AT Makers Joining Forces

Image of students creating assistive technology

The Maker Movement has garnered much attention in recent years.  Maker Faires take place in cities across the globe.  Websites, such as Instructables, share projects for making anything from birdhouses to Arc Reactors.

The Maker Movement is having a growing impact on the world of assistive technology as well. Teachers, therapists and families are learning the value of making switches, mounts, and adapted toys to support people with disabilities.  

This winter, the Assistive Technology Industry Association is sponsoring a Maker Day on February 3rd, 2018.  This event is free!  If you are attending the ATIA full conference, or will be in the Orlando area, come see 3D printed switches, low-cost eye gaze solutions, and more.  There will be Learn 2 Make sessions where you can get an introduction to skills, such as soldering, creating with InstaMorph, and 3D modeling.

Follow this link for more information on the event and how to register:

How about here in Philadelphia?  In early 2017, Temple’s Institute on Disabilities and PIAT received funding from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to replicate the work of the Adaptive Design Association of New York. PIAT and partner organizations have already fashioned more than 150 adaptations out of Tri-Wall cardboard to meet the needs of underserved children with disabilities in the greater Philadelphia area.  

Picture of therapist making an adapted rocking chair.

To learn more, read this blog post from the AT3 Center:

Like ripples in a pond, the AT Makers movement continues to spread.  Learners become trainers and skills get shared in a broadening network.  Keep an eye on  PIAT and its partners are working hard to make sure that Adaptive Design Greater Philadelphia becomes a sustainable movement that will benefit people in the Philly area for years to come.  


Kathryn Helland

Kathryn is a certified speech-language pathologist and works with children and adults with complex communication needs. She has been with the TechOWL team since 2015 and is currently working on her doctorate. She would like to examine how to best support AAC users in higher education.

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