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iOS: Easier Switch Access

Guided Access and Switch Recipes

These two features available as standard in iPads and iPhones (iOS9 onwards) can make all kinds of things easier for all types of users. You can try them even if you don't own a switch. This PDF download can help you get set-up straight away: iOS Switch Recipes for Beginners.

1. Guided Access: This feature enables you to lock a user within a single app and shield off parts of the screen that may get them lost in menus. It features a timer for shared or controlled use too. Video used with permission by Ian Bean.

2. Switch Recipes: Enable you to repeatedly trigger an action on the screen. Really useful for taking timed photos, playing some games, turning pages in an electronic book and so on. Video used with permission from Ian Bean.

3. Accessibility Shortcut: This allows you to stop and start the above modes by triple-clicking the Home button (once set up).

4. Apps that are great for one-switch recipes: Looking through photos or the pages of a book (use the default Turn Pages recipe). Taking lots of photos with no need to use complex switch menus (you'll need two custom recipes, one for portrait photos and one for landscape, as the on-screen "take photo" button changes position). Games. Music. Sensory activities and much more....

Switch Hardware: Some excellent iOS switch interface and switches can be found at Inclusive Technology, Pretorian Technologies (I've been using their very nice iSwitch) and AbleNet.

Creating a Basic One Switch Accessible iOS Game: The absolute basics are to make it compatible with the "Tap Middle of Screen" recipe to start, play and restart. Remember there's no such thing as too easy for some players. Make the difference between pressing the switch and not pressing the switch very clear to distinguish. Make it fun for a broad audience!

For more help, see Ian Bean's Switch Recipes in iOS9 and Guided Access guides and AbleNet's Switch Control - The Missing Guide. You may be interested to view this plea to Apple video which they clearly listenend to. Thanks Apple!


Thanks: Ian Bean, Ian Hamilton, AbleNet and all who backed the Apple Accessibility Team plea video including: Christopher Hills, Colin McDonnell, Jane Farell, AbleGamers, Michael Philips, Michelle Hinn and Thomas Westin of the IGDA GASIG, Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions and Will Wade.

If in the UK and without an iPad or iPhone, you may be able to try out Switch Recipes for yourself by contacting SpecialEffect. If in the USA or Toronto Canada consider contacting AbleGamers who may be able to help too.