Let’s Get Cooking with Recipes for Switch Control

In my last post I focused on Recipes, a feature of Switch Control for iOS devices that can help switch users more efficiently perform repetitive actions such as flipping the pages of a book. This week, I will focus on how to set up these Recipes with step by step directions.

The first step to get the most of recipes is to connect a switch interface to your device. While iOS allows you to use the screen as a switch source (tapping on the screen will be recognized as a switch press), having a switch interface with at least two switches will provide more options: for example, you can set up one switch to flip the page in one direction, the other to flip it in the opposite direction.  Some of my favorite switch interfaces are as follows:

Each of these switch interfaces will allow you to connect at least two switches (typically a round button you press to perform an action on your device). The wireless switch interfaces will connect to your device over a Bluetooth connection. Pairing instructions will vary by device, but if you have paired a Bluetooth keyboard or headset to your device before the steps will be familiar. The wired switch interfaces will typically use a Lightning connection.

Once you have your switch interface connected and you have configured at least two switch sources, you can proceed to create a new Recipe for flipping the pages in a book (Important: I highly recommend setting up the Accessibility Shortcut before trying these steps – this will allow you to triple-click the Home button if you get stuck at any time and need to turn off Switch Control):

  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and choose Switch Control (under Interaction).
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  2. Tap Recipes and choose the Turn Pages option.
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  3. Tap Assign a Switch and follow the onscreen prompts to select one of your switches and assign the desired action (a Right to Left Swipe or a Left to Right Swipe).
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  4. Repeat step 3 to assign the second action to a different switch (a swipe in the opposite direction).
  5. Navigate back to the screen listing your switches and their actions, then choose one of the switches and assign its Long Press action to Exit Recipe. This will allow you to switch back to the typical mode of operation for Switch Control when you are ready to step out of the Recipe.
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That’s it. Your switches will be ready to use. Recipes are accessed through the Scanner Menu that pops up by default when you make a selection. You can review last week’s post to see this Recipe in action.

Want to learn more about Switch Control? You should really check out Handsfree on the iBookstore. This is a book I co-authored with switch master Christopher Hills. The book has more than 20 closed captioned videos and step by step instructions for every aspect of using Switch Control for access and inclusion.

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