Golden State Week

Harry, our Manager of Research and Development, and Jake, our Mechanical Engineer, are coming down to sunny California for two events.

Chad Leaman, Director of Innovation, pointing at a Maker Faire sign

San Francisco Maker Faire (May 18th - 20th)

It’s the biggest Maker Faire on Earth (or as they say, the Greatest Show and Tell)! Harry and Jake will be at our booth all three days, so stop by and say hi if you’re around.

On the 20th, Harry will sit on a panel called Making Access for People with Disabilities. He’ll talk about Makers Making Change alongside four brilliant makers who will cover adaptations for persons with different disabilities.

Sign up for the San Francisco Maker Faire here.

Demonstration of keyguard usage

Laser Cutting Keyguards Workshop (May 22nd)

We’re making the most of our stay in the Bay Area and hosting this workshop in partnership with the Communication Technology Education Center (CTEC) and HackerLab.

Keyguards can be very useful for people with disabilities, helping them control their input and address mobility and agility issues. We’re sending our best laser cutter, Jake, to lead this workshop.

Sign up for the Laser Cutting Keyguard workshop here.

We hope to see you soon!

Help Us Print Low Tech AT Kits

Makers Making Change has started reaching out to Occupational Therapists (OTs). OTs work directly with people with disabilities and can connect them with our services, giving people access to more affordable, community-made assistive devices.

Help Us Print Low Tech AT Kits

Completed LipSyncs at the TELUS Vancouver Buildathon in 2017 Our Low Tech AT Kits are composed of simple 3D-printed devices from our Open Source Assistive Technology Library. We will share these kits with OTs, whose clients will be able to try out the devices. This will help us get valuable feedback on how well these devices function and how they can be improved to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

Contents of a Makers Making Change Low Tech AT Kit

If you want to get involved, please get in touch with Zee, the Makers Making Change Project Manager, by emailing her at zeek@neilsquire.ca. She will connect you with a hospital or disability organization in your area where you can drop off the kit.

Thank you for your support!

TELUS Days of Giving LipSync Buildathons

Makers Making Change have partnered with TELUS to host six TELUS Days of Giving LipSync Buildathons across Canada. We invite you to join us at any of these events, especially if you or someone you know in these communities could benefit from a LipSync.

Upcoming TELUS Days of Giving LipSync Buildathons

Upcoming TELUS Days of Giving LipSync Buildathons

The first one is coming up tomorrow, May 4th, in Calgary. Register here for the buildathon in Calgary.

When: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM MDT
Where2912 Memorial Dr SE, Calgary, AB T2A 6R1

Our deep appreciation and thanks to TELUS for providing the funding, staff as volunteers, and support in helping us build over 100 LipSyncs through their Days of Giving to benefit people with disabilities.

Buildathons and More Buildathons

We at Makers Making Change are happy to announce some upcoming buildathons. We have an exciting (and exhausting) list of events planned for May, June, and July. Here’s a sneak peek at the ones in May:

Completed LipSyncs at the TELUS Vancouver Buildathon in 2017 May 4: Buildathon in Calgary
May 12: Buildathon in the Okanagan

May 14BC Tech Summit LipSync Buildathon
May 22: Laser-cut keyguard workshop in California
May 25: Buildathon in Vancouver
May 28: Buildathon in Victoria

Save these dates! We’ll share more details over the upcoming weeks. We are looking forward to collaborating with makers all over North America as we build devices that help people with disabilities.

PS: This Saturday, April 28th, we will be in Philadelphia for the NextFab Accessibility Hackathon during Philly Tech Week 2018. Pop by and say hi if you’re in the area.

A Visit from the Honourable Kirsty Duncan

Every week is science week at Makers Making Change. We really hopped on the science train this past week, though.

A Visit from the Minister

On April 12th, we were thrilled to welcome the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, to the Neil Squire Society’s Burnaby Head Office. We showcased the LipSync and other low-tech assistive devices such as a pen holder and nail clipper holder.

Jim, a quadriplegic, demonstrates the LipSync to Minister Duncan

Jim demonstrates a LipSync to Minister Duncan

Chad Leaman, Director of Innovation, shows the Minister a pen holder that slips on the palm

Chad Leaman, Director of Innovation, shows the Minister a palm pen holder

View more photos from the Minister’s visit here.

STAN Conference

On April 11th, Chad was the keynote speaker at the STAN 2018 conference here in Vancouver. Held at Science World, the event was all about building bridges and creating communities in STEAM. That’s a big part of our work at Makers Making Change!

Chad Leaman delivering the keynote at STAN 2018 with a Makers Making Change backdrop

Chad delivering the keynote at STAN 2018

Science World Community Scientist Initiative

We were back at Science World on April 15th when Jake, our Mechanical Engineer, hosted a booth as part of the Community Scientist Initiative. The initiative gives all Science World visitors an opportunity to meet and learn from a science-based professional.

Jake's booth at Science World

Jake showing children some asistive writing devices like the palm pen holder and pen ball

Phew – that was a busy few days. Now, we are down in Utah for the AOTA Conference.