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Case Study: Kathy

Primary Access Switch user, hit-and-happen and picture building

Maxess TrayKathy is a five year old with severe athetoid cerebral palsy and associated cognitive delay. She uses a single jelly-bean switch to access simple games on the PC. Although she's having fun, Kathy is also developing some important skills such as an awareness of cause-and-effect and an understanding of switch access. She has had an assessment of her needs and it has been determined that at this stage she can only access the computer using this type of switch, mounted flat on a maxess tray (pictured) in front of her. On the tray is also placed a piece of corduroy to act as a non-switch resting point. During assessment Kathy seemed to find it difficult to understand the on/off nature of the switch so she has two separate objects to represent these two states. Kathy uses the single switch to play simple hit-and-happen and 'building' games such as Abracadabra and SwitchIt! Patterns. Through experimentation we have found that she responds mostly to audio in Abracadabra and the visual stimuli in SwitchIt! Patterns. This information is important if we are to motivate Kathy to move on to more advanced software that could involve making a choice or timing her switch use.

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