Make and Take Assistive Tech and more DIY!


Make and Take Assistive Technology Workshops

By MATP Staff Member Kathryn Wyeth

Norm’s post last week, Bricolage and Assistive Technology, reminded me of the idea of having “Make and Take” assistive technology (AT) workshops. I know schools, AT Programs, and other organizations around the country have held these sessions.

In a Make and Take workshop, an organization arranges the instructions and materials, finds a room to hold the session. Then people sign up, often paying to cover the cost of materials, come to session and have fun working alongside others to make an assistive technology device. The best part is they can take it home at the end of the session.

Sessions range from making a device to reach items on a shelf, to adding a switch to a toy for a child with a disability. They also range from small to major design competition events! Some ideas I found when searching the web were:

  • DIYAbilities Teaches Maker Skills and Adaptive Technology
  • Design-athon,
  • UCP’s Life Labs

There are a number of sites where you can find instructions for making your own assistive devices. Here are just some examples:

  • AT Solutions (ATS): creates an environment that fosters the innovation of new assistive technology. It archives and disseminates information, particularly engineering information and fabrication instructions sufficient to replicate assistive technology devices with local fabrication resources.
    • Desktop Lazy Susan
    • 3 Ring Binder Opening Tool
  • “Make:” Website has many DIY (Do it Yourself) Projects, for example: Hack a Video Game Controller for Greater Accessibility
  • A lot of ideas on Pinterest!
    • DIY OT
    • DY Assistive Technology
    • Disability DIY inventions
  • From “Instructables” web site
    • Custom Adapted Spoon
    • Adapted Door Lock
    • Homemade Switch Activated Pouring Measuring Cup Instruction Sheet
  • Lifekludger: gadgets, hacks & kludges for people living with disability
  • And some more ideas:
    • Loc Line Switch Mounts (PDF)
    • Make a Mouse House

And of course, I have to mention the two books by Therese Willkomm, who is with the New Hampshire AT Program: Assistive Technology Solutions in Minutes.

I thought this would be a short blog post, but really am finding an ever expanding world of ideas! For more, I recommend this blog post from the RESNA site: “Looking for a Good: DIY Design Idea?”

So, are you interested in attending or better yet holding a “Make and Take” Assistive Technology workshop? Let’s talk!

Do you know of other great DIY or hacks for Assistive Tech? Let us know!

Other Related MATP Blog Posts:


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