University of Edinburgh

Eye Gaze, iPads, Apps and Switches

Teaching tools promoting quality of life and independence for children and young people with complex needs and sensory impairments

Presented on Monday, 31 August 2015


This course examined and shared good practice in the use of Eye Gaze, iPad and switch technology to support the communication, learning and leisure needs of children with severe and complex additional support needs. With the focus firmly on practical advice, teaching examples and resource sharing, this course explored:

  • Eye Gaze, Who is it for? What are the benefits and drawbacks?
  • Decoding eye gaze analysis tools. What can we learn from what our students look at?
  • Cheap and free resources for eye gaze users.
  • iPads and Apps and how they contribute to teaching and learning.
  • iPads and Apps: What? Where? When? Why?
  • Switches and the iPad.
  • Who uses switches? Who shouldn't?
  • Switch progression: getting beyond cause and effect.
  • Learning to choose: to scan or not to scan?
  • Embedding switch use into the school day.

"Knowledgeable and very lively presenter whose dedication to meeting the needs of the pupils was at the heart of everything he said. Delightfully irreverent!!"

"Will use it as soon as I go back to school. Lots of useful ideas."

Target Audience

Those working with children/young people with complex needs, including teachers, ASN assistants, early years practitioners, Occupational Therapists, Speech & Language Therapists, educational psychologists and parents.


Ian Bean, Independent Special Needs ICT Consultant and Trainer.


10.10am iPads & apps: What works?

1.15pm The Eye Gaze Revolution

2.15pm Switches and switch progression

3.30pm Course Evaluation