It’s a Very Fine Little Switch, but It Comes with a String Attached

string switch accessibility

Unlike with the more-common buttons, the user pulls a string to activate the switch.


Most switches and buttons offer accessibility to persons with various limitations of physical ability. For example, there are the Flex and Leaf switches, along with the ultimate switch. More compact are buttons, such as Buddy and Big Buddy. Here’s another example, the String switch, from AbleNet. This device is ideal for students and other users having challenges with physical strength or motion in their hands and fingers. For them, all it takes to turn an attached device on or off is a slight pull on the string. The String switch requires only 1.5 ounces (43 grams) of force to pull the string down and turn the attached device on or off. As with most compact switches and buttons, the String switch offers an auditory click and provides tactile feedback. One need merely to plug the String switch into any switch-adapted device that has a standard mono 3.5-mm jack. The cord length is 6 feet (1.8 meters). When used for computer access, the string switch requires a computer-switch interface. The String switch sells for $65; users in New Jersey, however, can try it out first for free at the Assistive Technology Center.


Ultimate Switch assistive tech

The Flex (ABOVE) and Leaf (BELOW) switches allow a person with a disability to operate a device easily and independently.

Big Buddy Button switch New Jersey

The Buddy Button and Big Buddy Button offer large surface areas, an auditory click, and tactile feedback for persons with limited arm and upper-body movement control.




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