Through Clubs That Care, an initiative by Neil Squire’s Makers Making Change program, we are helping university and post-secondary clubs and groups to build affordable assistive technology for their community. One such club is the UBC Science Undergraduate Society (SUS).
The UBC SUS decided to get involved with Makers Making Change after hosting MMC at their community engagement fair last year.
“[We] had a really motivating talk with them and felt inspired to hold events with the theme in mind to increase accessibility,” write UBC SUS engagement co-chairs Maya and Emily. “It resonated with us that MMC was not only making everyday tasks and aspects of life easier for people with disabilities, but also making fun more accessible (such as through toy adapting)!”
Since then, the UBC SUS has hosted two build events, a toy drive for #HackingForTheHolidays, which saw them build Raindrop Switches and adapt Boppin’ Beaver toys, and a Valentines Day toy adapting session.
“In general, this helps students recognize other perspectives and challenges that other individuals may face in everyday life. This is discussed in classes but being able to see firsthand what kinds of tools might be needed or wanted by people with disabilities could really help the idea of consistently thinking of others and their barriers to cross,” the chairs say of the impact the events have had on students.
“In the future, we hope to continue partnering with MMC and holding toy adapting events as the years turn and we have more students fill the roles we currently have. Our committee tends to repeat events that have good turn out and positive feedback from students, which both of our toy adapting events this year had.
“We’d just like to add that partnering with MMC has been such a positive experience and everyone who we’ve spoken to on their team was so kind-hearted.”