Tips for using Switch Access

After you set up Switch Access, use these tips to get started.

Basic navigation

If you use auto-scanning
  1. To start the scan, press your switch.
  2. When the item that you want is highlighted, press your Select switch.
If you use step scanning
  1. To start the scan, press your Next switch.
  2. Continue to press Next until you reach the item you want to select.
  3. To select the highlighted item, press your Select switch.
If you use group selection
  1. To start the scan, press your switch.
  2. Find the item you want to select. Identify the highlighter color used for the group with the item.
  3. Press the switch that corresponds to the group's color.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you select the item.
  • The highlighter colors change each time you press a switch.

To clear the highlighting and reset the scanner, choose one of these options:

  • Select Menu and then Cancel.
  • If you have a switch with no correlated highlighted items, press that switch.

Global menu

While you scan your screen, select the Menu button to open a global menu with navigation options:

  • Back: Go back to the previous page or hide the keyboard if a keyboard is visible. 
  • Home: Go to the Home screen.
  • Overview: Show recently opened apps.
  • Notifications: Open the notifications shade.
  • Quick Settings: Show your device's Quick Settings panel.
  • Volume: Change the volume on your device.
  • Enable auto-select or Disable auto-select.
    • For more info, continue to the "Auto-select" section.
  • Point scan or Exit point scan.
  • Cancel: Close the global menu without taking any actions.

The following options in the global menu are equivalent to other gestures on your device's screen:

  • Back, Home, and Overview: The buttons in your device's navigation bar
  • Notifications: A swipe down from the top of the screen
  • Quick Settings: A swipe down from the top when notifications are visible

You can customize the global menu by choosing to hide, show, or move items. This lets you get to the things you want even faster. To hide items in the global menu:

  1. To open the global menu, select Menu.
  2. At the bottom of the global menu, select Edit Menu and then Hide Item.
  3. Select the items you want to hide.
  4. To save your changes, select Finish.
  5. To discard your changes, select Cancel.

You can also reorder items in the global menu:

  1. To open the global menu, select Menu.
  2. At the bottom of the global menu, select Edit Menu and then Move Item.
  3. Select the items you want to move and the place to move it to.
  4. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for as many items as you want to move.
  5. To save your changes, select Finish. 
  6. To discard your changes, select Cancel.

Auto-select 

The global menu includes an option to click Enable auto-select or Disable auto-select.

  • "Auto-select" is enabled: When you click an item on your screen, it automatically selects it.
  • "Auto-select" is disabled: If more than one action is available, you can click an item to open the "Actions" menu. If only one action is available, you can click an item to perform that action.

Actions menu

The Actions menu opens if you click an item that supports multiple actions and Auto-select is off. The menu lists options such as Expand, Collapse, Select, Touch & hold, Scroll forward, Scroll backward, Cut, Copy, and Paste

Tips for the Actions menu:

  • If the item can scroll in multiple directions, the Actions menu includes a Scroll option for each direction, such as forward and backward.
  • When the same action can apply to multiple items located in the same place, the Actions menu includes the action multiple times, once for each item that supports the action. These actions have a number appended to them, such as Scroll (1) and Scroll (2). If you aren't sure which action to choose, try the first one. If needed, you can reopen the menu and try the second one.
  • With text fields, the Actions menu includes options such as Cut, Copy, Paste, Highlight, Previous, Next, Delete, and Undo
  • To close the menu without taking any action, select Cancel.

Point scanning

Point scanning lets you choose a specific place on the screen to tap, swipe, or zoom. Lines move across your screen to let you select a specific horizontal and vertical location.

To use point scanning:

  1. Start scanning your screen with your usual method.
  2. Select Menu and then Point scan.
  3. To start point scanning, press Select.
    • If you use auto-scanning, use your auto-scan switch for this step and the next 2 steps.
  4. When the point scanning line reaches the correct vertical location, press Select.
  5. When the point scanning line reaches the correct horizontal location, press Select.
  6. To select an action, go to the "Actions" menu.
  7. To turn off point scanning, select Menu and then Exit point scan.

 

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