this simple customisable program may allow parents, teachers and helpers to introduce and practice simple switch choices and evaluate whether a disabled child could eventually make use of one of the more advanced and expensive systems
Matthew is a 9 year old disabled lad with profound difficulties; he can't operate a mouse without help, and up till now,
has not been able to successfully or fully utilise the myriad of input devices available. He currently uses an Italk 4 hardware switch at school and home,
and so his twin brother and I have designed a software version which we hope to run on a iPad for him to try
below are some screen shots..the main page..
below is a screenshot of the Edit mode where pics and sounds can be edited
this version in Filemaker, although prepared for the iPad, is currently running on desktops - there is a Mac & Windows version✓
we intend re-writing in native IOS soon, and Jack & I are trialling Livecode for this✓
other disabled children and their parents may want to take advantage of this ..
we can be contacted at email@example.com
if you find the program useful, you can donate by Paypal or credit card, and we would love to hear who is using the switch and how they are using it, and with what input devices and on what system_________________________________________________________________
Firstly thanks to Apple & Livecode, who have kindly offered us assistance and discounts✓
we have begun trying/trialling different assistive or adaptive technology input/output devices; a lot of which will only work with desktop macs✓
a non exhaustive list of some of the adaptive input devices we may use are:
eye-tracking devices, head movement devices, voice recognition, speech synthesis (screen readers), many different alternative keyboards, sip and puff devices, switches, large trackballs, mouthsticks, joysticks, many different alternative pointing devices, turntable desks, key-locks, on-screen keyboards, large-key keyboards, oversized keyboards, oversized letter keyboard overlays, keyboards which reduce undesirable keystrokes, miniature keyboards, keyguard (a protective cover for the keyboard withholes drilled to correspond to key locations which make the keys easier to push), touch-screen devices, specialized software, word prediction software, etc.
we intend initially using the programs as as assisted switching; ie the helper guides our son to mouseover or click, as currently happens with his hardware mechanical/electrical switches which have large physical buttons✓
the first program we have begun writing is actually to replace/embellish and improve this mecho/electrical Italk 4 way switch, he uses at school✓
where at present he gets his mum's voice, if he pushes the yellow button, his brother's for green and dog for red
with software we can have a large picture of each which then produces the sound. we have a button which juggles/moves the pics, so his school and us can then say "find mum" etc✓
with the software we can make the picture fields containers to allow other parents and children to import their own pics, and we can further have film sequences play and further interaction for more advanced children.✓
further these software switches can easily be replaced/customised to provide choices for food, drink or choice of programmes with examples pictures or clips✓
although there are many systems on the market they tend to be very expensive and usually more suited to the more cerebrally advanced user.
Our requirement for a simple 3 button choice reflects our son's visual impairment, as well as the cerebral and physical profundity of his disability and his young years
there are other similiar children at his school who could benefit from a simple easily customised software package such as this.
initially i would like to provide this to others for free,✓ but i shall have to spend time and energy and resources to achieve this (including time trialling with other children) and feel that a price of say £10 for extended versions is not too great, given that Apple take 20% automatically for mac versions provided through their store; or perhaps we will simply make it Donationware ✓________________________________________________________________
find sets -be able for helper to quickly find sets eg yes/no , TV choices, food/drink ✓
maybe film sets - done ✓
free downloads to follow.............
(may run on iPad with additional software (but not tested yet)* using Filemaker Go for iPad(about £28 I think)
*iPad transition notes 22/11/2011 ==
currently i believe filemaker go for iPad has problems with record and play sound, and so until they bring out a fix, a possible workround would be to prepare all the soundfiles you wish to use in advance, save and name them in mp3 format, and then insert them into the appropriate sound edit field of matthew's switch (or into Itunes, to be referenced to later), - this though will necessitate me changing the sound fields to allow import of the sound clip in mp3 format or reference to it, either on your desktop machine, before loading onto the iPad , or from within the iPad as a referenced file.. this is all supposition on my part as i haven't an iPad to play with or a copy of filemaker go, but we are working on it ;) anyone got a copy of Go and/or an iPad? xx
*iPad transition notes 23/11/2011 ==
Matthew's switch for iPad (version 2)
will only work when WiFi is active...
Matthew's switch for iPad (version 2) will need FileMaker Go for iPad (Free)
and you will need to edit it on a desktop machine as in the present version , either mac or pc, and load onto iPad through itunes sharing.
> you will need to download a new version of Matthew's switch, which i have begun to write (but is fairly complicated code-wise), which will basically export a main file for the iPad to use, and accompanying sound files - which at present can't play on the iPad from within the main file...
you will also need a dropbox account (free) to be able to access the sound files that will be exported from the desktop app along with the main file.
you then need to prepare the sound files by saving each one with same name but in a different format; for this you will need apple quicktime (free)
you can edit at any time in the future, on the desktop program, but will have to convert any new sound files, before importing the main file again into the iPad, replacing the one that you originally put there.
this is all very messy (although only one button), but will be the only way for this solution to work on the iPad, until FM Go for iPad is updated, or we re-write in a native IOS medium
edit June 2012 --> version 2 now works with free FileMaker Go for iPad, but sound files still can't be edited on the iPad and we wait for Filemaker script steps of IOS implementation for 1 click play/edit sound
the upcoming IOS will feature designating a clickable area which will help our cause.
Matthew's switch for Desktop (version 1) macs and windows, works well and edits simply and doesn't need wifi and is available to download now for free.
if you might be interested in any new version for iPad (version 2), do let us know, and do hit us with any questions, suggestions or donations :)
28/11/11 below is an html 5 experiment (sound will only work with some setups at present )
works in safari on lion desktop (mac)✓
doesn't work on PPC Mac in Leopard with Firefox 3.6 ✘
does work on PPC Mac in Leopard with Safari✓
doesn't work on iphone 3 safari mobile grr no autoplay for sound ✘