One of the challenges for educators and participants in APE is the cost of Assistive Technology Solutions (ATS). While ATS can be incredibly beneficial, it often comes with a hefty price tag. But what if there were more affordable solutions that could provide similar benefits? Here are three cost-effective hacks that can bypass the need for expensive equipment:
1. Remote Control Outlets: The Power of Convenience
Imagine being able to control any electrical device with the click of a button. Remote control outlets are a simple and cost-effective solution that can empower individuals in an APE setting. These outlets can be plugged into any standard wall socket and can be operated with a remote control. This means that students with mobility issues can turn equipment on and off without needing to move or ask for assistance. They’re ideal for a variety of APE tools, from fans to equipment that requires electrical power.
My body is on maternity leave but my brain still thinks about school. If you teach Ss w/ multiple disabilities but can’t afford/don’t have switches YOU NEED THIS. Easy way to start incorporating assistive tech for just $20. Best Amazon find 👏🏼 #APEhacks #AdaptedPE pic.twitter.com/aypOeXsRTl— Nicole McCoy (@NMcCoy_APE) September 17, 2022
2. Extension Cords with On/Off Switches: Accessibility Within Reach
The second hack is to use an extension cord with a built-in on/off switch. It’s a straightforward solution that eliminates the need for bending or reaching for wall sockets. By using these cords, students can have the switch placed on the floor or within arm’s reach, giving them control over their environment. This can be particularly useful for equipment that doesn’t come with a remote but still needs to be turned on and off frequently during activities.
These foot switch extension cords are another budget friendly way to try and incorporate assistive tech for Ss w/ multiple disabilities. Not as sensitive as a true switch but a valiant alternative! #APEhacks #AdaptedPE pic.twitter.com/ou88kMq58q— Nicole McCoy (@NMcCoy_APE) September 18, 2022
3. Motion-Activated Light Control: Movement Made Powerful
Lastly, motion-activated light controls can serve a dual purpose. Initially designed for lights, these controls can be adapted to activate other devices when motion is detected. They can be used to create interactive APE activities where movement is rewarded with immediate feedback, such as the activation of a fan or a light. This not only encourages participation but also adds an element of cause and effect, which can be highly beneficial in educational settings.
Another💰effective switch hack for Ss w/ multiple disabilities. This uses a motion sensor to turn on a device. Could see this activated by refined & unrefined motions from head to toe, a walker/wheelchair moving by, or an implement! #APEhacks #AdaptedPE https://t.co/ZLHg8H8y0o pic.twitter.com/3gsVptU4Oe— Nicole McCoy (@NMcCoy_APE) September 22, 2022
Each of these hacks presents a cost-effective alternative to expensive ATS. By implementing these simple yet innovative solutions, educators can provide more accessible and engaging physical education experiences for all students. Remember, it’s not always the most expensive tools that make the biggest difference, but rather the most creative and resourceful solutions.
Educators and program coordinators are encouraged to explore these options and consider how they might be adapted to meet the unique needs of their APE programs. With a little ingenuity, the possibilities for enhancing accessibility in physical education are virtually limitless. Below are links to all 3 recommended hacks, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decide to purchase through any of these links, thank you for your support.