Getting Started with Bluetooth Switches on the iPad

For Teachers of the Visually Impaired who work with students who are Deaf Blind or Multiple Disabilities, using the iPad paired with a blue tooth switch can be a powerful way to expand a student's academics and literacy skills.  Below you will find links and tips on getting started with pairing a Blue Tooth Switch with the iPad.

Step 1:  Go to Settings

Step 2:  Go to the section that says Bluetooth

Photo 1: Bluetooth settings

Screenshot of settings app displaying Bluetooth turned on.

Step 3:  Turn ON the Bluetooth signal on the iPad

Step 4:  Turn ON the switch interface you are using

Step 5: Refer to directions from the developer of your Bluetooth switch interface to see if there are specific device specific directions they have created on syncing the switch to the iPad.

For example: I often use RJ Cooper's Super Switch Interface with my students with multiple disabilities and visual impairments.  He has specific directions on how to pair the switch device with the Super Switch. Below is what it looks like on the iPad when we have successfully paired the Super Switch and the iPad together:

Image 2:  Paired switch with iPad

Screenshot of Settings app displaying Bluetooth paired to AirTurn switch device.

Please note, if you have any issues getting your Bluetooth switch interface to pair, to call the developer.  They are great at walking teachers and therapists through the use of their device.  RJ Cooper probably has some of the best customer support around for devices, which why we continue to purchase them as our products.

Step 6:  Now that  you have your Bluetooth switch interface connected, discuss with your student's occupational therapist, speech pathologist or assistive technology specialist about which switch can be hooked up to the Bluetooth interface that meets their motor capabilities.  For example, in the photo below, we hooked a pal pad up to the Bluetooth switch interface so a student could access RJ Cooper's Rad Sounds Switch App.

Image 3: Photo of Pal Pad switch paired to the Bluetooth switch

Photo of an iPad with Rad Sounds app, Pal Pad (flat square switch) and round yellow switch.

For information on switch apps, read the Paths to Technology post, Top Three Favorite iPad Switch Apps.


Collage of Bluetooth switches


Posted by Diane BraunerSep 26, 2018

My district is now moving primarily to chromebooks.  I am wondering if there are any resources about using a bluetooth switch to operate a chromebook.  Do you know if this is possible.  We are able to pair  the ablenet Blue2 switch, but can't figure what to do next.  Any advice or direction that you can point me in would be greatly appreciated! - A