Motor Disabilities

Check out some of the unique devices people with motor disabilities use to navigate the web and other software applications.

Adaptive Switch Controls

Meet Donna

A young woman rocking a blue pixie haircut laughs at a joke while sitting with her pet bunny at home.Donna, 22 years old, College Student – Donna is about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Radio, TV and Film. She has cerebral palsy but never considers her disability a barrier. Her limited motor control makes using a standard keyboard, touchscreen or mouse ineffective. However, she is very adept using a switch control with her laptop, tablet and mobile phone.


Exercise: Switch Control with iOS

Switch controls allow people with limited motor control to use technology by activating a switch or button. The AbleNet Blue2 Switch used in this exercise has two switches.

  • Switch 1 – The White (Left) switch tabs through items.
  • Switch 2 – The Orange (Right) switch selects items.

An illustration of the switch control reiterating that the left (white) switch will tab between items and the right (orange) switch selects items.

Ready to Try?

  1. Open the Clock App
  2. Open the Stopwatch in the Clock App
  3. Start and stop the Stopwatch
  4. Reset for the Next Person

Lost? You can cheat and use your finger to touch the iPad. (We won’t tell!)
Extra Credit: Try doing this task with your non-dominant hand!

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