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Hacking For The Holidays: Making Toys Accessible for Children with Disabilities — New Session Added for 12/15!

A follow-up to my post from last week — due to overwhelming interest, a third “Hacking For The Holidays” soldering workshop has been added for December 15th!

Hacking for the Holidays is a wonderful program created by my friend, NYU ITP alum John Schimmel. He writes:

For many kids with physical disabilities playing with off-the-shelf toys is not possible, depending on their unique abilities a toy might not be accessible.

However, if a child can move their head, feet, arm, mouth or any other part of their body it is possible to use a switch to play with the toy.
Adding switch jacks to a toy will not affect the original quality of use, the existing buttons will operate as normal and kids who use accessibility switches will now be able to operate the toy.

The event is a neat twist on the traditional soldering workshop, with a great mission at it’s heart, and great people running it. It’s also a lot of fun!

The idea is simple:

  • you bring a (new) battery-powered toy to be modified and then donated.
  • John and his team will teach you how to solder up new hardware so that the toy can be used by a child with a disability.
  • all the additional hardware and tools will be provided.

There are two Hacking for the Holidays events in New York City this year — December 2nd and 8th. Check out the website for more info and to sign up!

If you’re interested in running a Hacking for the Holidays workshop of your own, you can contact John or @DIYability on Twitter for information or advice.

[related post from 2010]


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