Evaluating the usability of a new wireless vocal cord vibration switch


This study is testing how easy it is to set up and use a new wireless vocal cord vibration switch and how helpful the training materials are.  The switch has a sensor in a neckband that detects when a user makes a ‘hum’ sound.


Tom Chau, PhD, PEng

Participate in this study

If you are a switch-user who can make vocalizations, or a parent/caregiver to one, please consider participating in our study.

Who can participate

We are looking for pairs of parents/caregivers and switch users

  • The parent or caregiver must:
    • Care for someone who regularly uses switch access technology
    • Be able to read and write in English
    • Have access to a desktop or laptop computer that runs either Windows or macOS for device setup 
  • The switch user must be:
    • Able to make some vocalizations
    • Free of an implanted medical device that is contraindicated with magnets (ex. pacemaker, vagus nerve stimulator etc.)

What's involved

This study involves:

  • Two sessions at Holland Bloorview for the parent/caregiver that are two weeks apart (1-1.5hr each – evenings and weekends are possible)
    • Reading manuals and watching videos about how to use a wireless vocal cord vibration switch
    • Attempting setup tasks o Sharing your thoughts on the device and training materials
  • Taking the wireless vocal cord vibration switch home for two weeks to use in place of current switch access technology when possible
    • Check-in phone call after having the device for one week


February, 2020

Interested in participating?

If you are interested in participating in this study or have additional questions, please contact Natalie Besharat at nbesharat@hollandbloorview.ca or (416) 425-6220 x6095 with your interest, and they will get back to your shortly.  Contacting us does not obligate you or your child to participate in the study.

Learn more about this study