Naomi Beswick, a speech language pathologist in Edmonton, Alberta, was looking for a switch adapted toy for a child that she works with.
“She has minimal control over her hand functions, so one of the things we’re working on is trying to increase her access for AAC, so switch work is integral to that part of it,” Naomi explains.
She had learned about Makers Making Change from the I CAN Centre for Assistive Technology at Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, and decided to try putting in a request.
A first-time requestor, perhaps it was fitting that two first-time volunteers answered the call.
Warren adapted a Bubble Blower, with a switch and a battery interrupter. Miguel adapted her a My Pal Violet toy, as well.
“She really loves the bubble toy, and it was actually really powerful because her parents didn’t realize that she could activate a switch,” Naomi shares. “So that was pretty exciting for her parents to see.”
The adapted toys help her client be more independent.
“She would not have been able to activate that bubble toy herself without the switch, she would have had to depend on another person to do that, so it allows her to have independence to operate that toy. And it gives her motivating practice with a switch as well, which is really helpful for developing her access methods for AAC,” Naomi explains.
“And the forum works really well,” she continues. “I hadn’t made any requests before, and Warren and Miguel were the ones who did the work, and it was really easy to communicate with them that way and pick up the devices once they were done.”
Naomi says she would “without any hesitation” recommend Makers Making Change to other professionals, and has been spreading the word herself.
“It was so cool that you can go and get things that are affordable for us as clinicians and also for families that people are volunteering their time to make — it just seems like a really powerful game changing experience.”