Increases in alpha wave amplitude occur with eye closure (EC) and decreases occur when the eyes are opened (EO). The research reports in this paper empasise effectiveness of people using these α wave changes to activate electrical devices. Effectiveness was measured in terms of time taken and errors made when selecting the correct device. Ten non-disabled subjects significantly decreased the time taken and errors made to activate correctly a device using a six-option environmental control system (ECS) in the laboratory. In addition, a severely disabled person was shown to use the ECS successfully to control her television in her home environment. This research demonstrates that α wave manipulation contingent with EC and EO can be the basis for a reliable and quick switching system for controlling electrical devices. Applications to disability are discussed.