The Southern California Augmentative and Alternative Communication Network... a support group for professional development, problem solving, leadership, mentoring, and training in the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to develop communication in non-speaking and minimally verbal individuals in the Southern California Region.

Follow this blog via email at the right.
Join our email list:
Friend us on Facebook SoCal AAC
Follow us on Twitter @SCAACN

Monday, June 24, 2013

Joystick iPad Accessibility - Books

Everybody loves touchscreens, right? Well...

Even if you have motor impairments that keep you from efficiently and effectively interacting with the capacitive screens (that require touch and don't rely on pressure) - you still might love them! But if you can't control your touch, much of the touchscreen tablet world is not accessible to you. I first heard mention of an iPad joystick at the Closing the Gap conference in October 2012. Patti King deBaun flashed an iPad with a suction cup joystick on the screen and spoke on how iPad book pages can be "turned" using an on-screen arrow and a knock on the joystick. 

The iPad joystick is not a common item and cannot be purchased at the Apple Store or Best Buy. They haven't even heard of the thing! Pictured is Joystick-it (online ~$5 plus shipping).  It is a small, metal wand seated on a plastic suction cup that is ringed by a layer of conductive foam. This foam will activate the screen location where it touches the surface of the glass.

When the joystick is rocked, the foam must touch the onscreen target (in the case of these books, the page-turn arrow) and voila! a gross motor movement of reaching even a closed fist toward the wand requires significantly less aim and grading of force. 

The case your iPad is in may interfere with the joystick placement. Above you see the Big Grips Frame ($34.95) that allows the joystick to be centered on the edge of the touchscreen area and to rock freely to both the right and the left - which will allow it to touch and release the page-turn arrow. For users that cannot access the screen, set-up will be required. Each book app has an option of "Read to Me" that should be selected to start the first page of the book. From there, book reading/listening can be independent if this movement is an option. Be aware that the joystick is not permanently adehered; given a forceful knock, it can be slid across the glass or knocked off entirely.

Continue reading (CLICK HERE) for more than 20 free and inexpensive iPad book app titles to use with your joystick!

No comments:

Post a Comment