We wanted to introduce you to three of our new chapters — the Open Access Resource Centre (OARC) in Winnipeg, Manitoba; EAST at Nettleton STEAM School in Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Nova Scotia Community College’s Disability Supports and Services program.
Stay tuned, we’ll be highlighting more in the coming weeks.
Open Access Resource Centre (OARC) in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Chapter leader Lori Wiebe unboxes their new 3D printer (along with a bag of Haribo candies).
The Open Access Resource Centre helps improve the lives of Manitobans with speech challenges through the use of communication devices. They mainly work with children, and provide communication devices — they call them speech generating devices – which often can be as simple as an iPad with the right apps on it.
Many of the kids they help need keyguards to access their communication devices. However, purchasing keyguards, as they had been doing, can cost over $200 when you factor in shipping. Having learned about Makers Making Change from a speech pathologist they worked with, they began requesting keyguards.
Working with a large number of kids each year, they decided to join Makers Making Change as a chapter themselves, to print their own keyguards and other devices to help their clients.
“I love all things technology, and learning about them,” says Lori. “[We saw] how that could fit in with what we do here, because there are times where we need to prepare some sort of way the child can access the screen with an adaptive stylus, or even a way to just hold the stylus because they don’t have the same kind of grip.
“We just thought this is a really cool connection, and we’re always looking for ways to network and interact with other groups, so it felt right.”
EAST at Nettleton STEAM School Chapter in Jonesboro, Arkansas
Makers Making Change Central Region Coordinator Suzanne Winterflood talks with Nettleton students Julian, Sophie, Eli, Miles, and Sergio.
Teacher and chapter leader Tiffany Feild explains, “EAST (Education Accelerated by Service and Technology) is a class offered at Nettleton STEAM School in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The fifth and sixth grade students in EAST work together to solve community problems using many types of technology including 3D printing.
“They were looking for ways to use their 3D printing skills to help others and found the Makers Making Change website. They were able to print several items for other students in our school.
“Currently, the students are working on a presentation to show at our upcoming EAST Conference to inform the other EAST programs in their state about Makers Making Change and hopefully get them on board to help as many people as possible.”
The students at Nettleton recently earned the 2022 EAST Conference Founder’s Award.
ICYMI: Nova Scotia Community College’s Disability Supports and Services in Sydney, Nova Scotia
The chapter shows off their dice spinners at their first build event.
We already introduced them in our year in review, but we wanted to give another shoutout to Nova Scotia Community College’s Disability Supports and Services program, which joined as a chapter at the end of last year.
Instructor Adam Power teaches a class on Assistive Technology as part of the program, and decided to have his students gain hands-on learning from building devices while also learning about open source assistive tech, 3D printing, and the resources in their community.
The class connected with their local makerspace in Cape Breton for technical support, and were able to build light touch switches and dice spinners as part of their first build in December.