CBeebies has a range of games which are 'switch' compatible. 'Switch' is the name of the technology which makes access to computers easier for children who have difficulty using a mouse or keyboard.
'Switch compatible games' are those which have been designed to be controlled by just one or two keys - usually 'Enter' or the spacebar to select, sometimes 'Tab' as well in order to move between options. This makes the games easy to control and suitable for children who don't have a high level of mouse or keyboard skill.
The purpose of supporting technology such as Switch is to make CBeebies games as accessible as possible to all children.
‘Switches’ are specialised items of hardware which can be plugged into your computer. They can take many forms: large buttons, touch-sensitive pads or even infra-red blink detectors. You have the option to use one or two switches. The input from the switches is sent to the computer via a small USB box, which is set up to recognise these inputs as a key on the keyboard having been pressed.
You don't need a special type of computer to play the CBeebies switch compatible games, just the additional Switch hardware (peripherals)
CBeebies has made several games that work with both one switch and two switches.
Simple games (such as the Teletubbies ‘Peek-a-boo’ game or Something Special’s ‘Transport Snap’) can be controlled by just pressing a single key. Games that are more complex and require a choice to be made between different options (such as Razzledazzle’s ‘Chit Chat Chest’ or the Tweenies ‘Startastic Captain Jake’ game) can still be controlled by switches – but by using a system called 'scanning'.
This is where a highlighter moves around the screen, highlighting each option in turn. The child makes their choice when the highlight is over the option they want. The speed at which the highlighter moves can usually be set up to suit the abilities of the child.
This is where the child controls the highlighter themselves. Using the first switch device moves the highlighter between the options, using the second device selects the option. There are also many CBeebies games which can be controlled using the Tab/Enter keys on the keyboard. This means that many games are double-switch compatible, even if they were not made specifically with 'switches' in mind.