For the switch user, accessing the essentially mouse-driven Windows environment appears to be a formidable task. SAW (Special Access to Windows) - is software that enables Windows to be controlled by one or two switches,a joystick, a trackerball or a headpointer. SAW has many additions and features to make creating interfaces easy for those who use alternative inputs.
Communication aids of any flavour come under the umbrella term of AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). You might also hear of talking communication aids being referred to as Speech Output Devices or sometimes as VOCAs (Voice Output Communication Aids).
For individuals who use switches with computers, Voice Output Communication Aids and/or Environmental Control systems the speed of access can be frustratingly slow. It is therefore important we consider all the influencing factors to ensure we achieve effective switch access.
Critical Questions from “Assistive Technologies: Principles & Practice” by Cook, Hussey :
•Can they use the pointer to reach all the targets on the screen?
•Is the size & spacing of the targets appropriate?
•Complete the action needed to make a selection? i.e. click, drag, double click etc
•Is the sensory feedback provided adequate?