indirect selection, input methods, integrated controls, scanning.

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