Category Archives: Programs

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 ATMakers.org 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 Adafruit.com 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.

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

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Please support this event!

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


The Details:

Location

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

Date/Time

Sunday Nov 25, 2018
9:00am – 5:00pm

Benefits

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 adapt@atmakers.org 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 LessonPix.com  & 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 adapt@atmakers.org

Christmas Toy Adapt-A-Thon for F.A.A.S.T.

How do you switch-adapt over 100 toys for kids in a single day? Over 40 volunteers working over 8 hours of controlled chaos certainly helps!
Thank you to our two FRC Teams (Roaring Riptide #4118 & GRA-V #5816), FACTUR for the use of their event space & equipment, U.F. Engineering’s B.O.T.S. team, LessonPix.com for financial support (and Pizza!) and everyone who gave their Sunday to help out the kids F.A.A.S.T. serves!
Continue reading Christmas Toy Adapt-A-Thon for F.A.A.S.T.