Homemade Switches


Yussra Jamjoom


Adaptive switches are an alternate means of accessing devices that have small switches that are inaccessible for people with orthopedic disabilities. These devices include battery-powered, electrical and electronic household devices. Adaptive switches have many applications. In this workshop, we intend to use a switch to control turning on and off lights, radios, tape recorders, and battery-operated toys. The purpose of this eWorkshop is to share ideas for making switches from things that are available at home. The only alternative is expensive ready made switches which are commercially available. This workshop has four different webshops, and each webshop is dedicated to a particular type of switch. The four different types of switches that we are demonstrating in this workshop are: (1) pillow switch, (2) mercury switch, (3) lever switch, and (4) on/off switch. These switches have many uses, but the greatest benefit, is to allow people with disabilities to participate fully in daily living activities.


  1. (Pictures updated by Geoff Weber, December 2016 & webshop edited by Clare Talbert, December 2016)

    This webshop demonstrates how to make a pillow switch using a small, cute bootie.

  2. (This webshop was edited by Clare Talbert, December 2016.)

    This webshop explains how to construct a tilt switch by using a mercury bulb.

  3. (This webshop was edited by Clare Talbert, December 2016.)

    This webshop demonstrates an easy and simple way to create a homemade lever switch.

  4. This webshop demonstrates how to mount an on/off switch on a toy truck.


Assistive Technology Elementary Multiple Disabilities Orthopedic Impairment Preschool