Posts Tagged ‘assistive technology’

Rolling the Switch Dice

Noah and his Dad playing Shoots and Ladders using Switch Dice

Noah and his Dad playing Shoots and Ladders using Switch Dice

Recently I blogged about using Switch Dice for playing board games and said I would be sending out samples for review.

Just to recap, Switch Dice is a switch accessible electronic dice. Pressing the switch causes the bright red LEDs to flash and show the number of spaces the player should move in the game.

Stacy Warden, living in Colorado, was one of the first to get one and try it out. She writes a blog – Noah’s Miracle – about her son Noah. He is six years old and was born with a cerebral palsy condition.

The Warden family love playing board games. And, as Noah uses a switch with his other toys, it seemed reasonable to think he would be able to use it to ‘role’ the dice when it was his turn to play. All that’s needed is to plug a switch (any 3.5mm) into the front of Switch Dice and press it to make Switch Dice ‘roll’.

Very simple but for many kids with CP getting actively involved in game play, rather than watching others take their turn, can be difficult if not impossible. I believe Switch Dice has the potential to remove that barrier.

The picture shows Noah and his Dad playing Shoots and Ladders (I think we know the games as Snakes and Ladders in the UK)

Getting Noah involved and participating in the family fun was Stacy’s goal. Read her blog posting Rolling the Dice to see how it worked out.

She also has a lot to say about two other switch adapted toys: Domino Train and Rally Racer and a new app-controlled communication toy Toy-Fi Teddy that lets users swap messages through their phone and tablet.

Noah’s Miracle is a good read – I encourage you to bookmark it and sign-up for regular updates.

Switch Dice for playing board games

Playing board games with Switch Dice, a switch accessible electronic dice, is great inclusive fun.

Board games remain amazingly popular despite the trend to much more ‘techie’ toys. Nevertheless, go into any toy shop and you are certain to find a display of classics like Snakes and Ladders, Ludo and Monopoly through to a whole bunch of much newer games.

Switch Dice a switch accessible electronic dice

Switch Dice – switch accessible electronic dice

Playing board games usually requires players to throw or roll a dice. But for some gamers the act of throwing a dice may be difficult; that’s when Switch Dice, a switch accessible electronic dice can help. Switch Dice could be a great leveler especially if ‘local ground rules’ insist all players must use the Switch Dice when it’s their turn. Why not?

Switch Dice is really simple to use. Turn it on by plugging in a switch – any 3.5mm / 1/8th inch switch works. Pressing it makes the red Switch Dice LEDs ‘roll’ then stop showing how many spaces the gamer can move forward. The bright LEDs should help kids with sight conditions. It runs on two ‘AAA’ type batteries and if not used for more than five minutes goes to sleep to save battery power. Pressing the switch wakes it up again. It’s as simple as that 🙂

I’m planning to build six Switch Dice in January and send them to the mum and dad bloggers to test and review. The first one is going to Kara Melissa who blogs at ‘Free as Trees’ Read this posting about Kara and her son Seb. Another is for Stacy Warden who blogs at Noahsmiracle and the third is going to Tony Jones at TalkSense.

Would you like to check one out and willing to review it on your blog? Then get in touch – this is the link to our Contact Us page.

 

Joystick-To-Mouse and The Magnifier

Over the weekend I received an email from a software company, IMG, I’d not heard of in quite some time. Their email was about an updated version of Joystick-To-Mouse software we used in the Dream-Mouse product a few years ago. This is what the email said about it:

Joystick-To-Mouse

Run Windows from Any Joystick, Gamepad, Steering Wheel, Foot Pedal, or other Gaming Device. This software has been a big hit with Gamers and Joystick users for over 15 years! If you love to play games with your Joystick or Gamepad, why not run your computer with it? Now available for Windows 8 & 7 (32 & 64 bit), XP & 2000.

Software Announcement by IMG - Joystick-To-Mouse and The Magnifier

Software Announcement by IMG – Joystick-To-Mouse and The Magnifier

Who might find it useful? In my opinion any assistive technology user who routinely uses a PC should take a look at it because it lets the user configure a joystick (or other gaming console device) to act like a mouse. (that’s why they call it Joystick-To-Mouse) It’s worth downloading the free, fully working, demo software to give it a go. I thought it was good when we used it. The reason we stopped was because, at the time, it hadn’t been updated to Windows 7 and W7 was becoming the new standard installed on PCs.

They also announced a Windows 8 version of ‘The Magnifier’.

The Magnifier

The First Truly Affordable, Full Screen Software Magnifier, has just passed its 10th year providing low vision computer users with a powerful, easy to use, and inexpensive solution to their computer screen magnification needs. Now available for Windows 8 & 7 (32 & 64 bit), XP & 2000.

I’ve not used this particular software before but again, as there is a free demo download, what have you to loose? Take a look: this is the link to IMG: http://www.imgpresents.com/index.htm

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