Using a switch for CVI activities

Scallop Switch with Pinkie Piglet

We recently got a new switch from our Occupational Therapist that Little Bear is much more successful at using. The switch is a Scallop Switch from the American Printing House for the Blind. This switch is big and sensitive, so he doesn’t have to be exact in his movements. We added some red bubble wrap to the switch to give Little Bear some texture to feel when he touches it. The APH have a variety of other switches that may be more appropriate for your particular child.

Once we found a switch that Little Bear could push intentionally, we wanted to find ways that he could use it visually. We found this Pinkie Piglet online (Lukas loves pink!) that comes with a battery interrupter, which makes it possible to use it with just about any switch. We added a little sparkly pink embellishment to make it easier for him to see and he absolutely loves it! He is definitely starting to get the hang of how to use the switch to turn things on and off. The great thing about the battery interrupter is that it can be used in any simple battery-operated on/off toy. We are on the lookout for other toys we can use it with.

UPDATE, Nov. 15, 2014: Pinkie Piglet is no longer available at the source we referenced above. It can be found at, but it is not bundled with a battery interrupter. Battery interrupters can be found on various sites, including Enabling Devices.

The switch can also be plugged in to our lightbox, which we drape with bright red, yellow or pink pieces of fabric, so that they light up when the switch is pressed. It is great to be able to find cause-and-effect activities that also allow him to use his vision! Let us know what other great ideas you have for incorporating switches with vision!

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