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Posted on September 6, 2022

Top tip: getting started with Environment Control

Environment control supports AAC users to have greater independence by helping them control devices and accessories around the home, school or at work. Some popular examples include TVs, door openers, lights and remote control toys. Access to environment control can also play an important role in motivating users to get started with AAC.

Grid Pad devices comes with Environmental Control functionality included, ready to use out of the box. Having a device that has infrared or radio technology is essential for using environment control.

Making the most of Environment Control

One of the easiest ways to get started with environmental control is by using the infrared (IR) feature. IR remote controls use light to carry signals between the remote control and the device it’s directing.

Your Grid Pad can control electronics in your environment that make use of an IR remote, such as TVs and stereos. By learning the signal from the original device’s remote and then assigning those functions to cells on a grid set, a user can control device functions like power, volume, channel, etc. Essentially, the Grid Pad is now acting as the remote!

How do I set up Environment Control?

Once your IR accessories are set up by following the instructions below, they can be used in environment control grids without any further configuration.

Setting up an infrared (IR) accessory in Grid 3

In this example, we will look at setting up Grid 3 to control a television, but the same process can be followed for other accessories which are controlled by an infrared remote – just choose the relevant device at the ‘add accessory’ stage below.

Setting up Grid 3 to control a television

Before you start make sure you have your TV’s original remote control available, with fully charged batteries.

Go to Menu > Settings > Environment Control.
Under Accessories, click Add, then Television and Next.
Under Transmitter, choose GEWA.

An example of television control buttons in Grid.

Click on the first button you would like to program, and then Learn

Hold your original remote approximately 5cm from the IR learning window (this is on the front of the device, on the left hand side – you will see a light when in learning mode) and follow the on-screen instructions – you will be asked to hold down the button on the remote, then release, then a short press and release.

An IR remote pointed at a Grid pad screen.

Once the code has been successfully learned, auditory feedback will occur. Repeat for all desired functions, then click OK.

Now navigate to the TV page within your grid set and test.

For additional information watch Getting started with Environmental Control in Grid 3 video with Adam.

If you would like to learn more about using radio controlled accessories check out:

Setting up an EasyWave socket (UK & US)
Setting up a Z-Wave controller (US)

Accessing further support

Whether you need further assistance with Environment Control, have a query or want to get the most out of your AAC device, our Support Team is just an online chat, call or email away.

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