Skip to main content

Switches and Sensors

This area deals with accessibility standard switches and compatible gaming equipment. Click on the images below for more details on each controller and from where you can purchase these from.

Please feel free to e-mail for help on anything that is unclear, or to share new information.

Switches and Sensors

Switches and Sensors.

There are a mind boggling array of accessibility switches, sensors and related equipment available today. I personally recommend Able-Net switches for general use.

Recommended switch suppliers: Dad in a Shed (UK), REM (UK), Inclusive Technology (UK) and TechCess (UK). See below for more.

Light Pressure Switches

Light Pressure Switches

From Atec and MarbleSoft-Simtech (USA)

Inexpensive small, very light touch switches with 3.5mm plugs. Comes with a sticky back to aid in positioning. Available singularly or in a pack of five.

Proximity Switch

Proximity Switch

From Ablenet (USA)

Zero pressure switch. Move within the 10mm range of the Candy Corn sensor switch to trigger it.

Sip Puff

Sip Puff Switches.

From Origin Instruments (USA)

Sip (and) puff switches allow users to take control over two separate controls. They can be used with any low current device adapted to work with accessibility standard switches (3.5mm).

Origin stock a wide range of excellent quality sip-puff switches, which can be set to be recognised as joystick buttons.

Software Switches

Software Accessibility Switches.

A range of virtual switches can take advantage of computer technology.

Camera switches: Map out an area in space, and if something passes through it or moves it, it triggers a switch event, such as a left-click.

Dwell switches: Hover over an area with a mouse pointer for a pre-set legth of time to click, or bring up a contextual menu.

Neuro Switch

Control Bionics - Neuro Switch - EMG linked switch.

Electromyography linked switch: Two EMG sensors on the surface of the skin at each end of the muscle measure the voltage created by nerve signals initiated from the brain and may be detected even in conditions of significant disability.

From: Control Bionics (International)

Bite Switch

Bite Switch

Originally designed for skydiving photography, this switch will need to be carefully rewired to a 3.5mm jack plug. It also requires a strong bite which may become tiring.

From: Music Tablet Store (Europe), Conceptus Camera Switches (France, Germany, USA), AirTurn (USA)

Blink Switches

Blink Switches

A small range of hardware based blink switches.

"Eye Blink Sensor" from: Enabling Devices (USA), "tash Scatir Switch Deluxe" from various (Australia, UK and many others) and "Fibre Optic Blink Switch" from Special Needs Computers (Canada). Second hand you may be lucky enough to find a Toby Churchill Eye Blink switch.

Sound Switch

Sound Switch

"Simple Sound Switch" from tfh special needs toys. Ideal for people able to make sounds but unable to get on with speech recognition software.

The current battery powered version has no "reward" adjustment dial, uses a fixed built-in microphone and has a 1/4" output jack to connect to a switch adapted toy/computer interface. It does work very well though.

Tongue Switch

Tongue Switch

Originally designed for skydiving photography, this switch 'should' work as a standard accessibility switch using a 3.5mm plug to 2.5mm socket adapter (such as L12BQ from Maplin).

From: Conceptus Camera Switches (France, Germany, USA)

Assistive Switching Modules

Assisitve Switching Modules (QED latching box pictured).

There are a number of assistive switching modules available for making switch use a little easier. For those struggling to either hold buttons down for a prolonged time (e.g. holding down the accellerate switch in a race game), or for those wanting to filter out accidental presses, these can offer a potential solution.

Try: QEDonline (UK) especially for the SLAT devices, Dream-Technology (UK), Spectronics (AUS) and Technical Solutions (AUS)

Mounting Solutions

Switch Mounts.

Mounting Solutions

Off the shelf soutions for mounting switches into the ideal position.

D.I.Y. Switches

Illuminated Switches. (D.I.Y. Guide)

D.I.Y. guides to build your own accessibility switches. Including:

Fruit machine inspired accessibility switches. These can be used lit or un-lit, with adjustable brightness.

Sip/Puff switch guides and much more.



Finding exactly the right equipment can be a process of trial and error, and takes time.

Take a look at Inclusive Technology's "Which Switch" guide, Rompa's "Using Switches and Switching Systems" on-line booklet and Kate Aherne's photo gallery of switches.

You may find direct help available from AbilityNet and of course, if you are stuck, feel free to e-mail OneSwitch.

International switch suppliers