First Robotics Teams Teach Disability Professionals at Maker Day @ATIA 2020

February 6, 2020

First Robotics teams shone at this years ATIA Maker Day 3.0 event. (new window)  Together, Makers Making Change staff, First Robotics teams (new window) and members of  Community Chapters of Makers Making Change (new window) taught disability professionals how to build DIY low cost access switches (new window). To do this, participants of all levels of experience learned the skill of soldering. With the assistance, skill and patience of the First Robotics Roaring Riptides team members, 110 maker participants brought home Rain Drop switches they created themselves.

participants at Maker Day ATIA 2010

Why Build Your Own Access Switch?

An access switch allows a person with limited mobility or motor control issues to access devices to communicate. A Switch controls the on/off or scanning functions that allow access to tablets, AAC devices, (new window) smartphones, computers, toys, game consoles (new window) and other electronics. Access switches come in many sizes and shapes depending on the capabilities of the individual.

Access switches are very costly devices. A typical commercial switch costs about $75, which is unaffordable to many people. Limitations to access could include those who do not have adequate insurance or those who are low income. The switches we build at events are from Makers Making Change’s open source assistive device Project Library (new window) and are made more affordable with open source designs (new window) and volunteer makers like you!

Thank you to Bill Binko, Lori Binko and Eric Carlson of ATMakers (new window) and Lessons Pix (new window). Also Thanks to Bill Janes of MMC Missouri, as well as our MMC Florida Chapter out of the Roaring Riptides (new window) and Gra V (new window) First Robotics teams for your positivity, enthusiasm, skills and help at ATIA Maker Day!

participants at Maker Day ATIA 2010

participants at Maker Day ATIA 2010

Get Involved with Makers Making Change!

Makers Making Change pairs makers with people with disabilities to create low cost assistive technologies. We offer an online platform with an open source Project library (new window). In our connect section, makers can offer their skills and time and people with disabilities can request devices from our library or submit ideas for new devices they’d like to have designed. The requester only pays the cost of materials.

Volunteer as a Maker:

  • Volunteer your skills in 3D printing, 3D modelling, laser cutting, designing, soldering, problem solving, event planning, community organizing
  • Attend a build event!
  • Help people in your community to live more independently
  • Submit your assistive device designs to our open source library
  • Explore new skills/possible career paths and make for a purpose
  • Be a part of  a new community model of assistive device distribution

Start a Chapter:

  • Make for a purpose: Use your maker skills to help improve the lives of others
  • Organize locals events an bring like minded people together to make an impact in your community
  • Great role for librarians, Occupational Therapists, First Robotics teams, Career Educators, Makerspace Directors
  • Apply here: (new window)

Request a Device:

  • Request a device for only the cost of materials(and shipping)
  • Make connections to people who care in your community
  • Help innovate the way we deliver and create assistive technology

Sign up now!

  • Go to (new window) and sign up! Make sure to click to sign up for our mailing list so you can also hear about events and workshops.
  • Activate your account. Make sure to check your junk mail and click ‘not junk/mark as safe’ so you can receive our communications
  • Fill out your skills and interests and add a profile photo if you like!
  • Request a Device from our Projects Library. (new window) Browse or Search the library, and when you find a device you need,click ‘request’ and type in details in the form. When we receive your request, we will do our best to match you up with a volunteer maker!

This post originally appeared on our Makers Making Change (new window) website.

Makers Making Change Logo (new window)