Recently Eelke Verschuur, our distribution partner in The Netherlands asked whether we could build device that would allow two children to play together with the switch adapted toys we produce.
We thought it was an excellent idea and set about it immediately; this is how it turned out.
We call it the “2 Player Game Extension Box” and this is how it works.
2 Player Game Extension Box
Two switches are plugged into the sockets on the side and the patch lead is connected to the toy controller, such as the one used for the Tolo train set. Both players can now share control of the toy but only one player has control at one time.
The Extension box features two bright LEDs: one red and the other blue which light-up to show which player is in control of the toy.
The Extension Box uses momentary switch mode. This means that the player has control whilst their switch remains pressed. When the player releases their switch it allows their partner to take control. Or, if the first player is faster to regain control by pressing their switch first.
A recipe for good fun or fireworks!
Visit the Dream-Racer website for more details of this and all the other fun and technical products we produce.
We have had an amazing response to the introduction of the “Tolo First Friends” series toys into our catalogue of switch adapted and accessible toys. They are now available in the UK, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Italy – see our list of distribution partners on the Dream-Racer website for their contact details.
We are now planning to introduce a new series of sensory toys from Tolo and other producers. We will base our choice of toys on the guidelines for good toy selection published by well-respected organisations such as the RNIB.
Our intention is to help parents, carers and professionals select toys suitable for the children in their care. We will be listing sensory toys selected for blind, partially sighted and deaf children.
I’ll be blogging more about sensory toys shortly.
The Special Needs Fringe takes place from January 12-14th at the Olympia Hilton hotel, Kennsington, London and it’s open from 9:30 until 5:00 each day.
The focus is on computers and special needs, a field increasingly called “Assistive Technology”. There is a resources exhibition with product suppliers and advisory services, new hardware and software to try out and a programme of free seminars to help you get the most out of your day.
Many of the switch adapted products we feature on the Dream-Racer website will be on display in the exhibition - take a look at the Inclusive Technology, QED and Liberator stands.
If you’ve never been before it is certainly worth a visit.
If music be the food of love play on … let’s switch play on.
On a regular basis we have had requests for a switch adapted CD player but until now we’ve had to disappoint everyone. Now, we’ll be telling everyone about the Sony CD player.
- Sony-CD-Player-with-infra-red controller
We selected the CFD-S35CP CD player from Sony because it gets great reviews on Amazon. It’s been adapted by programming the “play/pause” and “on/off” commands into an infra-red controller similar to the one we use for the Tolo and Maxim train sets.
Two switches give user the possibility to turn the player “on” or “off” as well as “play” and “pause” a music CD.
Like the switch adapted digital camera I blogged about recently, this CD player does not have any “invasive holes” drilled into the player so nothing we do to it compromises Sony’s product guarantee.
Take a look at the switch adapted Sony CD player on the QED website.
Every day zillions of pictures are shared with family and friends on Facebook and lots of other social media sites. If, as the saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words” then there’s an amazing amount of talking going on.
So we started thinking about producing an adapted camera. What we wanted was a switch accessible camera that took care of the “technical stuff” and let the user enjoy the fun part of “snapping away”.
A few months ago we left our prototype with Nadine at QED to check out and very kindly she gave us a list of suggestions to think about. All good stuff. We passed it over to Paul and asked him to figure it out. A week or so later he showed us a very neat implementation. (I didn’t know at the time but he’s a keen photographer so this project was really up-his-street.)
Nadine thought it was brill! Paul’s design was a switch adapted camera that is more innovative compared to, we think, all the alternatives presently available. He designed a switch box that connects into the USB socket on a Canon camera. We selected the Canon Powershot A480 because it has a good technical spec but it’s still a budget priced camera – check out the price and user reviews on Amazon.
switch adapted camera
The beauty of connecting through the USB socket is obvious when you think about it; we have no need to drill a hole into the camera body to wire-in the normal switch socket lead. That means the original Canon camera guarantee is still valid.
It’s really simple to use: a single switch press focuses the camera, charges and fires the flash. if needed, to capture that “special moment”.
Take a look at the switch accessible Canon Powershot A480 camera Dream-Racer and QED websites.