Testing, Testing...

We’re having a busy and fun time doing a lot of backend work here at Makers Making Change. One of our projects: testing and fixing a whole bunch of LipSyncs to make sure they are functioning brilliantly before being sent to people who need them.

On that note, if you or someone you know who could benefit from a LipSync, please get in touch with Zee at zeek@neilsquire.ca.

Completed LipSyncs in a box

We are glad to have Fawzan’s help in testing these LipSyncs. As you may remember, Fawzan is a high school student who, along with his student group, 3D-printed assistive devices from our library for people with disabilities. Read more about Fawzan’s work.

You won’t hear from us as often in the next few weeks while we work on these projects. In the meantime, you can always give us a shout or get involved on our website. Have a bright rest-of-the-summer!

Sign Up On Our Website

Have you browsed the new Makers Making Change website? We’ve started to get a lot of signups and our Projects library is expanding!

Here’s how you can sign up and get involved.

  1. Go to www.makersmakingchange.com/login.
  2. Enter your information and click Sign Up.
  3. Check your email to activate your registration.
  4. Select your role(s). Choose from maker, person with a disability, disability professional, teacher, and/or other.
  5. Upload a profile photo and indicate your skills, if applicable. This may include soldering, electronics, 3D printing, etc.

The new Makers Making Change website homepage

The Makers Making Change website homepage

That’s it! Now click on Connect in the sidebar to search for makers, project requests, or events in your area. Explore the open-source Projects library and make a device for a person with a disability. Or upload your own project or idea.

If you have a disability and feel a certain project will improve your life, you can request a build. We’ll connect you with a maker in your community who can build the device for you.

Let’s collaborate!

What AT Can Help Students with Disabilities?

We are currently working on expanding our open-source assistive technology library by adding devices that can help youth. We have some questions for teachers to help us get started.

A hand using a key turner to open a door

The key turner, a popular low-tech AT device from our library

What disabilities do your students have? Are there any assistive devices you can think of that would be a valuable addition to your classroom? If your students are already working with some assistive technology, click a photo of the device and send it to us!

You can reach out by contacting Zee Kesler, Makers Making Change Project Manager, at zeek@neilsquire.ca. Thank you for your help!

We Fixed 40 LipSyncs

On Thursday, July 5th, Makers Making Change was at Vancouver Hack Space to repair a few LipSyncs. In just a few hours, around 12 volunteers helped us troubleshoot and fix 40 LipSyncs.

We can now send these completed LipSyncs to people with disabilities who need them. Thank you to everyone who came out to help!

Staff and volunteers at a table

Above: Makers Making Change staff and volunteer makers working on LipSync parts

Shaemus, our Research and Development student, soldering

Above: Our Research and Development student, Shaemus, soldering

Completed LipSyncs after the event

Above: A whole bunch of completed multi-coloured LipSyncs

Dementia-Friendly Music Player

At Makers Making Change, we believe in collaborating to make even more effective assistive solutions. On that note, we want to introduce two makers: Ross Porter, a Seattle-based maker who created the dementia-friendly music player, and Trey Bagley, who made the 3D-printed design.

The laser-cut design of the music player

The laser-cut design of the music player

This music player was Ross’s first maker project. He set out to create something that would bring joy to his father, who had dementia. The project is completely open-source, with the initial model consisting of a laser-cut case.

“My dad could no longer operate a CD player or iPod,” says Ross on his website, DQMusicBox.org. “But he could use the music player that I designed and made for him, because it operates like a familiar two-knob radio. I was inspired to make this by the documentary Alive Inside which shows the profound joy felt by some people with dementia when listening to their favorite music.”

The 3D-Printed Design

The stained 3D-printed cathedral-style design

The stained 3D-printed cathedral-style design

Ross was now looking for a 3D-printed version of the case, so that the project would be more accessible to potential makers. We connected him to maker Trey Bagley, who worked with Ross to create an elegant cathedral-style shell. The filament is made of 40% sawdust and can be stained to make it appear closer to wood. The design stays just as simple to use.

“If you imagine someone with dementia, they gradually forget the present, but their old memories are strong,” explains Ross. “Particularly, memories formed before the age of 21. Thus, Trey went about creating something that someone, even if their memory does not expand past the 1950s, would still recognize – something that they have experienced as a child.”

“I thought it was a very interesting design challenge,” says Trey. “We did a lot of research, pulled up some specific examples, mostly from people on EBay selling antiques and vintage collectibles. The wood filament and the staining brought out a ton of detail. The filament can replicate the wood grain on a flat surface.”

An Easy and Fun Project

Components required to build a music box

These are all the parts you need. Get making!

At the Seattle Mini Maker Faire in September 2017, Ross provided some participants the required materials to build a device then and there. “I did get seven people to sign up and make the device – and all seven succeeded in making it. It takes an hour and fifteen minutes on average.”

Do you know anyone in your life or in your community who could benefit from this music player? You can easily order the parts online and get either a laser-cut or 3D-printed shell. As Ross says, a 13-year-old can build it!

You can find the instructions for both models or request the project on our website. If you have questions or suggestions about the music player, contact Ross at rosswesleyporter@gmail.com. If you have ideas about the existing 3D-printed shell or find any errors, contact Trey at tbornottb@sbcglobal.net.