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Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Self-Selected Reading for iPad Switch Users (CTG 2017)

Buell, Hanser, Musselwhite, Wagner – CTG 2017

 Google Slides link: https://tinyurl.com/CTG17iPadSwitch

Creating adapted books for the iPad involves manipulating multiple story elements (e.g., text, pictures, content). The focus of this session, however, will be on physical access. What does Independent Self-Selected Reading for Switch Users look like on the iPad? Participants will learn how to connect switches to the iPad and how multiple switches can be configured to extend the book-reading experience beyond just “turn to the next page.” Selecting from a collection of personally-meaningful books is critical to learning independent reading skills. This session will also cover how to configure bookshelves for switch-users. Apps included: GoTalkNOW, BookCreator, Pictello, and iBooks.

Part 1: How do switches work for reading books on the iPad?
 • Options for a few switch interfaces and with multiple switches

  • Bluetooth interfaces: Inclusive TLC or Ablenet are major vendors Comparison chart http://www.inclusive.co.uk/switch4apps-p5978 
  • Avoid Bluetooth: Hook from Ablenet or Tapio from Origin Instruments 
 • Set up recipes using Accessibility – Switch Control Settings

  • Set up switches first (give an assignment, like advance or select item) 
  • Select recipe to launch – e.g., tap middle of screen or turn pages 
  • Create custom gestures and assign to switches for a new recipe if needed 
  • Indicate “Launch recipe” before turning on Switch Control 
  • Add Switch Control to the Home button (triple click to turn on/off) 
 • Quick examples using “turn pages” recipe

  • Swipe forward/backward to read; during conferencing ask student to move forward or backward to find his/her favorite page 
  • Take pictures using the camera and have student silently read from the photo album 
  • Read a book from www.tarheelreader.org 

Part 2:
Choosing a book from the bookshelf – how can a student use switches for this?
 • Use a computer switch interface with SPACE-ENTER to scan Favorites in Tarheel Reader.

  • Unfortunately, this does not work on an iPad because it uses the browser, not an app.  The switches can be used to Swipe Right to Left and Tap Middle of the Screen.

 • Use SPACE ENTER switch interface (switch control OFF) to use switches in Pictello (read or turn page forward).  Once again, the bookshelf doesn’t scan, unless you scan the entire iPad.

 • Use same  SPACE ENTER switch interface (switch control OFF) to scan in GoTalk NOW

  • Create bookshelf/menu pages in and step scan with auditory cues and visual zoom. Your scan can include left/right navigation buttons as well as Home (start over) for multiple pages
  • You can make multiple books in GoTalk NOW. Jump can go to a specific page in another book. Buttons can also play videos from the iPad library. 
  • A button action can launch a specific URL. Use for www.tarheelreader.org or other websites your school uses for libraries of books 
  • Books can be exported as PDF and opened in iBooks.

 • iBooks bookshelves are problematic – you will need to turn ON switch control. To scan the bookshelf, Recipes = none; to read a book, Recipes = Turn pages.

Part 3: Using custom recipes with a multiple switch interface (e.g., Hook or APPlicator)

 • Pictello Converter can open a TarheelReader book in Pictello

  • Use "turn pages” to go forward and back, and “tap middle of screen” to read text 
  • Activate 3 switches and create a custom recipe in switch control settings 

 • You can also use all 4 switches in GoTalk NOW

  • Single Button pages – program custom gestures for tap middle of screen, arrows, and home button 
  • Visual Scene pages – create a page with 3 hot spots, (for arrows and tap middle of screen). If you make hot spots instead of using navigational arrows, you can add voice feedback for page turning as well as making another page with 3 images in these locations for selecting a book
 • Using all 4 switches in iBooks

  • One switch = swipe right to left, 2nd switch = swipe left to right, 3rd and 4th switches can activate hot spots programmed to speak messages using the Book Creator app 
Part 4: Creating and sharing your books – Don’t forget that students need access to easy books, including books with alphabet or other patterns to support learning literacy skills.

 • All books shared as PDF can be opened in iBooks and read silently with the standard recipe for turning pages
 • Books created with Pictello Wizard result in consistent layout, switch access, and sharing features (for others who have Pictello)
 • Books created using Book Creator can be shared as eBooks (iBooks). Be sure to copy pages rather than create each page from scratch to keep hot spot locations consistent. Tip: use a large invisible hot spot for reading the text
 • To Share GoTalk NOW books, keep the number of pages small, locate the file in iTunes (app documents) and always share in .zip format Tip: No WIFI? No computer with iTunes? Broadcast to another iPad with GoTalk NOW


Erickson, K., and Koppenhaver, D. (2007). Children with Disabilities: Reading and Wri0ng the Four Blocks® Way. Greensboro, NC: Carson-Dellosa. 64–65.

Musselwhite, C. AAC intervention - Tips of the Month http://aacintervention.com/


Angelman Syndrome Foundation Communication Training Series Webinars
#14. Reading as Communication: Selecting Books with Caroline Musselwhite and Erin Sheldon
#27. Independent Reading: Text Types, Paper Books, and Digital with Caroline Musselwhite