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.
Please support this event!
100% of donations on this page will be used toward this event
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 firstname.lastname@example.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:
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com
Facebook has restored our community Group – it looks like everything is back, with the possible exception of one post from yesterday.
This has been an infuriating experience, with a few lingering questions: Continue reading And we’re BACK (on Facebook)
On Saturday, June 23, 2018 Mike Phillips finally checked off a long-standing desire from his “Things to Do” list – firing a gun with a switch. ATMakers.org is happy to have helped this happen. Check out his story below. Continue reading Mike’s Gun: An ATMakers.org Project
On Wednesday, November 27, 2017 ATMakers Founder Bill Binko was the guest on Adafruit Industries’ weekly YouTube program, “Ask an Engineer”. Check out this video of Bill sharing how Makers can help rescue AT!
Continue reading ATMakers Founder Bill Binko joins Adafruit Live!
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.
Great News! Ablenet has open-sourced the IntelliKeys drivers!
Thousands of people use the IntelliKeys programmable USB keyboards to access their computers, communicate, and even speak with text-to-speech. Recently Ablenet (who now owns the IntelliTools products) decided not to continue producing them.
Thankfully, they have chosen to Open Source the drivers. This is a huge decision, and we want to do everything we can to make that decision a winning one. So, we’re looking for some Makers to help port the drivers to Windows 10 & the latest OS/X and perhaps rework the firmware to make the devices more flexible and cross-platform
Continue reading IntelliKeys Open Source Rescue
Recently we’ve started getting requests from AT professionals, SLPs, and parents who really want to make one of our projects, but don’t have a 3D Printer. Well, we have good news: you don’t need one!
We’ve got three great ways for you to get your 3D Printed parts so your project will rock.
Continue reading What if I don’t have a 3D Printer?
This project is a great way to get those idle 3D Printers running and make something useful for AT Users in your community!
We’ve designed 3D Printed Switches that you can easily download and assemble. This guide will show you how! If you’re an AT User or part of an AT team (parent, SLP, ATP, etc.), bring this guide to your local STEM or Robotics team and they’ll know how to put it to good use.
Continue reading 3D Printed AT Switches
Positioning switches is critical for folks with severe and profound physical challenges. Getting the AT Switch “just right” reduces fatigue, increases accuracy, and makes communication and environmental control much more successful.
[For those of you on the Maker side who don’t understand AT Switches, check out Max Lasko rockin’ on two switches to control the My Pal Scout we made for him.]
Continue reading Easy AT Switch Positioning w/Free 3D Printed Camera Mounts