Digitizing Intent is the Key to Creating Assistive Technology– Bill Binko Addresses AAC in the Cloud
In the above video, Bill Binko of ATMakers.org describes a fresh look at how to create assistive technology for people with disabilities. The key first step is finding a way to digitize a person’s intent. What does that mean? It means finding a way for them to activate a switch, push a button, move the joystick, or somehow get there intent into a form that can be recognized by a microcontroller. From there a world of possibilities are opened up. Bill gives several examples of what can be accomplished by people with very severe disabilities once we can find some way for them to signal a computer.
This presentation was for the annual “AAC in the Cloud” online conference. AAC stands for Alternative and Augmentative Communication. It refers to any piece of technology that allows someone to communicate in a nontraditional way. This year’s conference included 57 presentations from a wide variety of people talking about AAC and other forms that assistive technology. A complete list of presentations can be found here.
Also check out this other recent video from Bill where he addressed the “Pennsylvania CS for All” conference talking about the importance of computer science education and the fact that the ability to code is an essential piece of developing assistive technology.
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.