Simple switches are activated by pressing down on the top with some part of the body (e.g. hand, head, knee). Switches are available in different sizes, shapes and colours. Some allow the activation pressure to be adjusted.
For individuals who are unable to activate a simple switch reliably, there are a wide variety of commercially available alternatives, such as mercury tilt switches, eye blink switches, muscle movement detectors, and sip/ puff switches.
Switches need to be secured and mounted in the required position to prevent them moving or falling out of the user’s reach, and to keep the switch in a consistent position so the switching action can become automatic. The less the user has to think about the switching action, the better they can concentrate on what they actually want to do. Assessment by a qualified professional is essential to identify the best combination of switch type and switch mounting.