Over the past few weeks, we’ve been quite busy with builds and events across Canada. Here’s a little look at what we’ve been up to for the last while, province-by-province:

British Columbia:

HSBC Simple Switch Tester Build

HSBC employees building Simple Switch Testers

A big thank you to volunteers from HSBC Canada!

In total, 25 Simple Switch Testers were built and they will go to various disability organizations in Vancouver, BC.

Vancouver Hack Space Toy Hack

Makers from Vancouver Hack Space showing off their switch adapted toys

On June 3rd, volunteers from the Vancouver Hack Space switch adapted toys that will go to the BC Centre for Ability.

Alberta:

Calgary Maker Faire

kids playing a game with an Xbox Adaptive Controller

Makers Making Change staff participated in the Calgary Maker Faire. Over the two day affair, community members built switches, trialed low tech devices, and participated in some adaptive gaming.

D-Camps Build

makers at D-Camps working on devices

Diabetes Canada‘s program D-Camps hosted their annual Jean Nelson Family Camp in Water Valley, Alberta over the May long weekend. D-Camps hosts summer camps for children living with type one diabetes to meet others on the same journey and experience exhilarating activities like zip-lining. Makers Making Change junior engineer and D-Camps Alumni, Tyler Fentie, hosted a build event of Raindrop Switches and Light Touch Switches. In his presentation, Tyler talked about what his experience is like living with type one diabetes, being an engineer, and a previous camper. The campers learned about basic circuitry, how to solder, and 3D printing.

“As a previous camp professional and current STEM educator, I loved to see campers getting hands on experience with new skills. I thought it was a fantastic activity that should be utilized in more youth programs to provide a safe place for kids to explore as well as provide good for the community,” says Previous Head Counsellor for D-Camps and current teacher in the Calgary Public Schools Ethan Pullan.

children at D-Camps making

Big Brothers Big Sisters Build

Big Brothers Big Sisters Calgary & Area mentors and mentees took part in an exciting series of builds, making Light Touch Switches and MMC60 Switches.

“I have enjoyed being part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Calgary and Regina,” says MMC West Region Coordinator and Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer Shanelle Waiting, who led the build. “Very glad I was given the chance to combine my work passion with one of my volunteer passions.”

Devices from our Alberta builds were donated to places across Alberta, including Calgary Quest School and Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton.

Saskatchewan:

Balgonie Elementary School Build

Students from Balgonie Elementary showing off their switches

Balgonie Elementary School invited Makers Making Change to come into their class to discuss Open Source Assistive Technology and walk them through an Interact Switch build. Students learned how to solder and assemble an open source switch.

Many of the devices from the Balgonie Elementary School Build went to the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre in Regina.

Manitoba:

North Forge MMC60 Switch Build

Stephen leading a build at North Forge

A great partnership event. Eight students and North Forge mentors came together to learn about 3D printing, design and to build MMC60 Switches. Facilitated by Stephen Moyer, our Winnipeg based Engineer in Training (EIT), the event was a great success and we look forward to future partnership events here in Winnipeg.

University of Manitoba OT Student Builds

University of Manitoba students making

Our Central Region staff also delivered four workshops at the University of Manitoba as part of the Assistive Technology Unit, Practice Skills in the Occupational Therapy course. Fourth year OT students successfully built Interact Switches and MMC60 switches.

University of Manitoba students showing off their switches

Ontario:

Abilities Expo

Jordana at the Abilities Expo

Supported by our amazing volunteers Jordana Bengall and Jake Bellerose, we attended the Abilities Expo in May. A great event and an opportunity to meet a lot of new people in Mississauga, Ontario as we grow our presence in the region.

Jake at the Abilities Expo in Toronto

New Brunswick:

Anglophone South School District Makerfaire

Kerilyn at the Maker Faire

We were happy to attend a school district Maker Faire in Saint John where students and teachers were able to showcase their projects from the year and talk about technology initiatives. Anyone visiting the MMC booth was able to check out some 3D printing, adaptive gaming, and assistive devices.

Centreville Community School Switch Build

At Centreville Community School, we hosted a switch build with 15 grade 6 students. Students discussed accessibility and assistive technology and built MMC60 switches which will be donated throughout Atlantic Canada.

Sussex Regional High School Switch Build

MMC staff traveled to Sussex, New Brunswick to facilitate two switch building sessions with over 40 high school students. Students built Light Touch Switches and Raindrop Switches and had discussions about accessibility.

Harold Peterson Middle School Switch Build

a student at Harold Peterson tests out some switches

Students at Harold Peterson Middle School discussed assistive technology and disability before building 15 Interact Switches, and some students chose to try building some Light Touch Switches with us too!

Sunny Brae Middle School Switch Build

Sunny Brae students show off their switches outside the school building

Eight middle school students from Moncton, New Brunswick participated in a switch build with MMC staff where they each completed an Interact switch and a Raindrop switch and started the session discussing assistive tech, accessibility, and Disability Awareness Week.

École MGR-Martin Switch Build

Students at École MGR-Martin

MMC was thrilled to once again be invited to École MGR-Martin in Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick to host an event with 36 grade 5 students. Students adapted light up toy wands, four of which were provided to students in their school with the rest being donated to the IWK Children’s Hospital. Special thanks to Neil Squire staff who facilitated this build for us in French.

Campbellton Middle School Switch Build

MMC staff facilitated two build sessions with over 40 grade 6 and 7 students in Campbellton. Students built MMC60 switches, discussed accessibility and what it means to them, and the importance of assistive technology.