All posts by bill

Chris Young’s IRIO Board Makes IR Control Easy

Infrared devices are everywhere – and now it’s easy to control them thanks to our member, Chris Young, and his IRIO board.  It’s a simple device that allows any microcontroller to send and receive IR signals which makes it easy to control your environment.

You can control:

  • TV & Cable Boxes
  • Satellite Dish Receivers
  • Digital Cameras
  • Remote Control Cars, Drones, etc.
  • Computer Mouse & Keyboards
  • And Much More

Chris wrote a great guide published on the Adafruit Learning Center that you can find here.

Bonus Tip:

If you’re looking at learning to solder to PCB boards, this is a great project, and Chris & Bill put together a video showing just how to it!

AT Hand Raiser using Adafruit Trinket M0

This great little project was inspired by Michelle Brosse in the Facebook Group: she was heading to college and couldn’t get the professor’s attention.  She wasn’t looking for a panic button or the like, just a way to raise her hand.  This device does exactly that!

Check out the full guide at the Adafruit Learning System: CircuitPython Powered AT Hand-Raiser

There, you’ll find full instructions, downloadable code and the STL files needed to print the parts.  We even included assembly instructions in video form.

To read the original request, here’s a link to the post in the Facebook Group.  Make sure to join us there for more great AT ideas and solutions!

Flooding the Zone w/AAC Devices

This summer, we’re trying something new!  We’ve worked with LessonPix Custom Learning Materials and Minor Achievements Learning Center to create a camp where every kid has access to a basic AAC device.  We have two types of devices: an Android-based tablet running CoughDrop, and a custom device built on the Adafruit PyPortal intelligent screen.

In this video we review how things went when the devices met the campers!

How it’s Made

The custom devices are made with an Adafruit PyPortal, a battery charger and a speaker along with some custom CircuitPython code.  You can see more about it in this section of the Show & Tell broadcast from June 20, 2019:

A Team Effort

This project couldn’t have succeeded without the work of many people, so here’s a short list of those involved.  Thank you all!

  • Bill Binko from designed and built the custom boxes.
  • Lori Binko is the director of Minor Achievements and green-lighted the project (as well as drawing all the symbols for LessonPix!)
  • Lori Goehrig was our on-site AAC Specialist and was instrumental in running the week
  • Theresa Ruth is the principal SLP at LessonPix & Minor Achievements: she also runs most of the camps this summer and was the Chief Cat Herder all week
  • Brian Whitmer from CoughDrop AAC was so forward looking that he developed the Open Board Format which allowed us to build the boards in CoughDrop and export them to our custom devices
  • Dan Halbert at provided outstanding support as we tried to make this brand new device do something beyond what was intended.
  • Lori Geist from Project Core at UNC Chapel Hill was gracious enough to listen to this nutty idea and help guide us in the initial core word selection.

We will have separate guides on how to build the devices after our camps are through (and we’ve learned all our lessons), as well as how to implement a “Flood the Zone” approach on the Minor Achievements blog.

Join us for the 2019 “State of the .Org”

Thursday, Feb 21 at 7pm,  we’ll be having our first annual “State of the .Org” meeting!  Please join us to learn:

  • What we’ve been up to over the past year?
  • What worked (and what didn’t)
  • Where we’re headed in 2019 and beyond
  • And much more!

Please register for State of the Org Discussion on Feb 21, 2019 7:00 PM EST at:

Register Now!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

CircuitPython Creates New AT Opportunities

For those of you who don’t know, CircuitPython is a programming language and environment for small computers and microcontrollers that is sponsored by our friends at Adafruit.

It is a variant of Python, and a fork of the popular MicroPython that’s been out for a few years.  However, CircuitPython has a few differences that are really helpful for Assistive Technology., and we’re going to use it to amazing things!

Continue reading CircuitPython Creates New AT Opportunities

2018 Adapt-A-Thon is Coming! We Need Your Help!


Please support this event!

100% of donations on this page will be used toward this event

The Details:


Orange Technical College Mid-Florida Campus
Launch Site Building
2900 W Oak Ridge Rd
Orlando, FL 32809


Sunday Nov 25, 2018
9:00am – 5:00pm


Children with complex disabilities including motor and muscle diseases throughout Florida.

  • Pinellas County Schools
  • Pasco County Schools
  • Alachua County Schools
  • Groups served by UCF FAAST RDC
  • Private institutions and individuals in need of adapted toys

Contact & Media Inquiries

Media outlets are welcome to report and participate in the event: we’ll even teach you to solder!

Email us at or phone Eric Carson at (727) 232-3779 for more information

It’s official: this year’s Adapt-A-Thon will be a on November 25th at the fabulous Launch Site building at Orange Technical College in Orlando!  Last year’s event adapted over 100 toys for children who use AT switches, and this year is going to be even better!
How?  Well first, we’ve got more kids!  Eight separate groups of young Makers are planning on joining us at the event:

That should about triple the number of hands working on toys, so we’re going to expand our goals!  Specifically, we’ll be working on three new areas:

  1. Working with a larger number of groups who need toys.  Does your school district need adapted toys?  Or your charity (or just your child?)  Let us know (but please contact us soon!)
  2. Including toys targeting older switch users.  Dice rollers (for D&D, boggle, etc.), “Hand Raisers”, etc. are great for “bigger kids” and we’ve got the skills & designs to make them.
  3. Providing Switches & PC Switch Interfaces.  We have three working switch designs that are all 3D printable: we’ll make sure any kid who needs a switch gets one.  In addition, we’ll be providing low-cost switch interfaces to allow switches to be used as mouse and keyboard input to a PC or Mac.

This will be amazing, but it will cost money – more money than our usual funding methods can handle (but thank you  & the Binkos and Griffiths!).  We estimate that even if the recipient groups purchase most of the unadapted toys, we’ll need about $2000.00 to make this happen.

Please consider making a donation to this event.  We are a 501(c)(3) charity and will be happy to work with you to make your donation or advertising purchase go as far as possible.  If you’d like more information, please contact us at