Comparison of the TouchFree Switch to a Physical Switch; Children's Abilities and Preferences: A Pilot StudyBy Cole, Jamie; Swinth, Yvonne; Journal of Special Education Technology, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 19-30
Publication Date: Spring 2004
Study conducted to compare the TouchFree Switch from Edmark to a standard Big Red touch-based switch from Ablenet, Incorporated. The devices were compared in terms of criteria such as accuracy, speed, and preference. The TouchFree Switch allows users with physical disabilities to activate computer functions without actually having to physically touch a switch. A camera is placed near the user to detect any bodily movement, which is translated into switch activation. Six children ages seven to fifteen participated in the study. All participants had physical disabilities that warranted the use of alternative access interfaces such as the TouchFree Switch. Depending on their respective cognitive abilities, the participants used both switches to access cause and effect or simple scanning games on a computer. Descriptive statistics were calculated relative to the speed and accuracy found in each switch condition. A complementary qualitative analysis was conducted with caregivers, teachers, and therapists via structured interviews and questionnaires. The results indicated that the devices were equal in all categories. The authors contend that the best choice of a switch should be dependent upon individual client needs and preferences. Implications for further research are discussed.
Assistive Products Discussed: TOUCHFREE SWITCH
BIG RED SWITCH
Published by: Exceptional Innovations (Website:http://www.exinn.net)
Technology and Media Division (TAM) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) (Web Site: http://www.tamcec.org )
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J48213