Let’s hear it for prehensile thumbs! They are indeed a marvel of natural engineering. That said, we often take the fine-motor control of our hands and fingers for granted. However, many people with physical disabilities have great difficulty with this ability. Many are children. For them, assistive technology can put electronic and electrical devices—literally—in reach.
When we think of switches, we often picture a large button, such as the BIGmack, Jellybean, or Buddy Button. Other switches assist by isolating the finger. Another switch worth considering is the Pinch Switch, from Enabling Devices. As its name suggests, a child simply squeezes a red extension tip, activating toys or other devices using only the slightest pressure, a mere 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of force. Occupational therapist will appreciate the fact that the Pinch Switch offers an effective way to teach their clients important grasping, fine-motor, and prehension abilities. The Pinch Switch measures 3 x ¼ inches and weighs 2 ounces.
Indeed, we have some of these at our Technology Lending Center, where New Jersey residents (with approval) can try one out for free and explore its abilities.